Noncommunicable diseases and mental health

Report of WHO Director-General to UN Secretary-General on the prevention and control of NCDs

United Nations General Assembly 68th session
10 December 2013

Progress on prevention, control and monitoring of NCDs

The United Nations General Assembly published a report on the progress achieved in realizing the commitments made by Heads of State and Government at the UN High-level Meeting on NCDs in September 2011. World leaders agreed in September 2011 that the global burden and threat of NCDs constitutes one of the major challenges for development in the 21st century and that business-as-usual was no longer an option. Countries committed to take action by setting national targets, developing national plans and implementing proven interventions to prevent, control and monitor NCDs.

UN Secretary-General and WHO Director-General at the 68th session of UNGA
UN Secretary-General and WHO Director-General at the 68th session of UNGA

The report was prepared by the WHO and sets out the progress achieved by Member States, international partners and WHO since September 2011. The report shows that Member States have started to make some progress, but it is still too early to declare success.

Developing countries have difficulties in moving from commitments to action due to a lack of access to technical expertise. The full operationalization of North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation need to run their course first.

Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020

At the meeting in September 2011, WHO was also requested to complete a number of global assignments that would further shape the global NCD agenda and accelerate implementation of national efforts. Most of these assignments have been completed on time.

There is now a global agenda in place based on 6 concrete targets for 2025, 25 outcome indicators, and 9 progress indicators, organized around the WHO Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020 endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2013, as well as regional action plans.

The global action plan comprises a set of actions which, when performed collectively by Member States, international partners and WHO, will achieve a global target of a 25% reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 2025 and attain the commitments made in the Political Declaration. The implementation of national efforts will be supported by the UN Interagency Task Force on NCDs. A global coordination mechanism (under development) will facilitate engagement among Member States, UN organizations, other international organizations and non-State actors.

The report was prepared in preparation for a comprehensive review on NCDs that the UN General Assembly will convene later this year.