Non-communicable diseases (cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases) are becoming an increasingly serious problem both in developed and in developing countries. In 2008, 63% of deaths worldwide were due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), 80% of which occurred in developing countries. These diseases are the leading cause of death in most countries. Smoking, alcohol abuse, lack of physical activity and poor diet are the main risk factors for these diseases. NCDs are drawing increasing attention from national and international authorities because they have a negative impact on economic development around the world and could lead to an explosion in health costs. In view of these alarming findings, the UN General Assembly has decided to invite heads of State to a high-level meeting to consider global action against this scourge, and has mandated the Secretary General of the UN to prepare a status report on the issue.
A Swiss delegation composed of representatives from the Swiss federal administration, civil society and the private sector will attend the UN General Assembly's High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases which will be held on 19 and 20 September 2011 in New York. The Swiss delegation will be led by the President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) Micheline Calmy-Rey and by the Director of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) Pascal Strupler.
Switzerland has been actively following the preparations for this meeting and supports the conclusions of the UN Secretary-General's report which was published in May 2011, namely the necessity of adopting an approach that involves all government sectors in the fight against NCDs, the importance of prevention and the need to establish an international monitoring system for NCDs. Based on its experience with prevention involving various stakeholders, Switzerland proposes establishing an international platform managed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to enable various public and private-sector stakeholders at the national and international level to make concrete commitments on a voluntary basis to fight NCDs.
Address for enquiries:
Informazione DFAE: +41 31 322 31 53
UFSP, informazioni per i media: +41 31 322 95 05