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

The High Level Political Forum is a yearly event organized by the United Nations to review progress on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. In 2021, the Forum reviews Goal 3 ensuring good health and promoting wellbeing for all ages. Civil society and all UN member states will ensure a sustainable and resilient recovery from COVID-19. Agenda 2030 must be realized despite the current health emergency.

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the UN organs responsible for advancing economic, social, and environmental issues, celebrates its 75th anniversary by hosting a high-level segment on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agenda for sustainable development.

*IFPA is a non-governmental organization in ECOSOC with consultative status.

IFPA was invited to submit a statement speaking up for the long-term impact of COVID-19 and other current trends on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. IFPA raises economic, social, and environmental issues affecting the sustainable development goals.

This is the statement submitted by IFPA: 

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. 

Links: 

Submitted statements: https://www.un.org/ecosoc/sites/www.un.org.ecosoc/files/files/en/2021doc/2021-ECOSOC-HLS-Written-Statements-by-NGOS-in-ECOSOC-Consultative-Status.pdf 

United Nations’ High-level political forum 2021: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2021 

ECOSOC High-level segment 2021: https://www.un.org/ecosoc/en/events/2021/ecosoc-high-level-segment-including-three-day-ministerial-segment-hlpf-convened-under 

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