September is quickly approaching, which means New York City will soon be buzzing with excitement surrounding the start of the high-level meetings of the UN General Assembly’s 68th session, where the post-2015 development agenda will be a key focus of discussion. All of these events will serve as the next big step in the post-2015 conversation. It is crucial for all of civil society, including the tobacco control community, to pay close attention and get involved during this time so that we can plan our next moves in order to achieve our goals.
ASH is taking an active role in these events in order to educate others, including UN representatives, government officials, and heads of state on the importance of tobacco control. It is not just a health issue; it is a major sustainable development issue that has a proven, effective, and economical solution to eliminate poverty – the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Sustainable development is defined as environmental, economic and social well-being for today and tomorrow. The overarching solutions proposed by the development community have emphasized these 3 main pillars. Fortunately, the FCTC already incorporates these pillars. Thus, tobacco control has an important role in the post-2015 development agenda.
Events specific to the post-2015 development agenda and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will begin on Sunday, September 22nd and will continue through Thursday, September 26th. On Sunday, September 22nd, the UN-Nongovernmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) will be hosting an event entitled: Advancing Regional Recommendations on Post-2015: A Dialogue between Civil Society, Governments and UN Representatives, which will serve as the preview to the “main event” on MDGs on September 25th. The conclusions from this meeting will be synthesized into a report and discussed on September 25th among the UN heads of state and governments. This event is open to all interested representatives from civil society, the UN system, and governments. For civil society organizations with ECOSOC status, registration is open now on CSO-net here until September 10th, 2013. The “MDG special event” will be held on Wednesday, September 25th. Heads of State and Government will gather to take stock of progress and renew their commitment toward achieving the MDGs. They will also continue to plan a more cohesive post-2015 sustainable development agenda. This event will be webcast live on the UN website here.
Aside from these high level meetings, there will also be a wide variety of side events throughout the week. The NCD Alliance, along with The US Government, and the NCD Roundtable, is planning a side event: “Healthy Planet, Healthy People: Building Synergies for Sustainable Development.” For more information on the official list of side events please click here. We encourage all those who are independently able to attend these meetings to register and take part in these discussions, as we must get tobacco control recognized in this conversation.
To engage with the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, use this sample letter to emphasize the importance of this issue.
United States Mission to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10017