Civil society informal interactive hearing 16 June 2011

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1 Civil society informal interactive hearing 16 June 2011 to inform the preparatory process for the General Assembly high-level meeting on noncommunicable diseases September 2011 Background brief 7 June 2011 Civil Society Interactive Hearing 16 June

2 Background to the Civil Society informal interactive hearing In December 2010, the UN General Assembly decided that a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases shall be held on September 2011 in New York. 1 The resolution also requests the President of the General Assembly to organize an informal interactive hearing with non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, the private sector and academia to provide an input to the preparatory process for the high-level meeting. In accordance with this request, the President of the General Assembly Mr Joseph Deiss is organizing an informal interactive hearing on 16 June in New York with nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, the private sector and academia. The outcomes of the hearing will provide an input to the preparatory process for the high-level meeting. The civil society interactive hearing will create an opportunity for a wide range of important stakeholders to identify challenges and priority outcomes and actions to accelerate the control and prevention of NCDs by Member States. The Hearing is well placed to influence the preparatory process as it will take place shortly before the negotiations on the outcome document will start. Purpose of the Interactive Hearing The informal interactive hearing is an opportunity for nongovernment organizations, civil society organizations, academia and the private sector to provide input into the preparatory process for the United Nations high-level meeting on noncommunicable diseases to be held on September Objectives of the Interactive Hearing The interactive hearing will aim to identify and report on: The specific contribution of civil society in NCD prevention and control and how this can be most effective Lessons learnt from the success of civil society and previous social mobilization efforts to address health and development challenges Specific outcomes that could be recommended for inclusion in the outcomes document being developed for the September high-level meeting on NCDs. 1 Background information on the UN high level meeting, the various events that have informed the preparatory process, and key documents are available online at: Civil Society Interactive Hearing 16 June

3 Deliverable A report on the interactive hearing will be provided to the President of the General Assembly. The President will use the report as the basis of his summary of the hearing, which will be circulated to Member States and issued as an official document of the UN General Assembly prior to the high-level meeting, as requested in A/RES/63/238. Participation in the interactive hearing A wide range of representatives from non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, the private sector and academia have registered to be eligible to attend the informal interactive hearing on non-communicable diseases on 16 June 2011 and the subsequent High-level meeting of the General Assembly. In addition, all Member States are invited to attending the hearing. Many civil society organizations and relevant individuals will not be able to attend the interactive hearing on 16 June for a variety of reasons. An online process has therefore been set up ahead of the hearing to allow non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, the private sector and academia to inform both the conduct of the hearing and the subsequent report on the outcomes of the hearing. Format for the interactive hearing A Civil Society Taskforce, established by the President of the General Assembly to advise him on the format of and participation in the interactive hearing, has proposed the following format for the hearing. An opening plenary to welcome participants, update on the preparatory process for the high-level meeting and provide an overview of current NCD challenges and opportunities. Three consecutive roundtable sessions. The format for the roundtables will be brief opening comments by a speaker and 4 to 5 panelists, invited comments from the floor, followed by moderated discussion involving all participants. The themes of the three roundtables are: 1. The scale of the challenge presented by NCDs 2. National and local solutions for NCD prevention and control 3. What is needed to enhance global cooperation to address NCDs? A closing plenary session to summarize the views of non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academia and the private sector from the day's discussions and identify key messages to be conveyed to Member States and the Co-facilitators. The Taskforce has proposed that contributors to the Forum, including those intervening during the open discussion sessions, focus on the following: The specific contribution of civil society in NCD prevention and control and how this can be most effective Civil Society Interactive Hearing 16 June

