The United Nations General Assembly will convene a historic High-Level Meeting (HLM) on TB with Heads of State, following a resolution endorsed by member states at the UN headquarters in New York.
The campaign for the meeting was led by Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Chair of the of Stop TB Partnership Board and Minister of Health of South Africa, who said: “The high-level meeting on tuberculosis will heighten awareness of the social and economic devastation caused by this age-old disease and the need for urgent global attention to eliminate TB as a public health threat by 2035.”
A High-Level Meeting is a special session of the United Nations General Assembly convened by governments on issues of global political importance. Previous HLMs have resulted in action-orientated UN political declarations endorsed by Heads of State, which have formed the basis for accelerated national efforts. The meeting on TB in September 2018 will be only the fifth HLM devoted to a health issue, following previous meetings on HIV/AIDS (2001), Non-communicable diseases (2011), Ebola (2014) and Antimicrobial Resistance (2015).
TB Alert and other TB partners joined the call for an HLM in September 2016, reaching out to governments, parliamentarians, and key leaders to secure support for the resolution. Going forward, the Stop TB Partnership will provide regular updates and will convene consultations to ensure strong coordination among partners in the lead up to the UN High-Level Meeting.
Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership, said: “This is a historic moment for the TB community. The UN High-Level Meeting is a significant step on the path to end TB. Heads of State, governments, civil society and the private sector must offer their highest level of political commitment, focus on concrete outputs, make their voices heard, and offer innovative solutions to the TB epidemic. If the TB community unites our efforts, the HLM will go down in history as the moment the world came together to end TB.”