publication date: Jul. 6, 2018

In Brief

ASCO, ESMO urge UN members to address cancer burden

The American Society of Clinical Oncology and the European Society for Medical Oncology are calling on leaders and health ministers of the 193 United Nations member countries to reduce the burden of all non-communicable diseases including cancer.

The two professional societies issued a joint statement today in advance of the third High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs, which would take Sept. 27 in New York.

“Despite the progress we have made in treating cancer, millions of people still die prematurely from the disease because they do not have access to the necessary resources to receive high-quality care,” Richard Schilsky, chief medical officer of ASCO said in a statement. “This is simply unacceptable and we are calling on all countries to take the steps necessary to prevent or reduce this needless suffering.”

The UN first convened a High-level Meeting on this issue in 2011, only the second health-related High-level Meeting in the history of the UN, that resulted in a Political Declaration recognizing cancer and other NCDs as a global health priority. In addition, the UN member countries also made 22 political commitments and directed the World Health Organization to set goals for preventing and controlling NCDs.

In the statement, ASCO and ESMO reiterate their support for the WHO’s goals of reducing premature mortality from cancer by 25 percent by 2025, and by 33 percent by 2030. ASCO and ESMO are requesting a UN Political Declaration from the upcoming High-Level Meeting on NCDs stating that it is necessary for governments to:

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