Geneva, Switzerland — The American Heart Association congratulates Member States attending this week’s 66th World Health Assembly (WHA) for unanimously adopting a resolution that sets out a global action plan for the prevention of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Instrumental to this success was the leadership of the United States, which helped to champion the resolution that was co-sponsored by 41 member nations.
Approval of the historic resolution could not be better timed as we celebrate “World No Tobacco Day” today. Tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable risk factor associated with NCDs, claiming at least 5 million lives each year. Eliminating tobacco use is one of the key strategies highlighted in the resolution to reduce NCD-related deaths 25 percent by 2025. In addition to tobacco control, Member States will focus on eight other voluntary global targets, as well as operationalize and monitor progress toward their achievement.
“As a proud partner of the NCD Alliance, the American Heart Association has been actively engaged in follow-up activities to the 2011 United Nations Summit on Noncommunicable Diseases,” said the association’s CEO Nancy Brown. “We celebrate and support the political commitment of Member States to tackle NCDs head-on through evidence-based strategies that will improve tobacco control, blood pressure and physical inactivity, and secure the future health of their countries.”
The resolution establishes a new era in global health where NCDs can no longer be dismissed due to their impact on a country’s development. It calls for the World Health Organization to better define a global coordination mechanism that will guide Member States, U.N. agencies, non-governmental organizations and private sector parties to work together on these issues.
As we celebrate World No Tobacco Day, the association strongly supports global efforts to keep tobacco front and center in the fight against NCDs. Tobacco use is the world’s leading cause of preventable death, it can be stopped through outreach and education on its dangers, combined with legislation and increased taxation.
“By addressing these issues now, we can save lives and create a healthier world,” said Brown. “Moving forward, the association is committed to working with its partners to maintain the drive and energy witnessed at the 66th World Health Assembly and strive for a world free of cardiovascular diseases and other NCDs.”
Contact: Chris Guizlo, (202) 785-7935