NCD Alliances from across the globe unite to adopt The Sharjah Declaration
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) and International Ambassador for the World Cancer Declaration of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC, launched yesterday (Sunday) “Sharjah Declaration” on Non-Communicable Diseases, that have been approved by more than 230 health specialist and experts participating in the first global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Alliance Forum. The declarations included the most important recommendations that came out of the forum, which will be applied to to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The first global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Alliance Forum concluded yesterday (Sunday) with The Sharjah Declaration being presented to Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) and International Ambassador for the World Cancer Declaration of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC and Patron of Global NCD Alliance Forum.
Under the declaration, national and regional NCD alliances from across the world, have joined forces to commit to accelerate action and increase accountability to prevent and reduce deaths, disability, stigma, and discrimination caused by NCDs. Alliances have committed to grow in strength and number, reinforce partnerships with governments and amplify voices of those affected by NCDs. The Declaration also seeks to mobilise domestic, bilateral and multilateral resources for NCDs; monitor process and mechanisms and hold relevant bodies to account.
In her speech during the closing session, Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi thanked all participants in the forum, and said: “My efforts towards combating non-communicable diseases around the world is an obligation and a humanitarian duty to help these elite of experts and specialists, who thanks to their brilliant intellect, experiences and joint work, make a clear difference in the implications of non-communicable diseases on the peoples of the world, specifically in low-and middle-income countries.
She called upon all the participants to continue to work hard and communicate after the conclusion of the forum, which must serve as a permanent venue, to follow up on the developments and ensure the implementation of the Sharjah Declaration”. She considered the Sharjah declaration as a gift of 230 global experts to the peoples across the entire globe, Sheikha Jawaher also called for holding the second edition of the global forum on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Sharjah in 2017.
Dr Jose Luis Castro, Executive Director, the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, Chair of NCD Alliance, France presented The Sharjah Declaration saying, “This Declaration is a roadmap for advocacy for national and regional NCD alliances around the world. It calls on governments, the United Nations and the private sector to do all that they can and must for NCD prevention and control. Because no one sector alone will reverse the NCD epidemic. It is a strong statement of intent to unite and work together as a network of alliances, to join forces and advocate for change together, and to track government progress together. Together, we are stronger.”
The Declaration called on governments to champion NCD prevention; implement goals and promote interventions; allocate resources, establish robust and transparent monitoring systems and include the voices of those affected by NCDs in policy development. It further calls on the United Nations to integrate NCDs into broader human rights, health and development policies; improve tracking of resources for NCDs and provide technical support to governments in low and middle income countries to achieve agreed NCD goals.
It calls on the business community to embrace public health objectives in their core business; provide healthy work environments for all employees and to refrain from opposing agreed international regulations on the production and marketing of unhealthy products, in particular those targeting children.
The Sharjah Declaration also appeals to the media to raise awareness of the scale and human, environmental and economic costs of NCDs; expose practices and products that harm public health and provide clear, evidence-based information to the public on NCD prevention, including risk factors.
Sir George Alleyne, Director Emeritus, Chair NCD Alliance Expert Advisory Council thanked all the attendees for coming and said, “At some point bringing all NCD Alliances together in this way was just a dream. Making this dream a reality took leadership and commitment and this was provided by Her Highness Sheikh Jawaher. Her Highness’ patronage of this event and commitment to the control of NCDs has been an inspiration that made this dream a reality.”
Sir Alleyne added, “As we go forth from here I have one simple request. Do not be trapped in an echo chamber of low expectations. I repeat what a great man once said to me. Make grand plans, small plans do not stir men’s blood.”
Katie Dain, Executive Director, NCD Alliance, UK said “The Sharjah Declaration, which we formally adopted in the Closing Session, will provide the basis for the advocacy planning exercise. No one sector alone will reverse the NCD epidemic, but working together we have the tremendous opportunity to chart a new course toward health and sustainable human development for a more equitable and healthier future for all.”
A total of 51 speakers from 45 countries and 173 advocacy organisations forming 43 national and regional NCD Alliances came together for the forum held at the Al Jawaher Convention Centre on the 14-15 November. The event is a collaboration by FoCP and the NCD Alliance, which aims to unify global efforts to cut mortality caused by non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025.