US Explanation of Position on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases

Preparation for the third High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, to be held in 2018 (Appendix 3)
70th World Health Assembly
Agenda Item 15.1

Geneva,
May 2017

United States of America Explanation of  Position/Disassociation from Operative Paragraph 1 of the resolution:

The United States strongly supports efforts to prevent and control non-communicable diseases.  NCDs are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and around the world, with severe impacts on our populations and our economies.

We believe that preventing and controlling NCDs requires a life-course approach that uses a combination of population-wide and individual interventions. This means identifying and pursuing comprehensive, cost-effective, evidence-based strategies. These strategies can include regulatory and voluntary measures and best practices, appropriate to each national and local context, and consistent with Member States’ domestic and international obligations. Such strategies should also incorporate the use of public private partnerships and other multi-sectoral collaborations.

The United States cannot endorse the updated Appendix 3 to the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020, and therefore we must dissociate from Operative Paragraph 1of the resolution.

The United States wishes to make clear that neither the Global Action Plan nor its Appendix 3 create legal rights or obligations under international law, and do not prejudice the sovereign rights of nations to determine their own policies, including on taxation. In a federal system such as ours, decisions regarding many of the recommendations in Appendix 3 rest with States and municipalities.

The United States understands the updated Appendix 3 as a non-exhaustive menu of options, information and non-binding guidance for Member States to consider in developing comprehensive strategies, tailored to their national circumstances, for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, to make progress toward achieving the nine voluntary global targets of the Global Action Plan. We strongly support many of the recommendations in the Appendix. However, we believe that the evidence underlying certain interventions is not yet sufficient to recommend them. Further, we believe that recommendations for preventing and controlling NCDs should reflect the fact that all foods can be part of an overall healthy diet.

There are many measures we can all take to prevent and mitigate the impacts of NCDs and the United States is committed to engaging constructively with the World Health Organization and other Members States on this critical public health issue.

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