“We are being called upon today to redeem the times because the times are serious. The times are serious because the health of the nation determines the wealth of the nation.
If we do not act decisively the leadership position assumed in 2017 would be lost. This will be a disservice to our legacy and our people.
Our agenda for a prosperous Caribbean is being undermined by the threats of an unhealthy population and the associated costs of treatment and consequential loss of productivity.”
This is an excerpt of the address given by Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris at the business session of the Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Prime Minister Harris, in his capacity as CARICOM’s lead spokesman on health matters, focussed an address on the 10th anniversary of the Port-of-Spain Declaration on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Prime Minister Dr.Harris said
“In 2007, heads of government gathered in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago to discuss and grapple with the epidemic of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in our region. NCDs represent a significant contributor to mortality/morbidity within our region.
This was an historic meeting. It was the first time that leaders of any region in the world had convene to discuss the threat of chronic NCDs like diabetes, hypertension and cancers.
This meeting would become the catalyst for the catapulting of NCDs in the agenda of the United Nations (UN).
In 2018 there will be the 2018 UN High Level Meeting on NCDs. This year we commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the POS Declaration. This presents an opportunity for us to examine where we are at since our historic meeting in 2007.
Truth be told the significant leadership we demonstrated in 2007 on NCDs seems not to have resulted in consistent action required to reposition our region in a path of better control and prevention of NCDs.
During his address PM Harris introduced via Video Feed former Mayor Micheal Bloomberg.
The Former New York City Mayor presented a short message (electronically) to CARICOM Heads of Government during Thursday’s session of their Thirty-Eighth Meeting in Grenada, in support of the fight against Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
This year is the tenth anniversary of the 2007 signing of the Port of Spain Declaration through which CARICOM Heads of Government gave their commitment to fight the growing problem of Non-Communicable diseases across the Region.