Delegation of the European Union to the
UN and other international organisations in Geneva

EB 139 - EU Statement - Agenda item 6.1

Geneva, 31/05/2016 - 09:00, UNIQUE ID: 160722_2
Statements on behalf of the EU

WHO - 139th Session of the Executive Board (30-31 May 2016) - Agenda item 6.1: Dementia

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

We welcome the WHO report on Dementia, in particular, the analysis on the impact of dementia on health systems and persons concerned,  as well as  the proposed public health responses. The EU recognises the global leadership role of WHO in this matter at all levels.

Recent initiatives such as the First WHO Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia in 2015 have increased the political momentum.

We also welcome the recent establishment of the WHO Global Dementia Observatory, an international surveillance platform for policy-makers and researchers.

However, concerted action and unified responses are needed to address the global challenges of dementia.  Some key issues for the EU and its Member States are:

  • to continue to address dementia as a high political priority at global, regional and national level, 
  • to raise awareness on the nature and challenges of dementia including people with special needs, based on a gender-sensitive approach,
  • to support shared commitment, facilitate cross-sectoral and sustained effort involving all concerned stakeholders, including improved coordination between health and social care systems as well as international cooperation to exchange best practices,
  • to provide an umbrella for NGO's, focal groups, and other stakeholders to ensure coherence,
  • to ensure alignment of existing approaches and avoid duplication,
  • to promote the needs of families and caregivers and to ensure that their physical and mental wellbeing is recognized through adequate support;
  • to encourage the involvement of patients, families and caregivers in decision making processes
  • to encourage countries to take action to prevent dementia, facilitate early diagnosis, encourage a dementia friendly society, promote and protect all human rights of affected persons, based on the principles of dignity, autonomy and destigmatisation and improve care services at all stages of the disease.
  • to encourage dementia-related research in all relevant fields

We therefore support the draft Decision to call on WHO to develop a comprehensive community-based and multisectoral Global Action Plan on Dementia for consideration by the 70th World Health Assembly in May 2017. 

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