IDF Advocacy Update for the Quarterly Newsletter - March 2012

In the aftermath of an exciting and inspiring 2011, IDF is looking to the next stage of our journey for diabetes advocacy. The UN High-Level Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and the unanimous adoption of the Political Declaration firmly elevated diabetes and NCDs onto the radar of governments and onto the global health and development agenda. But we always acknowledged that the Summit was just the beginning, not the end. We now need to work together to continue this momentum, translate political commitments into action, hold governments to account, and tackle the issues that were sidelined at the Summit. Here is an update of our advocacy activities and priorities for 2012.     

 
Defining the Global Institutional Framework for NCDs
The Political Declaration includes 22 commitments on NCD prevention and control which cover the spectrum of the diabetes and NCD response. These commitments were unanimously adopted by all 193 UN Member States, meaning that each and every government worldwide is now accountable for fulfilling them. Processes to follow-up on the commitments made are now well underway, particularly the three short-term commitments that are to be achieved by the end of 2012. These are to develop:
 
- A set of voluntary global NCD targets and indicators; 
- A comprehensive global monitoring framework to monitor trends and progress in NCDs;
- Options for a global multisectoral NCD partnership. 
 
These commitments are crucial as they will provide the foundations to galvanize and monitor future action. As WHO Director General Margaret Chan said in the lead up to the Summit, "without global goals or targets, this is not going to fly – what gets measured gets done". Bold, specific, and measurable targets were an integral component of the HIV/AIDS Political Declaration of 2001 and have been an important factor in driving progress over the past decade. This will be the first time global targets have ever been set on diabetes and NCDs and all UN Member States will have to report against them. It is a significant opportunity and will be a huge step forward if we get it right. 
 
For this reason, IDF has been actively influencing the WHO-led processes to ensure that diabetes perspectives are reflected in the global targets. IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya is a member of the WHO Technical Working Group for the NCD targets, and IDF’s leadership in the NCD Alliance has given us inside access to the process. We have participated in WHO NGO consultations, and delivered a statement at the recent WHO Executive Board (EB) in Geneva in January where the targets were further discussed. Above all, IDF and the NCD Alliance are calling for the adoption of an overarching goal to reduce preventable deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025 at the World Health Assembly in May. Click here to read more about the process, read the full NCD Alliance statement from the WHO EB, and send a template letter to your government urging them to adopt the overarching NCD goal. 
 
Closing the Funding Gap for Diabetes and NCDs
The UN Summit delivered on many of IDF’s advocacy priorities, but it still left unfinished business for the global diabetes community. While the Political Declaration states that resources are not “commensurate with the magnitude of the problem”, diabetes and NCDs remain grossly underfunded. The agencies which determine development funding, including major bilateral donors, the World Bank and the IMF, remain reluctant to allocate resources for diabetes and NCDs. These diseases receive less than 3% of the 22 USD billion Official Development Assistance (ODA) spent on health, yet they represent 60% of the global burden of disease. In 2012, with your help, IDF and the NCD Alliance will tackle this funding gap. We will be launching a global campaign targeted at the bilateral and multilateral donors, and explore innovative funding mechanisms for NCDs. 
 
Shaping the Future Global Development Agenda
Following the UN Summit, the next major milestone in our sights is the end date of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015. We have always given our full support to the MDGs, but the absence of diabetes and NCDs has been a major obstacle to mobilising leadership and resources. The Declaration was a major step forward in integrating diabetes and NCDs into the global development agenda, as it states that diabetes and NCDs are ‘one of the major challenges for development in the 21st century’. While 2015 may seem a long time away, global dialogue and the processes to shape the post-2015 development framework have already begun. IDF and the NCD Alliance are actively engaging in preparations for the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June, and influencing the UN post-2015 conversation with an NCD Alliance Think Piece on the post-2015 development framework.
 
IDF Advocacy Materials Translated in Official UN Languages
We are also pleased to announce that IDF’s policy and advocacy publications have been translated into the official UN languages. These are important tools for diabetes advocates around the world in ensuring the Political Declaration is translated into action on the ground. They are available for download in PDF format here: