International Federation of Medical Students' Associations

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, supported by the International Youth Health Organization, firmly believe that youth and early career professionals have the motivation and the unique capacity to push the NCD agenda forward.

We would like to applaud the progress made at the High-Level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases. The inclusion of mental health and air pollution in the strategy is an important milestone to address the complexity of this global crisis.

However, it is essential to implement the commitments set in the outcome document of the High-Level Meeting. Underfunding, lack of social mobilization, and conflicts of interest with the private sector continue to prevent the progress needed on tackling NCDs as the greatest health issue of our century. It is of utmost importance to act upon NCDs’ risk factors and social determinants, that are putting an important burden on vulnerable populations and contributing to deepen health inequities worldwide.

Therefore, we would like to call upon all Member States to implement taxation on tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages. We also urge all stakeholders to increase access to healthcare, healthy food and sustainable city planning. Moreover, we call on a whole-of-society, life-course approach to the promotion of healthy lifestyles and to strengthen primary health care systems.

Finally, we urge the international community to include youth in all levels of decision-making to implement the outcome of the High-Level Meeting and reach target 3.4 of the SDGs. Both as a vulnerable and a powerful group, youth have the unique capacity to add value to solutions for NCDs and to help lead their implementation in society.