International Development Law Organization

Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – notably cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes  – are now the leading global cause of death. NCDs are driven by globalized trade, marketing and diets, by rapid urbanization and by population ageing. Yet in many countries the response is weak, hampered by poor legal frameworks and low legal capacity. IDLO is a member of the UN Interagency Taskforce on the Prevention and Control of NCDs, and is increasingly active in tackling this growing development challenge. 

Spotlight on NCDs at the UN: The intersection of health, gender and law

“The rule of law is a crucial part of the response to non-communicable diseases (NCDs),” IDLO’s Director-General, Irene Khan, told assembled Heads of State and Government in New York on the occasion of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. “Yet, law is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. That is understandable.


Key Initiatives

  • In 2014 IDLO signed agreements with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to build legal capacity to address public health challenges. The initial focus is on obesity, diabetes, healthy diets and physical activity. Also in 2014, IDLO, the WHO and the University of Sydney convened the first regional consultation on overweight, obesity, diabetes and law in the Western Pacific.

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