"We're here and we're united" - IDF CEO at UN Hearing

On June 16, the United Nations hosted the Civil Society informal interactive hearing for non-communicable diseases. IDF CEO and Chair of the NCD Alliance, Ann Keeling, used her speaking time effectively to communicate her outrage at the "carnage of human potential" and the 90 million avoidable deaths from NCDs, which could occur worldwide within the next decade if nothing is done. She said: "We're angry and we want action".

Ann Keeling recounted how much the NCD Alliance had achieved in the two years since its creation in 2009. She recalled how the Alliance had built "an NCD movement in record time from nothing ". Within the last 6 months, hundreds of organisations have joined the thousand-strong movement. Twenty-five national and two regional alliances have already been created. Although still embryonic, the movement was growing from strength to strength.

the Alliance has built "an NCD movement in record time from nothing" 

Universal access to universal health was a key issue with a child diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in a developed country able to enjoy 60 to 70 years of life expectancy, compared to the six months a child born in certain parts of Africa could hope for, given the lack of access to insulin, a product discovered over 90 years ago. Ann Keeling said that she was "frightened that the world was sleepwalking into a sick future that's avoidable". However, the IDF CEO reminded delegates that NCDs are not a new disease, affordable solutions and technologies do exist to deal with them. 

The CEO requested that governments realise that the problem of NCDs were their own as much as civil society's. She urged delegates to ensure that their Heads of State and Heads of Government attend the NCD Summit and join their national delegations. Public, private and people partnerships, the "triple P", were the way forward, Ms. Keeling said. Finally, she asked governments to ensure that specific measurable outputs with targets be agreed upon in September. 

The hearing was an important step in the lead-up to the High-Level Meeting on NCD Control and Prevention to be held in New York on 19-20 September at the UN Headquarters. 

Read the advanced unedited version of the summary of the informal interactive hearing.

View the informal interactive civil society hearing on non-communicable diseases (Part 2). Ann Keeling's speech starts close to the 2.30.30 mark.