The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Ministerial Conference on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and Mental Health took place from 14 - 16 June 2023 to address the disproportionately high burden of NCDs including obesity that SIDS face, compounded by the climate crisis.
The SIDS member countries leveraged the opportunity provided by the SIDS Ministerial Conference to reaffirm their commitment to take bold SIDS-specific action to accelerate progress in SIDS by 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from NCDs through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and well-being. Several experiences, including best practices, opportunities, challenges, and lessons learned in tackling NCDs and mental health, and related conditions including climate crisis, adverse commercial influence, and high vulnerability of SIDS, were shared.
World Obesity's Policy and Prevention committee members, Sir Collin Tukuitonga (also Co-Chair of the SIDS High-Level Policy Expert Group), Sir Trevor Hassell (HCC), and Co-Chair of our committee, Prof. Alafia Samuels, were present on the ground, as well as partners Healthy Caribbean Coalition and NCD Alliance, who led on the civil society response in support of the 2023 Bridgetown Declaration.
"The Declaration includes many SIDS-specific actions that nations can adopt appropriate for their local circumstances. SIDS Ministers of Health also agreed on the need for collective action to enhance impact. The BD will help shape several high level meetings including the UN High Level Meeting on NCDs in 2025. Priority now is to take action to accelerate work on NCD Prevention and Control in SIDS."
- Sir Collin Tukuitonga
"The SIDS Bridgetown Declaration is a road map for action on NCDs and Mental Health for which, in my view, an appropriately resourced mechanism for implementation is urgently needed."
- Sir Trevor Hassell