Sultan Al Qasimi opens 2nd Global Non-Communicable Alliance Forum

H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and H.H Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, and Patron of the Global NCDA Forum, opened the most influential gathering of experts and decision makers in the field of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) at the second Global NCD Alliance Forum, which took place from 9-11 December in Sharjah, UAE.
Sharjah-based Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) welcomed more than 350 delegates and 80 expert speakers to the including scientists, medical pioneers, support groups, NGOs and civil societies from 68 countries across five continents such as Kenya, Mexico, the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Brazil, Jordon, India, Zanzibar and many others.
At the opening ceremony, H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi told the audience that among the leading causes of cancers were smoking, alcohol and obesity and that Sharjah had been taking positive steps to curb this for many years: “We have implemented a ban on smoking in many public places which has led to a decrease in smoking deaths and for 32 years, Sharjah has once again taken the lead in the prohibition of alcohol – which is responsible for 10 per cent of all cancer deaths – in any place within the emirate. As for obesity, Sharjah has forged ahead, supplying walkways in many locations so that people can go walking and jogging and lead a healthier lifestyle. We will also have one of the best air-conditioned walkways where even during the five hot months of the year, people can still exercise.”
Speaking of the forum itself, H.H. said that it is more than an event, it is a catalyst for change: “People thought that this forum may have been somewhere where speeches were given and plans were made, then everything was forgotten – this is not the case. This is a place of practical action. It is a credit to you all that you have stimulated us to take action and initiate many projects.” “We will continue to take action – it is a responsibility and you are our guiding light. Future results will be even better. We will implement your recommendations and we thank you for your guidance. We are here to support you and will fulfil our promise that you will see the results of your guidance when we meet here next year.”
The NCD Alliance has chosen Sharjah to host the first two editions of the event, where the most respected NCD health experts from around the world strategies on how reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases – responsible for more than 40 million deaths globally each year.
Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson of the Friends of Cancer Patients Board of Directors, commented on the progress made from the inaugural NCD Alliance Forum: ”Today’s convention is a significant stride towards perpetuating the achievements of the forum’s first one held in Sharjah in 2015, which culminated in the ‘Sharjah Declaration for Non-Communicable Diseases’, emphasizing the importance of supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030. The 2015 forum also resulted in a series of recommendations for governments, UN organizations, the business community, and local and international media corporations. These recommendations collectively call for catalyzing and facilitating the adoption of measures to prevent and control non-communicable diseases.