United Nations High Level Expert Committee Meeting: will action follow the Asturias declaration?

Paris, France, September 16th 2011

United Nations High Level Expert Committee Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases at the global level, 19th-20th September: will action follow the Asturias declaration?

In an open letter released today, more than 100 scientists, health professionals, civil society representatives and other stakeholders, led by Dr Annie J Sasco and André Cicolella from France, urge the UN and WHO to tackle the challenge of non-communicable diseases by global action, especially in low-and-medium income countries, including environmental health factors and occupational disease prevention. The UN high-level meeting on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases hosted in New-York during the upcoming UN General Assembly session will be key to shaping global health politics for the years to come.

During a preparatory meeting to the UN high-level meeting in Asturias last April, a call to action on cancer primary prevention was adopted by participants to urge WHO and the UN to take effective measures towards cancer prevention worldwide, to protect vulnerable populations, reflecting scientific evidence on the role of environmental (chemical, physical, biological) risk factors in the occurrence of non-communicable diseases, whose list should not be limited to the originally four recognized health conditions of cancer, diabetes, cardio-cerebro-vascular and respiratory diseases, but also extend beyond to reproductive, neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

At a time where economic interests are likely to undermine the outcome of the New York meeting, governments worldwide should not miss this historic moment and make clear that the health of their populations prevail over economic interests which result in an unacceptable environmental burden of disease for both national health systems and economies, in particular in low-and-middle income countries.

Open letter UN WHO NY NCD Sept 2011512

Contacts :

Annie J. Sasco, MD, DrPH
Epidemiology for Cancer prevention, Team HIV, Cancer and Global Health
University Bordeaux Segalen, France
Cell : ++33 6 74 25 43 93

André Cicolella
Conseiller scientifique à l’INERIS, président du Réseau Environnement Santé
Tel : 06 35 57 16 82

Elisabeth Ruffinengo
Advocacy Officer WECF
Tel : + 33 (0)4 50 49 97 38 / + 33 (0)6 74 77 77 00