STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. MOHAMED OMAR GAD, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, BEFORE THE FIRST INFORMAL SESSION TO DISCUSS THE DRAFT RESOLUTION ON "SCOPE, MODALITIES, FORMAT AND ORGANIZATION OF THE THIRD HIGH-LEVEL MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF NONCOMMUNICABLE DISEASES" (New York, 9 March 2018)
Your Excellencies Co-facilitators,
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. The Group would like to congratulate your Excellencies on assuming the positions of co-facilitators of the intergovernmental consultations and negotiations in preparation for a comprehensive review of the progress achieved in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. We wish you and your focal points a smooth and successful process leading to the 2018 High Level Meeting on the matter and we assure you of our full support and cooperation.
2. The Group of 77 and China thanks the Secretary General for his report, which along with World Health Organization reports and resources, will inform our present deliberations.
3. Building on the previous two High Level Meetings on Non-Communicable Diseases as well as ongoing international, regional and national efforts to prevent and control NCDs, we are resuming this year our review of the progress made.
4. Nevertheless, it should be clear that the upcoming NCD HLM is exceptionally important as it occurs in the era of the Sustainable Development Agenda. The 2030 Agenda clearly targets to "reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being."
5. In the same vein, we all committed in the 2030 Agenda to "support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all."
6. These goals, though already vital on their own, gain significantly more importance when considered with their interlinkages with the other SDGs in order to ensure the comprehensive implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
7. The Secretary General's report provides us with alarming evidence that the current level of progress is insufficient to meet our targets. Lack of capacity, limited progress towards achieving Universal Health Coverage and near zero increase in ODA to tackle NCDs as well as industry interference were highlighted, in the report, as the main hurdles.
We are deeply concerned at the dearth of progress in fulfilling our commitments, considering the wealth of research and evidence on the determinants of health that could inform policy making at the international, regional and national levels, along with the set of recommendations and pathways to address market failures.
Your Excellencies Co-facilitators,
9. The Group of 77 and China welcomes your efforts to draft a resolution on scope and modalities. We consider it is a good basis for further discussions and look forward to work with partners to explore areas for improving the text.
10. At this stage, the Group stresses the need to ensure high level participation in the meeting, and hence, welcomes the date proposed of the third day of the General Assembly debate, back to back with the High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis.
11. We also believe that in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals, it is crucial to emphasize the links between NCD prevention and control and the 2030 Agenda.
12. Additionally, the Group of 77 and China would like to recognize the wealth of knowledge and tools at the disposition of the WHO and relevant taskforces and looks forward to exploring avenues to mobilize and enhance this expertise as we move forward in the current process.
13. Finally, the Group of 77 and China cannot stress enough its commitment to address the multifaceted challenges posed by the Non-Communicable Diseases, as a mean to achieve our common sustainable development goals.