FDI World Dental Federation
- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Submission Document: Download
- Additional Document:
Statement by the FDI WORLD DENTAL FEDERATION to the UN Conference on
Rio+20, June 2012
FDI World Dental Federation, Geneva, Switzerland
Contact: Jean-Luc Eiselé, FDI Executive Director; firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement by FDI World Dental Federation: Oral health ? an essential component of poverty
eradication and sustainable development
FDI reiterates its commitment to the principles outlined in the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and
Development, and of Agenda 21. In particular, we believe that human health and well‐being must be a
central tenant of any global agreement made at the UNCSD Rio+20.
The World Health Organization recognised the relevance of oral conditions in a World Health Assembly
resolution in 2007 and adopted an action plan for oral disease prevention (WHA60/R17). We urge
governments to act on this resolution, which also includes a plea for strengthened global collaboration.
The Political declaration of the High‐level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and
Control of Non‐communicable Diseases (NCDs), adopted in New‐York on 19th September 2011,
recognized that oral diseases pose a major health burden for many countries and share common risk
factors with NCDs, notably unhealthy diet (particularly high sugar consumption), tobacco, and harmful
alcohol use, related to poverty and social inequalities.
Furthermore, FDI applauds the Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health, adopted in Rio de
Janeiro on 21st October 2011, reiterating in Art 16.4 ?the important policies needed to achieve both
sustainable development and health equity through acting on social determinants.?
FDI fully supports item C.42 of the Objectives of the Rio+20 conference (A/CONF.216/PC/): ?Poverty
eradication and enhancement of the livelihoods of the most vulnerable deserve priority in measures
promoting a green economy transition.?
FDI recommendations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
Focus on poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development
In the final outcome documents of UN Conference on Sustainable Development, FDI would like to see:
Clear recognition that the prevalence of oral diseases should become a key indicator for poverty
eradication and sustainable development
Strong support for all measures contributing to a reduction of common risk factors for NCDs such
as unhealthy diet, tobacco, harmful alcohol use, and lack of exercise.
A focus on the environmental, economic and health benefits of adopting a collaborative
approach to the prevention of oral diseases within the institutional framework for sustainable
Develop policies and strategies to support effective and sustainable 'green dentistry' initiatives,
which emphasise the lifecycle approach.
These recommendations derive from:
The link between health, poverty eradication and sustainable development
Evidence and experience have demonstrated that health and sustainable development are closely linked.
Whilst acknowledging the considerable improvements achieved in development and poverty eradication,
FDI regrets the limited progress made in bringing together historically independent social, environmental
and economic policy at a national and international level.
This should place health at the centre of the international negotiation process as a necessary
precondition for sustainable development and fundamental to social, environmental and economic
development. Such an approach should address the social, environmental and economic determinants of
health as a means of reducing health inequities through the integration of health into all outcomes of the
summit. These should call for the provision of access to medicines, health services, adequate food and
clean water for drinking and sanitation. FDI looks to Rio+20 to enhance and further validate the social
determinants of health as a core concept in sustainable development.
We urge governments to ensure that all people have equal access to at least basic oral care and
prevention through the integration of oral diseases into the context of poverty eradication and NCDs.
The recognition of oral health as part of global priorities would provide a strong basis for concerted
national and international action.
It is imperative that global, comprehensive strategies to eradicate poverty must include oral diseases; in
addition, effective prevention strategies should also address the social determinants of health.
The scale of the challenge
Oral diseases are some of the most common chronic diseases, affecting more than 90% of the world?s
population. They have a significant impact on overall health, mental and physical well‐being, as well as
on child development and educational performance. Moreover, the prevalence and severity of oral
diseases are on the rise due to lifestyle changes, particularly in low‐ and middle‐income countries, which
can least afford to deal with the consequences.
With many countries reaching a critical threshold of development in the near future, it is even more
important to address the rising trend of lifestyle‐related diseases in the context of sustainable
development before it is too late.
In terms of health economics, oral diseases are the second to fourth most expensive area of national
health budgets. However, for large segments of the world's population, oral conditions remain untreated
due to unavailable or unaffordable oral health care services. The socio‐economically disadvantaged
suffer most from oral diseases, as they do from other chronic diseases; oral and general health are
closely interrelated and conditions like cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, arthritis, low‐birth
weight infants, underweight children and malnutrition all have significant links to oral conditions.
The need for enhanced global collaboration
As a member of the World Health Professionals Alliance WHPA the FDI strongly recommends addressing
workforce planning, health system strengthening and collaborative practice for oral health as integral
part of national planning. An intersectoral approach to poverty eradication should include prevention of
oral diseases and will have significant benefits in terms of strengthening health system care delivery and
improving access to care; thus resulting in measurably improved health outcomes.
FDI World Dental Federation
Tour de Cointrin, Avenue Louis Casaï 84,
Case Postale 3,
FDI World Dental Federation is a membership organisation composed of more than 200 member National Dental
Associations and specialist groups, altogether representing more than one million dentists worldwide. The FDI vision
is leading the world to optimal oral health, acknowledging that oral health is a fundamental part of general health and
well-being. This vision is brought to life through being the global voice for oral health and delivering excellence in oral
health policy and promotion, continuing professional education, and access to care.
The FDIs Mission Statements are:
To be the worldwide, authoritative and independent voice of the dental profession
To promote optimal oral and general health for all people
To support the member associations in enhancing the ability of their members to provide oral health care to the
To advance and promote the ethics, art, science and practice of dentistry
The organisation is governed by a Council of delegates from member associations that are elected by a General
Assembly during the FDI Annual World Dental Congress. Five standing committees carry out work in the key areas of
communications and member support, dental practice, education, science, and world dental development and health
promotion. FDI World Dental Federation is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in official relations with the United
Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO).