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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet at UN General Assembly: World Demographic Situation is Developing in Two Different Directions

20.09.2011

No. 301-E

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet said in his speech yesterday at the UN General Assembly's high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases that in many countries such conditions pose a major problem for economic and social development.

“This October, the world’s population will reach seven billion, but the demographic situation is developing in two different directions and thus a corresponding approach will be necessary,” Paet said. “Europe has an ageing population, but using preventive measures, healthy life expectancy can be lengthened even further,” said Paet. “At the same time, there have never been as many young people as there are now, and a large part of them live in developing countries. Thus it is important to ensure that they have access to all health care services.”

Paet said it would take time to reach results in the fight against non-communicable diseases. “To achieve this, a systematic approach to promoting health care, disease prevention and development of medical care is needed. Such an approach is also part of the World Health Organization’s Tallinn charter.”

Under the political declaration adopted at the General Assembly summit, states undertake to reduce factors related to tobacco use, unhealthy dietary habits, lack of exercise and alcohol abuse, and to decrease the advertising of unhealthy food and drink aimed at children.

Photograph: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/

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