Queen Elizbeth II With CHOGM Leaders
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
November 29, 2009 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis‘ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas led Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries request for Commonwealth leaders to support a regional initiative to have non-communicable diseases (NCDs) debated at a summit of the United Nations.
Prime Minister Douglas, who has lead responsibility for health within the CARICOM quasi Cabinet, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the matter would be raised during the special caucus on health on the second day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (COGHM).
“The idea is that we want to elevate the issue of the NCDs to the entire Commonwealth of nations,” Dr. Douglas said, adding that a similar presentation had been made at the last COGHM in Uganda two years ago.
“What we want to do is to become much more specific,” he said noting that he would be highlighting the need for the “appropriate action on the NCDs to get into the global agenda.”
“We also want to call on the heads of governments here to support our call for a United Nations summit on NCDs in the year 2011, we think that is critical,” he told CMC’s Peter Richards.
In addition, CARICOM wants the integration of MCD progress indicators in the 2010 review of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“We want this to be critically input because if we cannot achieve a commonality as to how we are going to proceed in tackling the problems of the NCDs then a lot of the Millennium Development Goals will not be achieved.”
Dr. Douglas said that the Caribbean would also be calling for a “full integration of the NDC prevention and control into all the national health systems in all of the countries within the Commonwealth and we want to ensure there is support for the availability of the essential medicines for persons with the NCDs into the national health budgets.”
“We believe if we are able to raise the sensitisation of our colleague heads of government in the Commonwealth on this particular matter, from the Caribbean side we would have impacted in a very meaningful way the rest of the world in what has become a major health challenge and developmental challenge for the peoples of the Commonwealth in particular,” he told CMC.