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The Lancet’s Horton Discusses WHO’s Independent High-Level Commission On NCDs, Highlights Controversies, Successes

The Lancet: Offline: NCDs, WHO, and the neoliberal utopia
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“The WHO Independent High-Level Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases presented an important opportunity. Yet, by common consensus, it failed to deliver. … When you look at the totality of the Commission’s proposals, it is far too harsh to call it a failure. On the contrary, it has set a high bar to judge progress in countries and has provided an ambitious manifesto for the U.N. High-Level Meeting on NCDs, to be held later this year. … There are two further important reasons why the Commission should be judged a success. First, it flushed out the chief opponent of political progress — the U.S. government. … Second, the controversy over the Commission’s report highlights the context of the debate about NCDs — namely, the pervasive and escalating dangers of neoliberalism. We should thank the Commission for so expertly clarifying the terms on which the struggle against NCDs must now be fought” (6/16).