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UN Summit 2011

The UN High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (the ‘UN Summit’ or ‘UN HLM’) was held on 19/20 September 2011.


Important note: For up-to-date information on the processes and actions set in train by the UN HLM, please see the section of this website ‘International NCD action: building on the UN HLM': click here >>


  • C3 wrote a very well-received thematic report of the UN HLM and 20 side-events held in New York to coincide with the HLM. It can be downloaded here.
  • Below is a short description of the UN HLM – its outcome (the Political Declaration), C3’s involvement, the form the meeting took, and the process that led to it.
  • Older news about the UN HLM, and meetings preceding it, can be found here, and a list of relevant documents and websites is here.

The UN High-level Meeting

The opening plenary of the HLM saw the unanimous adoption of the Political Declaration – click here for a pdf of the English version or here to download the Declaration in six languages.

  • For a short C3 summary of the Draft Political Declaration, click here

C3 attended the UN HLM (and tweeted from it). Christine Hancock attended the third roundtable, on fostering international cooperation, and Katy Cooper was at the afternoon plenary on Monday 19 September.

  • For the complete list of civil-society representatives who attended, click here
  • Click here for a list of side-events at the UNHLM. C3 attended many of these events (see the C3 report here)
  • Note that the NCD Alliance has compiled a list of media coverage of the UNHLM here

This was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to raise the profile of these diseases among governments, development agencies, funders and others.

  • Click here for a C3 discussion document on NCDs and the Millennium Development Goals, and why it is important to raise NCDs’ profile.

The UN HLM format

19 September

a) Plenary meetings, chaired by the President of the General Assembly, with opening statements by the President of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General, the Director-General of the World Health Organization and a representative of civil society.

b) Two roundtables (held concurrently with the plenary meetings) on:

  1. The rising incidence, developmental and other challenges and the social and economic impact of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors;
  2. Strengthening national capacities, as well as appropriate policies, to address prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.

20 September

a) Closing plenary meeting, comprising the presentation of summaries of the roundtables and the adoption of a concise action-oriented outcome document.

b) A final roundtable:

  1. Fostering international cooperation, as well as coordination, to address non-communicable diseases.

Participation in the roundtables included Member States, observers, and representatives of entities of the United Nations system, civil society and the private sector.

The HLM process

In May 2010, the United Nations announced that a High-Level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases (the ‘UN HLM’) will be held in September 2011, bringing heads of state and government to the UN’s General Assembly to discuss the prevention and control of NCDs.

  • Click here for UN GA Resolution 64/265, establishing the UN Summit.
  • For the President of the UN General Assembly’s introduction to the UN HLM, click here

The Modalities Resolution, setting out the format of the UN HLM, was published on 23 December.

  • For the Modalities Resolution: click here

The UN HLM is only the 27th such meeting in the UN’s history – and only the second on a disease, the first being the UN’s Special Session on HIV/AIDS in 2001, which led to the establishment of the Global Fund

On 23 June 2011, the UN published the initial ‘Zero Draft’ of the Outcomes Document – subsequently renamed a ‘Political Declaration’. Negotiations on the draft began on 5 July, and concluded in September with the publication and unanimous adoption of the Political Declaration.