STATEMENT BY H.E. DR. HALA ZAYED MINISTER OF HEALTH AND POPULATION OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT, ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA, AT THE THIRD HIGH LEVEL MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES: "TIME TO DELIVER: ACCELERATING OUR RESPONSE TO ADDRESS NCDS FOR THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS" (New York, 27 September 2018)
Thank you Madam President of the General Assembly for giving me the floor.
Heads of States and Governments,
Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Director General of the World Health Organization,
Distinguished Ministers, Excellencies,
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China before this High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases. While this is the third Meeting of its kind, it is distinctive as it is occurring in the era of the Sustainable Development Agenda. As a matter of fact, the international community committed to "reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being" in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
2. Despite the wealth of research and evidence about the determinants of health and the technological advances, we are deeply concerned about the lack of progress achieved in fulfilling our commitments. According to the World Health Organization, more than 70 % of deaths in 2016 were due to NCDs.
3. Non-communicable diseases pose an enormous burden on all countries. However, this burden is particularly severe in developing nations where most of NCD-related premature deaths occur. Additionally, developing nations suffer from the exorbitant costs of health technologies.
4. Therefore, it is important that we, the international community provide the means of implementation necessary to realize our ambitions:
a) First, it is crucial that we scale up financing from both domestic and donor sources, to support national programmes on prevention and control of NCDs;
b) Second, promote development cooperation guided by the principles of solidarity and national ownership, especially in support of African countries, Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, Small Islands Developing States, conflict and post-conflict countries and countries and peoples living under foreign occupation, as well as Middle-Income Countries who face specific challenges;
c) Third, ensure a whole of a government approach that promotes coherence in trade, fiscal and industrial policies with health goals;
d) Fourth, address the critical challenge of the soaring prices of medicines and other health technologies, which is unsustainable even for relatively wealthy countries, let alone developing nations, causing unbearable financial burden for individuals and families and leading to massive inequality in access around the world… It is time to implement pressingly needed reforms to enable 'access to medicine for all" to become a reality;
e) Fifth, we must, therefore, ensure affordability and access to existing and new medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and other medical tools, including through the use to the fullest extent the flexibilities provisions in the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health;
f) Sixth, support, as a matter of urgency, research and development of new medicines, vaccines, diagnostic tools and other health technologies. This must be done while ensuring that R&D efforts are needs-driven, evidence-based, and a shared responsibility. These efforts must be guided by the core principles of affordability, effectiveness, efficiency, and equity through delinking research and development costs from prices and sales volume;
g) Seventh, further support the work of the World Health Organization, and relevant task forces such as the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on NCDs, which is severely underfunded, and allow them to fully realize their potential in supporting national programmes to prevent and control NCDs.
It is imperative that we collaborate on these actions and beyond, to ensure that by the time we convene for the 2025 High-Level Meeting on the comprehensive NCD review, we would be on track to achieve our goal of reducing by one third premature mortality from the Non-Communicable Diseases.
I thank you.