New York, New York - The American Cancer Society (ACS) marked World Cancer Day on February 4 by hosting a reception in New York City with representatives from the United Nations (UN), the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the World Lung Foundation, the Framework Convention Alliance, and other partners. The event celebrated progress in raising global awareness of cancer, specifically a recent decision by the UN (advocated on by ACS and the NCD Alliance) to host the first-ever UN High-Level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases this September. As a fitting backdrop for the reception, the ACS arranged for the Empire State Building to glow orange and blue - the colors of World Cancer Day and the UICC. Speakers included Ambassador Jim McLay, permanent representative of New Zealand to the UN, ACS Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, and Don Distasio, the chief executive officer of the ACS Eastern Division.
Left to Right: Don Distasio, chief executive officer, ACS Eastern Division, Cristina Parsons Perez, ACS Global Health Programs, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, ACS chief medical officer, Jim McLay, U.N. permanent representative of New Zealand, Kiti Kajana, ACS Global Health Programs
Guests included delegates from nine UN missions including Bosnia, Brazil, Canada, Norway, Panama, the Philippines, and Spain. The mission representative from Argentina also attended; that nation presides over the G77, a caucus organization which helps developing countries pursue common goals to leverage in UN deliberations.