The 74th World Health Assembly (WHA74) commenced on 24 May 2021 and concluded its sessions on 31 May 2021. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the event was held virtually and the European Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ECPO) Executive Director Vicki Mooney was invited to deliver a political declaration at the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The statement placed an emphasis on obesity as an NCD and a gateway to 80-85% of type 2 diabetes, and shed light on how off-track global obesity targets are, whilst urging member states to act on 4 critical points.
- To recognise obesity as a disease as well as a risk factor for other NCDs like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases
- In-line with priority areas outlined in the Global Diabetes Compact, to call on WHO to conduct a review of the implementation of the report of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity and to develop an implementation monitoring and accountability framework
- To advocate for people-centred care and ensure that people living with NCDs are included in the development and evaluation of interventions and guidelines
- Following the mandate from this Resolution, to support WHO in developing recommendations to inform a future roadmap for obesity, including a Resolution that addresses prevention, treatment and management of the disease
Following this statement, Member States extended the GMC/NCDs mandate to 2030 with a request “to ensure that the WHO global coordination mechanism on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases carries out its functions in a way that is integrated with the Organization’s ongoing work on noncommunicable diseases, including … as a convener of civil society, including people living with noncommunicable diseases, to raise awareness and build capacity for their meaningful participation in national noncommunicable diseases responses”
As a patient and executive director of ECPO I was humbled and honoured to deliver this statement on behalf of World Obesity, representing ECPO and EASO in Europe at this high level event.