June at a Glance
June was the month when official preparations for the UN Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) came to an end and negotiations on the Zero Draft Outcomes Document commenced in New York. During this busy month, the United Nations Secretary General’s Report on NCDs was released, an online consultation on the UN Summit was launched and the milestone Civil Society Hearing took place on 16th June at the UN General Assembly. Now, the Zero Draft Outcomes Document is publicly available and civil society must unite and coordinate advocacy efforts.
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Zero Draft Outcomes Document Released
The Zero Draft Outcomes Document for the UN Summit
was released on 23 June by WHO. We can expect this document to change radically between now and the end of the UN Summit on NCDs on the 20 September. The final Outcomes Document will be the blueprint for Governments and the international community in the fight against diabetes and NCDs and it is vital that it reflects our voice. The negotiations on the Zero Draft began on 5 July and negotiations are expected to be concluded by the end of July. IDF and the NCD Alliance have analysed the document and identified key areas that require strengthening, which is where we must target our advocacy over the next month. We can all contribute to these negotiations: the time to act is NOW!
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How Can I Influence the Zero Draft Outcomes Document and leverage the opportunity of the UN Summit fully?
Learn: Visit the NCD Alliance website to read the Zero Draft Outcomes Document and our briefing paper outlining the key points to advocate for during negotiations.
Advise & Influence: Have you informed your Health Minister that negotiations on the Zero Draft Outcomes Document have started, and made sure representatives in Foreign Affairs in your capital and New York have been briefed? Have you been able to discuss key language with Government representatives who are in a position to influence? We understand that Permanent Missions to the UN in New York are receiving instructions from Country Capitals when discussing the draft document for the Summit. Draw upon the
NCD Alliance briefing with key messages and suggested language.
Support the call for time-bound targets:
Have you united behind the call for time-bound targets and timetables (both short-term and mid-term) in the Outcomes Document? We are urging all diabetes and NCD advocates to prioritise this point in your meetings and calls over the next month, as it is a key weaknesses of the Zero Draft. Bold, specific and measurable targets and timetables are integral in creating a shared vision between Member States and civil society, driving international and national follow-up action, and catalysing a better coordination of resources. As WHO Director General Margaret Chan stated at the First Global Ministerial Conference on NCDs and Healthy Lifestyles in Moscow, "Without global goals or targets, this is not going to fly – what gets measured gets done", and the HIV/AIDS UNGASS in 2001 and consequent review meetings have demonstrated this.
Secure High-Level Political Attendance: Do you know if your Head of State or Government is attending the High Level Meeting in September? This is very important, as it ensures commitment to the expected Summit outcomes and their follow-up at the highest political level. Use or adapt our template letter
to get their support, write petitions and if you are in America get involved in our ‘Get Obama to the Summit’ postcard campaign. We should also get the offices of Heads of States/Government to announce their attendance in advance, as it could have a snowballing effect on other leaders.
Ensure Civil Society Representation: Do you know who will be on your Government delegation to the Summit? Lobby your Government to include NGOs working on diabetes in their national delegation for the UN Summit on NCDs. This will be the best way to ensure that diabetes groups are an influential part of the Summit.
Gather Intelligence: Do you know if your Government is talking to any other Governments? It will be helpful to a) find out with whom our Governments are discussing concerns, b) link up appropriate Governments with a view to move them towards progressive positions for NCDs and facilitate alliances on progressive, consensual positions. Although it is challenging to facilitate this in virtual space, Caribbean countries and Latin America are proving it can be done!
Engage the Media: Has the local media picked up news on the Summit and the global diabetes and NCD epidemic? Have you spread the word via social media platforms such as blogging and twitter? Needless to say, Governments pay attention to what the media says. Any media reporting that occurs now will elevate the NCD issue onto both Government’s and the general public’s radar. It could also be useful not only to develop momentum for the Summit but could come in handy for ensuring post-summit accountability. The
WHO Global Status Report on NCDs could prove a useful international tool for starting conversations with the media. There is now also a UN Secretary General Status Report on NCDs available.
Share Intelligence: Have you shared information with IDF or the NCD Alliance regarding your country’s position, or expected level of representation in September? This information is central to our ability to coordinate advocacy efforts and strategies to make the biggest impact. Share with us your intelligence on activities around the Summit that are taking place in your home country. Contact Katie.Dain@idf.org with information or for an update.
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Influencing Regional and Political Blocs
The drafting of language and voting within the UN system, such as the Outcomes Document, currently being negotiated, is generally done by countries working in regional and other political blocs. Targeting these blocs can be very effective in swaying negotiations. Generally, the chair of these blocs rotates amongst countries in the group. The country holding the chair will usually be the lead negotiator coordinating all countries in that group. Please try to discover which bloc your country will be part of (some countries remain independent eg USA). If your government is the chair of such a bloc currently then they may be in a strong position to influence the Summit Outcomes Document, so please make every effort to reach them with our messages. Below is a summary of some of these blocs:
ASEAN: The Association of South East Asian Nations is made up of ten countries, and Indonesia is the current Chair. We have been informed that civil society in ASEAN should prioritise meetings with Ministers of Health, and then Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
AU: The African Union is currently chaired by Equatorial Guinea.
