Today 250 leaders from government, UN agencies, academia, private sector and civil society are meeting at the 2015 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit (WCLS), organised by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) in Istanbul. Discussed will be the urgent strategies and actions needed to reduce premature deaths from cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by a third within the next 15 years (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3.4).
Currently over eight million people die from cancer worldwide annually, four million prematurely (i.e. of working age - 30 to 69 years); numbers that are rising year on year. Addressing this impact now is critical to supporting global sustainable development, as disparities in access to prevention, treatment and palliative care for cancer patients are growing exponentially between the developed and developing world.
“The inclusion of an NCD reduction target in the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals opens a new era of international development that the cancer and broader health communities have a unique opportunity to grasp. We urgently need to build new alliances, develop ground-breaking partnerships and overcome the barriers to optimal international collaboration,” commented Professor Tezer Kutluk, President of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). “As the only leadership forum dedicated exclusively to cancer control, the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit plays a crucial role in delivering the changes required to address the devastating impact of cancer now, and for future generations.”
The 2015 Summit is focused specifically on the importance of collaboration across country borders, across diseases and through public and private partnerships. The programme highlights successful examples of national cancer control planning and cross-diseases interventions, as well as issues related to the management of conflict of interest, data sharing and international policy development.
High profile guest speakers include Dr Sania Nishtar, Founder and President of Heartfile,former Federal Minister of Health for Pakistan, Mr Gary Cohen, Executive Vice President, Global Health & Development, Becton, Dickinson & Co and Mr Michael Hübel from the EU Commission, Health and Food Safety Directorate General.