Caribbean leaders welcome UN High-Level Meeting on NDC’s

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Caribbean leaders, led by St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and CARICOM Head with responsibility for health issues have welcomed the soon to be held UN High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) scheduled for September 2011.

At their recent Inter-Sessional Meeting in St. George’s, Grenada, Caribbean leaders noted the significant role being played by the Community in advocacy and preparation for the meeting and agreed that the Region would advocate for specific focus to be given in the Outcome Document to the adoption of policies to address risk factors, such as tobacco, alcohol, diet and lack of physical exercises, the reengineering of health systems and services, strengthening of systems for access to low cost pharmaceuticals and supplies and those for surveillance and monitoring and evaluation of programmes.

They committed to convening national consultations, involving a wide range of stakeholders, in preparation for the Meeting in September and to ensuring representation of the region at the highest level.

The meeting urged Member States to sign the Inter-governmental Agreement establishing the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and committed to providing all necessary support for the short and medium term activities, including advocacy and information activities required to sensitise stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels.

According to the communiqué, Heads of Government commended the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO); the Public Health Agency of Canada; the UK Department of Health; the CARPHA Steering Committee; the CARPHA Advisory Group for their support of this initiative.

Heads of Government agreed to recognise the Caribbean Accreditation Agency for Engineering and Technology (CACET) as the Accrediting body for engineering and technology in the region. They also emphasised the importance of regional coordination with regard to the accreditation of programmes and institutions and agreed to sign and ratify the Inter-Governmental Agreement establishing the Regional Accreditation Agency for Education and Training as a matter of urgency.

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