Getting the politics right for the September 2011 UN NCD Meeting

The UN General Assembly’s decision to convene a “high-level meeting on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) worldwide” in September 2011 creates a major, timely opportunity to elevate chronic diseases onto the global stage. Just as the 2001 UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS was a pivotal moment in the global response to AIDS, there is hope that the September session on NCDs can become a historic rallying point. But we need to be realistic. Time to prepare adequately is short. NCDs do not enjoy many of the advantages that helped propel AIDS to become a global priority. High-level leadership is thus far missing, and the odds are long that the September meeting will have a transformative impact. (…) There are four key propositions that if acted upon in a timely way could help raise the prospects of success for this high-level session (Devi Sridhar et al., February 2011).