4 Lessons learnt from the success of civil society and previous social mobilization efforts to address health and development challenges Specific outcomes that could be recommended for inclusion in the outcomes document being developed for the September high-level meeting on NCDs. Publicity arrangements Accredited correspondents will cover the hearing, which will be on a live webcast. Background reading Further background information on the topics that will be discussed in the roundtables is in the WHO Global Status Report on Noncommunicable diseases 2010 and the Action plan for the global strategy for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases. 2 Issues to be canvassed during the three roundtables Roundtable one The scale of the challenge Noncommunicable diseases are the leading cause of deaths globally and are on the increase. In 2008, 36.1 million people died from conditions such as heart disease, strokes, chronic lung diseases, cancers and diabetes. Nearly 80% of these deaths occurred in lowand middle-income countries, dispelling the myth that such conditions are mainly a problem of affluent societies. Without action, the NCD epidemic is projected to kill 52 million people annually by Each year there are 9.1 million premature deaths from NCDs in people aged under 60 years and in their most productive period of life. About 30% of these people are from NCDs in low- and middle-income countries. These premature deaths are largely preventable. Chapters 1 and 2 of the WHO Global Status Report provide useful background information for Roundtable one. Session Purpose: To elicit the views of NGOs, civil society organizations, academia and the private sector on the scale of the NCD challenge To discuss the causes of the existing rise in NCDs social determinants and the 'globalization' of risk factors To stress the importance of the economic impact as well as the health and social impact To introduce the need for and provide concrete examples of effective multisectoral responses 2 and Civil Society Interactive Hearing 16 June

5 To explain the linkages between NCDs and the health priorities of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and specific approaches to integrating the response to NCDs with current priorities. Roundtable two National and local responses to the NCD challenge and The WHO Global Status Report provides country-by-country estimates of the NCDs epidemic and their risk factors, the challenges blocking many countries from taking effective action, and measures that can save millions of lives and reduce spiraling healthcare costs. Such measures include those contained in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: raising taxes on tobacco, banning tobacco advertising and legislating to curb smoking in public places. Other measures include reducing levels of salt in foods, stopping the inappropriate marketing of unhealthy food and non-alcoholic beverages to children, and proven measures to reduce harmful alcohol use. Chapters 5 and 6 of the WHO Global Status Report contain further information about national and local solutions. Session Purpose: To elicit the views of NGOs, civil society organizations, academia and the private sector on effective national and local solutions To discuss the importance of national planning for NCDs and the mechanisms required To discuss models of service delivery (prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, technologies, medicines, palliative care) To identify evidence based strategies that have been shown to be effective and to identify those that can be implemented that will have the greatest impact at affordable costs To identify sustainable sources of funding, e.g. taxes, solidarity levies, prioritizing health within national budget allocations To depict the need for and identify specific health system strengthening actions that impact both NCDs and communicable diseases. Roundtable three What is needed to enhance international cooperation? The General Assembly high-level meeting on noncommunicable diseases in September 2011 is a significant opportunity to scale up international cooperation on NCD prevention and control. There is now greater awareness of the problem, the need to address it and to work together. Many stakeholders are supporting the implementation of the Global Action Plan on NCDs, which has been supported by establishment of the Global NCD network and the development of partnerships However, there is still considerable scope for greater cooperation internationally. There are still clear differences of opinion on important issues especially on effective policy measures to prevent NCDs. The relevant stakeholders often work separately, missing Civil Society Interactive Hearing 16 June

6 the potential synergies that combined efforts would create. Likewise, it has proven challenging to replicate at a global level the good partnerships that have developed at national level in many countries. Finally, there has been limited success in mobilizing the resources required to implement some important objectives of the Global NCD Action Plan. Further background information on global cooperation can be found in chapter 7 of the WHO Global Status Report, as well the Global NCD Action Plan. Session Purpose: To elicit the views of NGOs, civil society organizations, academia and the private sector on effective ways to enhance global cooperation To recommend specific actions to strengthen commitment to implementing existing tools such as the FCTC To discuss and recommend resource mobilization including sustainable innovative financing mechanisms and integration into existing development assistance frameworks To canvass possible UN coordinating mechanisms, linked to WHO, that coordinate follow-up action and monitoring of progress. Civil Society Interactive Hearing 16 June

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