GA: High-level meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases

9/19/2011 // Ms. Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services, presented Norway's statement to the General Assembly in the high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases on September 19, 2011.

Mr. President,

Prevention is key in the fight against NCDs. We know that preventing chronic diseases is a great investment – for the benefit of people and the economy. If we do it right, prevention of NCDs will contribute to economic growth and reduce social inequalities in health within and between countries.

In order to prevent, national governments must take the lead. Risk factors such as tobacco and obesity must be addressed, using policy instruments at population level. National health systems must be strengthened. But an effective strategy does not rest with the health sector alone. Cross-sectoral action is needed in order to respond effectively to the NCD challenge. We need active involvement of sectors like urban planning, finance, industry, trade, education, culture and agriculture.

We need to have to pay close attention to different stakeholder’s roles in regards to NCDs. Civil society organisations play a crucial role in the fight against NCDs. This is why Norway has included two members of civil society in our delegation to this meeting.

We know from experience that setting targets and goals are useful in order to achieve progress. ”What gets measured gets done”. In this regard, WHO has a leading role.  Through WHO we must develop targets, indicators and a monitoring framework for countries to apply in their national settings.

Mr. President,

Reducing tobacco consumption is one of the most efficient measures to prevent NCDs. Tobacco industry has taken legal action against a number of Parties to the WHOs Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, including Norway. This is unacceptable. No Party to the FCTC should allow tobacco industry to intimidate us in fulfilling our legal obligations to protect public health.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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