United Nations to establish WHO-led Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases
Note for media
22 July 2013 | Geneva – The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted a resolution requesting the UN Secretary-General to establish a United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases. The Task Force will be convened and led by the WHO and will be created by expanding the mandate of the existing United Nations Ad Hoc Interagency Task Force on Tobacco Control and the work to support the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). The resolution was adopted in ECOSOC’s 2013 Substantive Session being held in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Task Force will coordinate the activities of all UN organizations to implement the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020, adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2013. This is important because new WHO estimates show that 3 of the 4 leading causes of death worldwide are linked to noncommunicable diseases, specifically cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The Action Plan aims to achieve 9 voluntary global targets, including a 25% reduction in premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases by 2025. The plan provides a road map and a menu of policy options for Member States, WHO, other UN organizations, NGOs and private sector entities to implement collectively.
Heads of State and Government in 2011 recognized the role and responsibility of governments in reducing noncommunicable diseases through the United Nations Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of NCDs. With this resolution, ECOSOC is following up on those commitments.
WHO will convene a formal meeting with Member States on 13 November 2013 to complete the work on a draft terms of reference for the UN Task Force on NCDs.