AstraZeneca joined United Nations Global Compact Sustainable Infrastructure Action Platform to drive implementation of cancer screening and diagnosis programmes

Wuxi, China, 23 April 2021 – AstraZeneca, a science-led biopharmaceutical company, has entered into a new collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact “Sustainable Infrastructure for the Belt and Road Initiative to Accelerate the SDGs” Action Platform (UNGC BRI SDG Action Platform).

Through this international cooperation in the Healthcare Sectoral Track of the Action Platform, AstraZeneca and UNGC BRI SDG Action Platform will work together to improve healthcare infrastructure in the ‘Belt and Road’ countries and explore an innovative new international collaboration model.

The partnership was formalised by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between both parties at the AstraZeneca China Healthcare Eco-system Conference held at the 2021 Future Healthcare Conference hosted by the Wuxi City Government and China Cancer Centre.

The collaboration between AstraZeneca and UNGC BRI SDG Action Platform will cover Asia area, Central and Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa region, and – through partnering with local key stakeholders – will aim to shape public policy and drive the implementation of cancer screening and diagnosis programmes, focusing on lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.

Cancer is a leading cause of mortality worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, with lung, prostate, breast, and gastrointestinal (GI) cancer accounting for the majority of deaths.1 Developing countries accounted for approximately 70% of deaths from cancer in 2008,2 and late-stage presentation and inaccessible diagnosis and treatment are common in low-income countries.3  

However, with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, many cancers have a high chance of cure.2 In 2017, the World Health Assembly passed the resolution on Cancer Prevention and Control through an Integrated Approach, urging governments and the World Health Organization to accelerate action to achieve the targets specified in the Global Action Plan and the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development to reduce premature mortality from cancer. 1

Today, AstraZeneca is working to redefine cancer care and is committed to improving cancer screening and early diagnosis across the globe by catalysing changes in the practice of medicine to transform the patient experience. By partnering with UNGC BRI SDG Action Platform, both parties may draw on their collective strength to help evolve healthcare infrastructure and drive the necessary shift in cancer care.

Speaking on the agreement, Leon Wang, EVP International and Country President China, AstraZeneca, commented, “AstraZeneca has developed integrated diagnostic and treatment solutions in many disease areas. Together with our partners from the industry, we have the potential to deliver cost-effective and patient-centric solutions that can reduce the disease burden in low- and middle-income countries and ultimately help cancer patients to live longer and better lives. We are committed to working with UNGC BRI Action Platform and its partners on cancer prevention and control to accelerate the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and reduce premature cancer mortality.”

Liu Meng, Head of Asia Pacific Networks, UN Global Compact emphasized, “Complementing efforts from governments, companies can play an important role to contribute through building  high-quality, green, resilient and sustainable infrastructure and follow ten principles of Global Compact to accelerate the sustainable development goals. We are happy that AstraZeneca joins the Action Platform today and welcome more companies globally to join force in this journey to address the infrastructure gap, such as critical healthcare infrastructure amidst and post COVID, especially in developing countries and work together hand in hand to make tangible impact and contributions to ensure leaving no one behind.”

AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.

United Nations Global Compact BRI SDG Action Platform
In response to the appeal made by nearly 40 heads of states in the Joint Communiqué of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that “We call on all market players in the Belt and Road cooperation to fulfill their corporate social responsibility and follow the principles of UN Global Compact”, the Action Platform on Sustainable Infrastructure for the Belt and Road Initiative to Accelerate the SDGs, a multi-stakeholder platform for collaboration was officially launched in June 2020.

The Action Platform aims to engage companies that participated in building infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative to align their strategies and operations with the ten principles of Global Compact in order to accelerate the SDGs.

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1. WHO. Fact Sheets. Cancer. 2021. Available from: Accessed 21 April 2021

2. WHO. Cancer. Key statistics. 2021. Available from: Accessed 22 April 2021

3. WHO. Fact Sheets. Cancer. 2018. Available from: Accessed 22 April 2021

Veeva approval ID: Z2-1685
Date of preparation: April 2021