Statement by Ambassador Rick Barton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the Economic and Social Council, on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, in the United Nations General Assembly

Ambassador Rick Barton
U.S. Representative on the Economic and Social Council 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
May 13, 2010


Mr. President, the United States is pleased to co-sponsor this resolution that brings much needed attention to the growing global public health challenges posed by non-communicable diseases.   We’d like to express our particular appreciation to the member states of CARICOM for leading this important initiative.  Almost all countries are facing emerging epidemics of non-communicable diseases, with the greatest increases being experienced in developing countries.

The United States is committed to addressing the mortality and disease burden posed by non-communicable diseases at home and abroad.  First Lady Michelle Obama is raising awareness of childhood obesity and the importance of healthy eating through a national campaign called “Let’s Move.”  This campaign is enlisting the support of a broad range of partners to encourage children to be physically active and to help parents and schools make healthy family and school food choices.

The United States will also actively support effective actions by other countries to deal with non-communicable diseases. Our global efforts should strengthen and complement the efforts of the World Health Organization – in particular the “WHO Global Strategy for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases” and the “Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.”

As we have noted in the past, we consider access to medicines to be one of a wide array of elements that are fundamental to the progressive realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.  We also note that this resolution does not define the content of this right.

Thank you.


PRN: 2010/094