EU: The European Union, consisting of 27 countries and currently presided over by Poland, can be very influential in negotiations. With many of the bilateral donor countries as members, this can influence positions on resourcing and development issues. Urgent advocacy is needed to influence the European region, both at the EU level and Member State level. Use these advocacy messages when dialoguing with EU countries, and join us in calling for Heads of State and Government to attend.
G77: Guyana is leading negotiations on behalf of G77. In past negotiations, approximately 30-40 countries (from a total of 131) from the G77 actively participate in negotiating their common position. These 30-40 countries usually represent the ‘larger’ of the G77 nations, and are therefore likely to be larger or middle-income members from the G77 block.
CARICOM: The Caribbean Community has been a pioneer of the NCD movement and we expect strong support for an effective Outcomes Document.
CANZ: At the UN there is frequent consultation among Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
GCC: The Gulf Cooperation Council is made up of six Arab states of the Gulf, and is currently chaired by Bahrain.
In order to influence these blocs, working together with local and regional NCD Alliances will be most effective. For more information about how to get involved in your local NCD Alliance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the NCD Alliance website.
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United Nations Civil Society Hearing – 16 June, New York
The Civil Society Hearing for the UN Summit on NCDs took place at the UN Headquarters in New York on 16 June. The day brought together NGOs, the private sector and the UN to discuss solutions for the NCD epidemic and the growing impact of its four main risk factors. IDF was very visible, with the IDF President holding the position of Co-Chair of the UN Civil Society Task Force, IDF Vice president Ruth Colagiuri speaking on a panel and IDF CEO Ann Keeling invited to make a statement from the floor. There was an unprecedented number of attendees, with over 250 civil society representatives and 90 UN country representatives. The full coverage of the Hearings is still available on the UN Webcast site.
The conclusions of the meeting, including the online consultation findings, have been released in a report which will be part of the documentation UN Member States receive for their preparation for the Summit. Thank you for your contributions to the online consultation, which have been a vital element of our work to influence the Zero Draft of the UN Summit Outcomes Document.
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The People’s Summit – Lets Engage the People!
IDF and the NCD Alliance are effectively coordinating advocacy and influencing the official Summit process at the global level. But we must also work together to capitalise on the opportunity of the Summit to make the global NCD issue appeal to the hearts and minds of the general public. What happens around the UN Summit is equally as important and compelling as what happens in the UN General Assembly Hall on 19-20 September. We are relying on our Member Associations to galvanise support and activities at the local and community level. Mobilise your constituency on the Summit.
- Spread the message of NCDs and the Summit virally – through social media platforms, awareness raising campaigns engaging diabetes and NCD champions or parliamentarians, community events.
- Take inspiration from our World Diabetes Day activities and start planning your Summit celebration now. IDF and the NCD Alliance will be staging a celebration in New York on Sunday 18th September, on the eve of the Summit and will send you more information soon. We encourage you to stage your own celebration!
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Summary of Events in June
1 June: Global Business Coalition Health Annual Meeting, New York: IDF CEO Ann Keeling participated in a panel discussion on NCDs to mark GBC’s mandate expansion from infectious diseases to broader health issues, including diabetes.
11 June: 21st Annual Symposium of the Diabetes Association of Trinidad and Tobago: IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya gave the keynote speech at this year’s symposium, entitled ‘Prevention of Diabetes Through Education’.
13-17 June: Global Health Council Conference, Washington DC: NCDs were a prominent subject at this year’s Global Health Council. Over 30 sessions on NCDs shaped the content of the conference, including a well attended NCD Alliance breakfast event entitled ‘Harnessing the NCD social movement, now and beyond the UN Summit: The NCD Alliance Perspective’. Speakers included IDF CEO Ann Keeling.
15 June: CARICOM Reception at the Barbados Mission to the UN: The NCD Alliance held a reception with the Barbados Mission to thank the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for leading the NCD movement. Speakers included IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya.
24-28 June: American Diabetes Association 71st Scientific Session: IDF held a bloggers’ breakfast on the UN Summit at ADA, to galvanise social media in the lead up to September. A key result of this breakfast was IDF’s new postcard campaign to get President Obama to attend the Summit. Securing the attendance of Obama would have a snowball effect on other Presidents and Prime Ministers. So get involved – contact any dedicated bloggers in your country, join the movement and send a postcard!
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||East Africa Diabetes Summit – Kampala, Uganda|
||NCD Alliance co-hosts event “HIV and Health Systems: Linking to Chronic Diseases” at International AIDS Society Meeting– Rome, Italy|
||AADE 38th Annual Meeting & Exhibition, Las Vegas, USA|
||EASD – Lisbon, Portugal|
||NCD Alliance NGO Briefing Meeting, New York, USA|
||NCD Celebration, Central Park, New York, USA|
||UN NCD Summit – New York, USA|
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