FDI calls for inclusion of oral health in the NCD response at UN Civil Society Hearing
As part of the preparatory process for the third United Nations High-level Meeting on Noncommunicable diseases (UN HLM on NCDs), the UN convened an interactive hearing for civil society organizations (CSOs) on 5 July in New York. The UN will soon release an official summary report of the hearing online.
Around 300 participants attended the event which brought together civil society, philanthropic foundations, academia, medical associations, the private sector and broader communities to discuss priorities and recommendations for the Zero Draft document for the HLM on NCDs. The Zero Draft is the first draft of the outcome document which will set the scene for the next phase of the political response to NCDs. The Zero Draft is drafted and negotiated by Member States.
FDI attended the hearing and submitted three statements urging Member States to address oral health within the HLM outcome document. FDI’s statements are available for viewing on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website.
The hearing consisted of four panel sessions:
- Scaling up action for the prevention and control of NCDs;
- Financing for the prevention and control of NCDs;
- Promotion of multisectoral partnerships for the prevention and control of NCDs; and
- Political leadership and accountability.
During the panel sessions, FDI and other stakeholders called for Member States to implement WHO Best Buys and other WHO-recommended interventions, such as taxation on sugar-sweetened beverages. Stakeholders, including FDI, also expressed disappointment in the generic and broad language within the Zero Draft, which lacks financing commitments and fails to mention oral diseases and other NCDs.
FDI will continue to push for oral health to be integrated within the outcome document and is set to attend the HLM on 27 September in New York. The meeting is an opportunity to evaluate progress on the NCD response to date and elevate the profile of oral diseases on a global stage.
The first UN HLM on NCDs took place in September 2011, where Member States unanimously adopted a Political Declaration that contained 22 action-oriented commitments for the NCD response and recognized that “renal, oral and eye diseases pose a major health burden for many countries and that these diseases share common risk factors and can benefit from common responses to NCDs”.
In 2014, the second UN HLM on NCDs took place to review progress since 2011 and make new commitments to accelerate the NCD response.
The third UN HLM on NCDs will convene on 27 September in 2018 to review the progress achieved in the prevention and control of NCDs in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
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Statement on Agenda item 11.7 at WHA71 where FDI urged Member States to make oral health a priority. Oral health is often overlooked but world leaders must act to change this at the HLM on NCDs.