International collaboration

The Norwegian Cancer Society joins the global fight against non-communicable diseases, including cancer .

There are many reasons for our international involvement. Here are some:

  • 1 out of 6 deaths in the world is due to cancer.
  • Nearly 10 million die from cancer each year.
  • Approximately 70 percent of deaths due to cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Around one third of deaths from cancer are due to the 5 leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use
  • Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22 percent of cancer deaths
  • Cancer causing infections, such as hepatitis and human papilloma virus (HPV), are responsible for up to 25 percent of cancer cases in low- and middle-income countries

Source: WHO

Goals for our international involvement

To advocate for the ratification of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), and to implement the measures that the Convention requires member states to enforce. Our long-term experience and work in tobacco prevention in Norway may be utilized when assisting developing countries in implementing the Convention. Almost all countries have signed the WHO FCTC, and have committed themselves to implementing its measures. Many countries still have a long way to go to achieve their goals and need help to implement the agreed measures.

To advocate for the inclusion of cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Norwegian and international health policy agendas. In addition, countries will be encouraged to include NCDs in their UN development assistance frameworks (UNDAFs) as well. Cancer and other non-communicable diseases – such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases – are a huge burden on health systems in less resourceful or poor countries, and are additional to the burden of infectious diseases. Non-communicable diseases hinder global social and economic development and impede the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). This was highlighted in 2011 and during the ensuing High Level Meeting for the Prevention and Control of NCDs at the United Nations.

  • To agree on goals for global efforts to combat non-communicable diseases.
  • To develop an action plan to enable the international community to combat these diseases.
  • To establish a co-operative body responsible for driving the process forward.

The NCS was an important contributor during these policy processes and discussions

However, Norwegian commitments at these international events are not reflected in the Norwegian development assistance policy

The UN summits increased awareness of the negative impact of non-communicable diseases on economic and human development. However, this awareness is still not reflected in the Norwegian development assistance policy agenda.

The NCS therefore aims to encourage the Norwegian authorities to act as a driving force for the inclusion of NCDs in the revised UN development goals strategy. Representing civil society, the NCS aims to attain such goals through collaboration with the International NCD Alliance.

International projects

The NCS supports a few specific projects in order to sustain our policy work. The projects are selected in accordance with the recommendations of the WHO FCTC. The aim is to strengthen civil society’s voice in their advocacy towards national authorities for the promotion of global and public health policies. For more information about the projects contact:

The Norwegian Cancer Society has leveraged European Economic Area (EEA) and Norway Grants funds to implement a project to promote healthy lifestyles among children and adolescents in Poland. The project specifically addresses substance abuse among young people in Poland.

The project aims at:

  • Preventing and controlling tobacco initiation and use by Polish youth by contributing to raise tobacco taxes to make cigarettes less affordable for the target group
  • Contributing to the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in Poland

The project has also made it possible to transfer the Norwegian tobacco cessation App Slutta to Poland to encourage adolescents and youth who already smoke to quit. 

A first report of the project, which recommends tools to address tobacco affordability among youth and children, is submitted to the Polish authorities and has already made a significant impact on the country’s tobacco control policy. The Polish government have used the findings of our research activities and has effectively decided to increase tobacco taxes by 10% every year until 2027.

The project is implemented in partnership with the Polish Ministry of Health.

Read the report: Tools to reduce tobacco use among young people in Poland (PDF)

Maxime Compaore

The Norwegian Cancer Society 47 31 88 82

Our Key Partners

  • Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is the leading international non-governmental organization working for the prevention and control of cancer. Anne Lise Ryel, Secretary General of the Norwegian Cancer Society, is a member of UICC’s Board of Directors (2012-2013/14?). Non-communicable Disease Alliance (NCD-Alliance) is a network of organizations which are working to combat non-communicable diseases (cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and chronic lung diseases.
  • Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) is an alliance of non-governmental organizations working on the development, ratification and implementation of the international treaty, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
  • Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI Alliance) works to save children’s lives and protect health by increasing access to immunization in poor countries. From 2012, GAVI offers the HPV-vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.
  • The Nordic Cancer Union (NCU) is a collaborative body for cancer societies in the Nordic countries. Our main focus in this collaboration is cancer research and we allocate grants and funds to stimulate cancer research in the Nordic region.
  • The Smoke Free Partnership (SFP): The SFP is a civil society organisation with a mission to engage in policy advocacy at the European Union to prevent death and suffering caused by tobacco use. To achieve its objectives, the SFP:
    – Mobilises stakeholders and decision-makers to make tobacco control a political priority in Europe
    – Advocates for evidence-based tobacco control policies
    – Engage health organisations, researchers and its international networks to strengthen the global response to tobacco
    – Call for the implementation of the FCTC in Europe to contribute to ending the global tobacco pandemic.

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