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Global NCD Alliance Forum plenaries designed to pace up response to NCDs, accelerate progress and save lives

By March 22, 2020 No Comments

The third Global NCD Alliance Forum in Sharjah, UAE, has announced a packed three-day programme agenda comprising three main plenary sessions and 18 workshops, geared towards accelerating global efforts to prevent and control non-communicable diseases (NCD).

From February 9 – 11, this biennial event will be held under the theme, ‘Bridging the Gap’. Hosted and organised by UAE-based Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) in partnership with the global NCD Alliance (NCDA), the Forum will be held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, and Founder and Patron of FOCP.

Strategic discussions to inspire and galvanise action on NCDs

Plenary One, titled Saving lives and protecting communities through transformative NCD policies and solutions, will shine light on the work of the NCD community and discuss how the collective power of civil society can be harnessed to help bridge the gap, accelerate progress and save lives. It will explore how the recommendations of the UN High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) can be implemented to ensure that UHC across countries include NCDs to guarantee continuum of care. It will also discuss priority setting and address financing and imperatives for resourcing the NCD response.

Plenary Two, titled Building the demand for collective action on NCDs through transformative social movements and voices for change, aims to offer a dynamic dialogue on growing and humanising the NCD movement, including the need to amplify societal demand for action, and the challenges as well as strategies for the 2020s. It will challenge existing perceptions and explore the need to raise awareness about NCDs, while also encouraging policy makers, civil society and the private sector to take action.

Enhancing accountability for all people with NCDs everywhere through transformative and inclusive governance, is the third Plenary. It will highlight good governance and accountability as imperatives to achieve the goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Panelists will discuss the importance of inclusive, transparent, open governance and accountability frameworks and the interrelationship between the two. Real-life examples of advances being made in holding governments and private sectors accountable will also be shared.

The three plenary sessions will host 18 workshops in total, in alignment with NCDA’s goals of fulfilling the commitments on NDC prevention and control.

Global burden of NCDs expected to increase by 17 percent by 2025

HE Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson of FOCP Board of Directors, said: “Non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and mental health, account for 70 per cent of deaths globally. They are a barrier to economic and social development, and its global burden is expected to increase by 17 percent by 2025.”

“The three plenary sessions and workshops at the Forum will focus on the urgent issues facing the global NCD movement, emphasise on its prevention and control, and outline an ambitious vision for the new decade. The sessions will be addressed by leaders in the global NCD campaign and will have an eminent selection of panelists discussing and sharing best practices and scientific knowledge to accelerate action and identify key opportunities for growing the response.”

“NCDs prevention and control are a sustainable development priority for all countries, and the Forum reflects Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher’s and FOCP’s commitment to the global fight to prevent and control NCDs,” Jafar added. (please add full HH name)

This year, the forum will focus on action enablers, translating solutions and what works in local and national contexts. It will also offer a civil society perspective  for change that can bridge the major gaps in the NCD response.

Hundreds of representatives from the growing network of national and regional NCD alliances will attend the event which will also serve as a platform for knowledge exchange, capacity building, priority setting, and facilitating twinning initiatives across the alliances.

The first edition of the forum held in 2015 witnessed the launch of the Sharjah Declaration on NCDs, which was approved by more than 230 international experts, specialists and officials. The declaration included the forum’s recommendations which align with the efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda).

The second edition (2017) has brought together civil society organisations involved in combating non-communicable diseases as part of the preparation for the UN high-level meeting on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in 2018. The forum witnessed the launch of the first Sharjah Award for Excellence in NCD Civil Society Action, which is granted to organisations in recognition of their efforts to reduce the incidence of NCDs according to the initiatives mentioned in the Sharjah Declaration on NCDs.