High-level Tuberculosis Meeting Set as Agencies Call for Action
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The UNGA adopted a resolution on the modalities of the first-ever high-level meeting on the fight against tuberculosis (TB), deciding to hold the meeting on 26 September 2018.

Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is called for in the SDGs through target 3.3, which also addresses AIDS, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.

UN agencies marked World Tuberculosis Day on 24 March, with UNAIDS calling for five actions to address the challenges to preventing and curing TB and HIV.

4 April 2018: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution on the high-level meeting on the fight against tuberculosis (TB), deciding to hold it on 26 September 2018, the second day of its 73rd annual general debate. Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is called for in the SDGs through target 3.3, which also addresses AIDS, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.

The UNGA’s high-level meeting in September 2018 will be the first-ever such gathering on TB. It is expected to adopt a political declaration, and officials expressed hope that it will provide political, social and financial momentum for ending the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) has noted that current “actions and investments do not match” needs.

According to the modalities, scope, format and organization agreed in the UNGA resolution, the meeting will address the theme, ‘United to end tuberculosis: an urgent global response to a global epidemic.’ It will consist of an opening segment, two multi-stakeholder panels and a brief closing session.

The meeting will focus on the theme, ‘United to end tuberculosis: an urgent global response to a global epidemic.’

On 29 March, the Fifth Committee approved a decision estimating that the programme budget implications for the high-level meeting will amount to US$59,700, and noting that, “Efforts would be made to absorb that amount within that 2018-2019 budget and the additional expenditures would be reported in the relevant performance report for that biennium.” As part of the preparatory process for the high-level meeting, the UNGA President will convene a civil society hearing in New York, US, in June 2018, with the participation of civil society organizations, academia, medical associations, the private sector, parliamentarians and Member States.

UN agencies marked World Tuberculosis Day on 24 March. WHO leadership drew attention to antibiotic resistance as having “caused many drugs to lose their efficacy” in combating the disease. The Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) highlighted the “interlinked epidemics” of TB and HIV, and argued that the world has the resources to end both epidemics but lacks “political commitment and country action.”

UNAIDS called for five actions to address the challenges to preventing and curing TB and HIV. They include:

  • Impel political, religious and civil society leaders to champion the universal right to live free from TB and HIV;
  • Empower communities’ call on governments to demand their right to health – improving living standards to reduce the burden of TB and HIV;
  • Promote non-discriminatory service delivery to protect all against catastrophic health expenditures in the context of universal health coverage – extending care beyond health to include safe workplaces and places of detention;
  • Engage finance ministers to approach health as an investment, not an expenditure, in which returns demonstrate their long-term value to societies and economies; and
  • Greater public-private sector partnerships to accelerate innovative new medicines and vaccines.

A high-level meeting to review progress against non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the subject of SDG target 3.4, is also being planned for September 2018. [UNGA Adoption of Modalities Resolution] [Summary of Fifth Committee Meeting] [UN News Story on World Day] [WHO Webpage for World TB Day] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on NCD review preparations]


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