UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 25TH 2013(CUOPM) – Speaking to an international gathering at a meeting organized by the CARICOM Secretariat, PAHO/WHO and the NCD Alliance on the eve of the 68th UN General Assembly in New York for NCDs, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas said that Disabilities and NCDs are not only driven by aging, but increasingly and alarmingly so, by the growing numbers of early childhood cases of diabetes and the growing number of youth incapacitated by accidents and injuries.
Making reference to the Report of the Caribbean Commission on Health and Development, that provided evidence of the increasing economic burden of the NCDS, Dr. Douglas emphasized that urgent steps must be taken to reverse the trends.
Dr. Douglas pointed to the significance of recommendations greatly influenced the UN High Level Meeting Political Declaration in 2011 and sparked a worldwide movement for a wellness revolution.
The Prime Minister also referred to The Kingston Accord that sets out principles and actions to address the concern that despite the efforts of government bodies and other organizations, persons with disabilities still encounter discrimination as illustrated by the many obstacles they face to the enjoy fundamental human rights and freedoms.
He called on the meeting to support the principles and actions of the Kingston declaration which included empowering the differentially-abled persons, and increasing their access to care and treatment
Noting that the discussions are taking place at a time when the UN is focusing attention on new targets and goals for the post 2015 developing agenda, Dr. Douglas called on the gathering to champion bold actions to ensure that NCDs and disabilities are included among the priorities.
Prime Minister Douglas urged that in so doing, the lessons from the AIDS response are worth learning.
“While there is yet a substantial unfinished agenda towards achieving an ‘AIDS free generation’ there are vital lessons to be learned from the governance and application of the CARICOM/PANCAP AIDS agenda, In turn there are indications that the strategies for investment in sustainable health in the post 2015 requires and alliance of approaches to HIV, NCDs and disabilities.”
The event, Chaired by Sir George Alleyne, University of the West Indies Chancellor, was intended to raise awareness of relationship between NCDs and disability and the consequent social and economic impact, particularly in low and middle income countries.
There were several other panelists including Dr. Carissa Etienne , the newly-appointed Director of PAHO/WHO.