IFPA's statement at the United Nations

20 July 2021


The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is one of the United Nations’ organs responsible for advancing economic, social, and environmental issues.

IFPA speaks up about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on people living with psoriatic disease at the United Nations’ ECOSOC High-level segment

IFPA, as non-governmental organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, submitted a statement for the ECOSOC high-level segment on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

United Nations' headquarters in New York

IFPA’s statement:

The International Federation of Psoriasis Associations welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the 2021 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ High-Level Segment, and to offer its perspective on the progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly slowed down progress toward Sustainable Development Goal 3 target 3.7 on non-communicable diseases and mental health. People living with life-long, incurable non-communicable diseases, such as psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, are profoundly impacted by the current health emergency. Research data and direct testimonies from people living with these diseases show the difficulties of accessing health care services, obtaining appointments with health care providers, and procuring the medications needed to keep the diseases under control. Mental health, one of the two pillars of Sustainable Development Goal 3, is already adversely impacted in people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and has been damaged further by the stress and anxiety experienced on such a broad scale during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, stress and anxiety heighten the risk of disease flares: for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, anxiety is the cause of physical symptoms.

If we want to regain the lost ground towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and stand better prepared to face future health emergencies, we need to make sure that policies adopted to build back from the COVID-19 pandemic take into account the millions of people living with non-communicable diseases, including those suffering from diseases that are not currently represented by the indicators for Sustainable Development Goal 3 target 3.7, but nevertheless represent 55% of the global non-communicable disease burden.

The International Federation of Psoriasis Associations strongly encourages the implementation of the commitments made during the High-Level Meetings on Non-communicable Diseases and Universal Health Coverage. Universal health coverage is the primary tool to reduce the burden of disease for those suffering from chronic, incurable non-communicable diseases. Noncommunicable diseases often do not occur in isolation but are associated to an increased risk of developing other life-threatening conditions. In particular, we support a model of care that puts people, not diseases, at the center of health systems.

The International Federation of Psoriasis Associations, as a patient association, is equipped to support Member States of the United Nations and invested stakeholders in achieving this ambitious goal, in the spirit of Sustainable Development Goal 17 on global partnerships for sustainable development.

Access the statement from the official page of the ECOSOC high-level segment.

Read more about the ECOSOC High-level segment 2021.