Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death globally and the one risk factor common to the major non-communicable diseases (NCDs)–cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes. Yet until very recently, tobacco control, FCTC implementation, and NCDs were not high on the international development agenda. In fact, tobacco control is still relatively unknown within the global development community.
After Rio +20, the sustainable development agenda has been at the center of all of the discussions at the UN surrounding the post-2015 development agenda. The 3 main pillars include social, economic, and environment. Tobacco control needs to be recognized as not just a health issue, but a broader development issue. ASH has been spending the past few months engaging at the UN and in New York City to ensure that tobacco control is included in the post-2015 agenda.
In May 2013, at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, NCDs were an important part of the discussion. Member states reaffirmed their commitment to address NCDs by adopting an omnibus resolution, which includes adopting a global monitoring framework, endorsing the Global NCD Action Plan, the global coordination mechanism, and implementing the Global Action Plan. The NCD framework should be integrated into the global development framework to curb the NCD and tobacco control epidemic.
In June 2012, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) started the global dialogue that would ultimately set the foundation for the post-2015 development framework. The outcomes of Rio+20 included the agreement to initiate the process within the General Assembly to create the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Up until this point, the post-2015 development agenda has produced several reports (HLP report, SDSN, UNGC, UNDG), conducted national and thematic consultations around the world, and held open working group meetings on SDGs at the UN.
In July, the UN-Nongovernmental Liason Service (UN-NGLS) conducted an online consultation with civil society to give their input on the strengths and weaknesses of the four reports. To access ASH’s submissions click below:
ASH is a member of the NCD Roundtable based in Washington, DC. The roundtable works to ensure that the US government supports the inclusion of NCDs in the post-2015 development agenda. In addition, the roundtable advocates for NCDs to be an integral part of the US government’s global health agenda and to use US leadership to influence other member states.
September is a big month for the post-2015 campaign. The UN Headquarters and New York City will be buzzing with the arrival of heads of state, policymakers, and NGO and civil society representatives for the annual high-level week around the opening of the UN General Assembly. There will also be numerous side events taking place from September 22nd-27th. The UNGA’s special event on MDGs and the multi-sectoral dialogue event will be some of the main attractions for all those involved in the post-2015 agenda. It is very important for tobacco control advocates involved in the campaign to remain engaged during this week. ASH will be attending many of the side events as well as the “main attractions.”
There are numerous important events that are taking place between now and 2015 that will impact the post-2015 development agenda. The main processes and events for post-2015 are outlined in these timelines by the UN Foundation and by Sustainable Development 2015. For a timeline focused on NCD related events, created by the International Diabetes Federation click here.
Getting ASH’s messages across at the US Government level is as important as advocating at UN headquarters. Here’s what you can do:
• Send letters to Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN, encouraging her to make efforts to get tobacco control included in the post-2015 development agenda and the US global health agenda. A template letter is provided here.
• Educate yourself and others: understand the importance of tobacco control as a major sustainable development issue, not just a health issue. Read ASH’s publication on tobacco and sustainable development>