Non-communicable Diseases

Four major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) — cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory disease — account for just over 70% of all preventable deaths occurring in the world, around 41 million people1. Tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets all increase the risk of dying from an NCD.

Recognising that NCDs are a major threat not only to health but also to development, the UN Secretary General established the United Nations Interagency Task Force on Non-communicable Diseases (UNIATF) in 2013. The UNIATF coordinates the work of the United Nations system in this area, and its mandate includes mental health.

OHCHR’s work with the UN Interagency Task Force on NCDs

OHCHR is a member of the UNIATF and advocates for the inclusion of human rights in the work of the task force. Key areas of focus include:

  • Enabling legal and policy framework;
  • Giving attention to individuals, groups and communities in situations of marginalisation;
  • Promoting a human rights-based approach to data collection; and
  • Advocating for the use of maximum available resources towards health.

In 2020, OHCHR contributed to the vision of the task force of “building back better” through human rights.

Related documents and resources

External links

1. Source: