New development goals also address cancer

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A whole body scan of a patient is being reviewed to assess the spread of cancer. It is expected that annual cancer cases will rise from 14 million in 2012 to 22 within the next 2 decades. Photo: IAEA

The inclusion of goals related to cancer and other non-communicable diseases in the new global development agenda has been welcomed by the head of the UN's nuclear energy watchdog, the IAEA.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano was speaking in the General Assembly on Tuesday, just weeks after world leaders met there to agree on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs outline development priorities for the next 15 years, with the aim of achieving a more just and equitable world for all people and the planet.

Dianne Penn reports.

Mr Amano said there are "clear links" between the 17 SDGs and the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Both cover areas such as energy, food security and nutrition, health, managing water resources and climate change.

He welcomed goals concerning non-communicable diseases which are an important area of the IAEA's work.

The agency helps countries integrate radiation medicine into their cancer control strategies and has invested nearly 300 million euros in projects worldwide.

"Our work helps to save many lives. But the need for access to effective cancer treatment in developing countries remains great. The inclusion of targets for non-communicable diseases, including cancer, in the SDGs gives me hope that much more will be done to address this issue in the coming decades."

Mr Amano also reflected on the IAEA's work over the past year, including developments related to Iran's nuclear programme.

However, he reported that the agency remains unable to verify the nuclear programme in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, something he described as "a matter of serious concern."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.


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