H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients Charity (FoCP), International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC and the NCD Alliance, today, announced the launch of the first Global NCD Alliance Forum in November 2015, and will be hosted by Friends of Cancer Patients in Sharjah.
The announcement came at a special dinner ceremony co-hosted by Sheikha Jawaher and the UICC in New York. During her visit, she also attended a side-event taking place as part of the UN General Assembly week entitled ‘Strengthening the NCD civil society movement’, which was also co-hosted by Sheikha Jawaher, the NCD Alliance and the Union for International Cancer Control.
The Forum will be the first of its kind, convening representatives from the growing network of national and regional NCD alliances. It will provide a platform for knowledge exchange, capacity building, priority setting, and facilitating twinning initiatives across the alliances. Research indicates that more than 60 per cent of deaths around the world happen due to NCDs.
H.H. Sheikha Jawaher was also announced as the Forum’s Ambassador as part of her commitment to the fight against cancer and NCDs at the global level, as well as within the U.A.E.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be hosting this important and timely Global Forum with the NCD Alliance. My commitment to this Forum stems from a sense of urgency to act on the global NCD epidemic, and recognition for the importance of civil society in the response. I hope this Forum will galvanise greater attention and resources to the NCD civil society movement in low- and middle-income countries,” said H.H. Sheikha Jawaher.
“I believe that through early detection, many lives can be saved through better awareness. But this requires intensive and collective official, scientific and financial support,” she added.
Since its inception in 2009, the NCD Alliance has been a major catalyst in securing political priority for NCDs at the global level. Over five years, significant milestones include the 2011 UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs; the adoption of the WHO Global Monitoring Framework on NCDs in 2012, including the “25 by 25” NCD mortality target; the adoption of the WHO Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020; and growing consensus for NCDs to be included as a health priority in the post-2015 development agenda.
With these commitments in place, the responsibility for action on NCDs has now shifted from the global level to the national and regional levels.
“Ensuring a strong civil society movement on NCDs at the national and regional level is fundamental to achieving sustainable progress on NCDs. At the NCD Alliance, we are therefore increasing our focus on supporting national action and the capacity building of civil society. This Global Forum is an essential element of this work,” stated Cary Adams, CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Chair of The NCD Alliance.
A testament to both the demand for and effectiveness of a unified approach to NCD advocacy is the growing number of national and regional NCD alliances. “Today the NCD Alliance is proud to be coordinating a network of 26 national NCD alliances and 4 regional NCD alliances,” said Ms Katie Dain, Executive Director of the NCD Alliance.” These alliances are playing a critical role in the NCD response, providing platforms to advocate for improvements in NCD prevention and control, delivering lifesaving services to populations in need, and holding their governments to account. This Forum will be a landmark event, bringing these alliances together for the first time”.