This year, CIMSA had the honor of attending and hosting a side event at the Ninth World Urban Forum held in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia from the 7th to 13th February 2018. The event was attended by Maudy Avianto (VPE), Dalia Benchamas Margiadi (LO UNA), Aminatuz Zahrah Kasuba (LO GO), Ariana Maharani (NOME), Fajar Surasno (NORP), and Athaya Ardelia (FD).
The World Urban Forum (WUF) is the world’s premier conference on urban issues that is organized by UN-Habitat since 2001. The Forum gathers a wide range of experts from every walk of life. Participants of the Forum include, but are not limited to, national, regional and local governments, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, professionals, research institutions and academies, professionals, private sector, development finance institutions, foundations, media and United Nations organizations and other international agencies. Making this forum a unique space with high-level participation and public awareness platforms regarding sustainable development of urban environment. The Ninth session of the World Urban Forum will be the first meeting that will be focused on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. This year, the theme of the session was “Cities 2030, Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda”.
The New Urban Agenda is a document which guides policies and initiatives regarding urbanization for the next 20 years. Its commitments and principles aim for cities to drive sustainable developments globally and ensure equal rights and opportunities for all persons. Cities are the key platform for the implementation of this Agenda. In order to improve cities, we must also improve its infrastructure, services, and planning. Health services and needs has a vital role in the management of cities and these urban policies should be inclusive of that fact.
With the Forum’s wide range of participants and the health as one of the focuses within sustainable development of cities, as outlined by the New Urban Agenda, it was imperative that we raise awareness regarding the importance of contributing the health sector within city developments.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) kill 40 million people each year, equivalent to 70% of all deaths globally. These diseases are driven by forces that include rapid unplanned urbanization, globalization of unhealthy lifestyles and an ageing population.
The growing epidemic of NCDs not only affects individuals’ health status but it also has a detrimental impact on society, economic productivity, and jeopardizes communities progress towards obtaining sustainable development. The WHO mentions that, NCDs threaten progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a target of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.
Due to these increasing trends and threats to sustainable development of cities, CIMSA decided to focus our side event with the title of “Non-communicable Diseases: Hidden Burden of Cities in Asia”. This side event was in collaboration with UN Major Group for Children and Youth (UNMGCY) and Commonwealth Youth Health Network. This event consisted of presentations delivered by speakers representing youth, health professionals, and academia - that all have experience tackling the issues around non-communicable diseases in urban environments. Our panel included:
- Maudy Avianto, as a representative of CIMSA to talk about our community development and sustainable projects tackling NCDs,
- dr. Eko Arisetijono Sp.S, from Universitas Brawijaya as our expert on Non-Communicable Diseases,
- Uta Dietrich, a Senior Programme Manager with Think City to talk about NCDs in urban environments
- Dr Charles Ebikeme, as the Science Officer of International Council for Science (ICSU)
- Dr. Sudhvir Singh, MD, as the Director of Policy from EAT Foundation.
The panelist presented background information regarding the growing issues of non-communicable diseases and also some possible solutions that individuals, organizations, and governments should take in tackling this impending epidemic. The presentations were also followed by a series of questions and comments by the audience in response to the points made by the panelists.
With this event we not only want to raise awareness about Non-Communicable Diseases in cities but we also want this event to be the trigger for everyone to take action to alleviate this issue. Non-communicable diseases have been a focus of member states and thus they took political action by convening a High Level Meeting on NCDs in 2011 and on the 66th World Health Assembly they signed the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013 – 2020. With only two years left of the plan, there are still many targets to be achieved. Thus, CIMSA, proposed a list of commitments that aims towards decreasing the prevalence of NCDs for the future. CIMSA’s list of commitments is as followed:
- We commit to engage youth in efforts to increase knowledge, awareness, and skills regarding NCDs.
- We commit to support the involvement of stakeholders in the formation of regulations to tackle NCDs.
- We commit to promote and support educational efforts to the community regarding NCDs
- We commit to strengthen the application of research and data through the planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation stage of activities that help tackle NCDs.
- We commit to support sustainable activities and community development programs through multi-sectoral collaborations to tackle NCDs.
These commitments are the first step into taking action in tackling NCDs, not only an individual effort but as a collaborative one across various fields, divisions, organizations and individuals in order to reach this SDG target.
By: Dalia Benchamas Margiadi