This week the UN General Assembly meetings are taking place in New York.  We are happy to share that the efforts of OneNeurology to include neurological conditions in the UN’s UHC Political Declaration have been successful. An initial zero draft declaration didn’t mention neurology which prompted us to develop the OneNeurology position paper—which we sent to UN and WHO representatives in New York, and it seems to have made a difference.

The adopted UHC Political Declaration features key references to neurological conditions in two pivotal sections.

  • b) non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities, and neurological conditions, including dementia; 
  • 59. Scale up measures to promote and improve mental health and well-being as an essential component of universal health coverage, including by addressing the determinants that influence mental health, brain health, neurological conditions, substance abuse and suicide, and by developing comprehensive and integrated services to promote mental health and well-being, while fully respecting human rights, noting that these conditions are an important cause of morbidity and have comorbidities with communicable and other non-communicable diseases and contribute to the global burden of disease; 

However, it’s worth noting that 11 member states, under the “leadership” of Russia, have expressed reservations (in a letter), potentially affecting the final UNGA endorsement in October.

On the sidelines of the UN meeting, the European Brain Council hosted in NY an important event on brain health, featuring OneNeurology Ambassador Julie Lefelar on the agenda. A call to action was launched at the event.

Additionally, the OneNeurology representatives participated in WHO’s IGAP Implementation NGO virtual meetings in August and September. Our contributions are helping to drive the IGAP implementation, which currently focuses on the following WHO-led initiatives:

  • Brain health advocacy strategy
  • IGAP implementation toolkit and guidelines
  • Workshops and stakeholders’ meetings at the national and regional levels
  • Global Status Report on Neurology
  • Analysis of neurology GBD data
  • Building global collaboration.