Draft Commitment to Action

3 September 2004 Saïd Business School, Oxford University

  1. Oxford Vision 2020 is dedicated to stimulating action to prevent and control the global epidemics of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and obesity. We are deeply concerned that chronic diseases pose grave dangers. They harm the health of people now in most countries, the health of all children in future – and our economies. We find it unacceptable that effective health promotion and disease prevention interventions and policies are not better financed and implemented. For most people, healthy choices are tough choices, and for many patients access to quality care is inadequate.
  2. We come from diverse backgrounds – government, universities and research groups, industry, nongovernmental organisations, youth and patients groups, international agencies and the media. We bring a shared vision of a healthier world, considerable expertise from many disciplines and access to people and processes that can make a difference. We can accelerate action by marshalling our collective power and expertise to address chronic disease prevention and control with a strong focus on children and youth.
  3. Our shared vision, diversity and combined expertise empowers us to support the following goals:
    • We will catalyse actions by agenda setters to combat three major risk factors – tobacco, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity – that cause four major chronic diseases (CVD, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and some cancers), which together cause half of the deaths in the world today.
    • We will support innovative approaches to health promotion and disease prevention spanning many sectors as a social imperative that is both economically desirable and feasible. Existing knowledge if applied now could check the course of these global epidemics, especially in developing countries.*
  4. We commit to the following actions:
    • To harness our voices and organisational resources through an ongoing global communications strategy that uses the best creative talents to deliver clear messages to decision-makers, patients and consumer groups about needed actions. Simultaneously, we will stimulate ongoing global dialogue aimed at promoting chronic disease prevention through an interactive web-based community.
    • To synthesise, evaluate and disseminate knowledge about effective and ineffective actions at local and national levels, the impact of chronic diseases on disparities in health between and within countries, and to describe the human and economic costs of inaction.
    • To initiate and actively participate in community- based demonstration projects to prevent chronic diseases that conform to rigorous scientific and ethical standards, provide compelling evidence of how to address the major chronic disease risks and inspire sustained change in the broader community.
    • To engage academic and research communities in defining priorities for research that will lead to a reversal of current negative trends in chronic disease risk factor prevalence and disease burden; and to ensure that research outcomes lead to action.
    • To advocate for stronger global and national institutional capacity for chronic disease prevention and control especially in developing countries.
    • To support the broader public health community to make healthy choices the easy choices and to transform health systems to more effectively and ethically manage all chronic diseases.
    • To convene our diverse members, including young people and patients, on a regular basis in order to stimulate innovative approaches, develop consensus about future policies and actions, and to monitor progress towards achieving our goals.
    • To develop a transparent and flexible governance system managed by a small secretariat to execute these actions and to mobilise resources for their implementation. In developing these actions, special attention will be given to enhancing the participation of developing countries and young people.

* WHO consensus on the optimal package of policies and actions to address tobacco (through the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of 2003), diet and physical activity (through the Global Strategy on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Health of 2004) provide a firm basis for action now.