Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan, Pakistan's Permanent Representative the United Nations, at the UNGA High Level Meeting on Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs)(10 July 2014)

Mr. President,

Pakistan associates itself with the statement delivered by the Group of 77 and China.

Mr. President,

NCDs represent one of the world’s most serious health challenges.

NCDs cause suffering in both developed and developing countries. The socio-economic development of the developing countries in particular is adversely affected by the NCDs. These diseases traumatize families and stunt growth of communities and nations.

The 2011 Political Declaration on the prevention and control of Noncommunicable Disease has brought a radical shift in our thinking. Governments have to be in the driving seat to respond to the challenge of NCDs and to commit themselves to develop national plans to prevent and control NCDs.

Pakistan has made commitments to implement the UN Political Declaration on NCDs based on the regional framework for action. We are making strategic interventions in the four priority areas.

In the area of governance: We are developing an updated national and provincial action plan for NCD with targets for prevention and control adopted from the global targets; develop infrastructure for NCDs at the provincial level; generate and devote the needed resources for NCDs especially through taxation of tobacco and unhealthy products.

In the area of prevention and reduction of risk factors: We are implementing the WHO NCD ‘Best buys’.

In the area of surveillance: We are developing the NCD surveillance system based on the WHO framework and integrate NCD into the national health information system.

In the area of health care: We are working to integrate essential NCD interventions in primary health care including cost-effective interventions for early detection and treatment of priority NCDs; and improve access to safe, affordable and quality essential medicines and technologies.

The Government of Pakistan is pursuing a comprehensive, cross-sectoral National Action Plan in partnership with the private sector to achieve the following objectives:

High level political commitment and involvement of communities and health care providers in creating awareness and prevention of NCDs.

Mapping of existing health facilities and assessing their capacity in addressing NCDs.

Establishment of uniform standards for public and private sector.

Incorporating prevention and control of NCDs in the poverty reduction strategy.

Promoting research and strengthening human resource capacity.

Developing partnerships with all stakeholders, including international organizations.

Mr. President,

As the international community is engaged in crafting the post-2015 development agenda, the HLM on NCDs provides us a welcome opportunity to convert the Political Declaration into an actionable plan. We are glad that during ongoing negotiations on the sustainable development goals , NCDs are being integrated as a cross-cutting issue in various goals and targets relating to health, nutrition, safe drinking water, and access to medicines. The risk factors for NCDs are intertwined with issues of environmental pollution, urbanization and sustainable consumption.

Mr. President,

Effective global partnerships and provision of credible means of implementation are indispensable to the success in prevention and control of NCDs. The world’s leading pharmaceutical companies should also fulfill their corporate social responsibility by ensuring availability of medicines for prevention and control of NCDs at affordable prices in the developing countries.

Today's meeting has given us a valuable opportunity to take stock of the progress made so far, conduct an informed review, identify remaining gaps, and find ways and means to redress deficits. This meeting would spur leadership in our fight against the NCDs.

I thank you.