We can stop TB. Simply. We are making strides to stop it now. But we simply must do more, and we can. Between us we have the necessary knowledge and expertise. We simply need to ensure that as individuals each of us plays our part and that we are aligned.
It is with this message in mind that we move towards the third Stop TB Partner's Forum, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 23 to 25 March 2009. This will be an open and dynamic forum where people engaged in the global fight against TB can share successes, identify barriers and inspire each other to move to a new level in the global fight against TB.
Some 800 to 1,000 delegates are expected to attend. These will include high-level representatives from countries with a high burden of TB, donor countries, multilateral and intergovernmental organizations, civil society, affected communities, foundations, corporations and research and academic institutions. The UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TB and Stop TB Ambassadors will be present.
The Partners' Forum is the General Assembly of the Stop TB Partnership and serves to bring partners together to renew their commitment and intensify their efforts to reach the targets of the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015.
- Consolidate and reinforce commitment to implementation of the World Health Organization's Stop TB Strategy and the Stop TB Partnership's Global Plan to Stop TB
- Boost funding for national TB programmes
- Connect partners in new and innovative ways; foster collaboration and mutual support
- Provide a venue for constituencies to reach consensus on policy statements or positions, and communicate them to the wider Partnership
- Report on trends in implementing the Global Plan to Stop TB
- Introduce new partners to the Stop TB movement
- Attract media attention to TB.
Development of the Forum's agenda
The Third Stop TB Partners' Forum belongs to all partners; and the agenda has been developed based on input we received from partners who participated in an e-forum that ran in September and October 2008.
The First Stop TB Partners' Forum was a landmark event for the global movement to Stop TB, resulting in the branding of the Stop TB Partnership. Hosted by the World Bank, it took place in Washington DC, in October 2001 and had as its theme "50/50: Towards a TB-free future". It was attended by more than 200 high-level representatives from 75 organizations and countries. The Forum launched and endorsed the Global Plan to Stop TB, with strong expressions of support from philanthropist George Soros, the World Health Organization and the World Bank, among others.
The Second Stop TB Partners' Forum, held in New Delhi in March 2004, was hosted by the Government of India and had the theme "Keeping the Pledge". The 350-odd participants affirmed their commitment to intensifying efforts and accelerating action to attain 2005 global targets for TB control and expanding the outreach activities of the Global Partnership to Stop TB.