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Ms President, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
I am honoured to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
On 28 September 2018 at the 3rd UN High-Level Meeting on non-communicable diseases the Heads of State and Governments renewed their previous commitments and committed to stimulate further action to prevent and manage them.
The political declaration of this High-Level Meeting is a concise and action oriented document that calls for an accelerated response. We thank the co-facilitators Italy and Uruguay for their able leadership in the negotiations.
The European Union is pleased with the political declaration and we fully agree that more and faster progress is needed in order to reach the agreed goals: it is high time to act and we need to put all our efforts now in the implementation of the actions. We are of course already doing so. Let me give you some examples:
Last week, the eighth Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control took key decisions to advance work in respect to novel tobacco products, cross-border advertising and other important issues. The European Union is proud to have substantially contributed to that effort.
At European level, we work closely with our Member States: learning from one another, exchanging positive experiences and further implementing "best practices". We recently established a Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and the Management of non-communicable diseases to provide guidance and identify best practices that can be piloted and scaled up. For example, the Swedish good practice on general practitioners prescribing physical activity and the Italian cardio-vascular screening programme CARDIO 50 will be transferred to other Member States in 2019.
I can also assure you that the European Union is fully committed to realising the Sustainable Development Goal 3.4. and to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases.
This having said, the High-Level Meeting confirmed that we need to do more and we need to do it quickly. Non-communicable diseases are a global concern and they are exacerbated by poverty. We see time and again that non-communicable diseases are associated with heath inequalities.
We trust that this third UN High-Level Meeting on non-communicable diseases and the political declaration we adopted creates further momentum. Let us grasp this opportunity, redouble our efforts against the global challenge of the non-communicable diseases epidemic and further invest in more effective health promotion, prevention, and management of non-communicable diseases: we can expect a high return in human and economic terms.