Stop TB Partnership

2nd Global TB Summit marks new era in fight against TB

Monday 30th November, Cape Town, South Africa - The 2nd Global TB Summit drew to a close today with an unparalleled display of political resolve to lead the fight against tuberculosis (TB).

The Summit saw fifty political representatives from thirty countries meet to discuss what they could do, collectively and individually, to tackle the disease. Across a three-day programme the representatives heard presentations from world-leading experts and civil society, and visited TB programmes in the Cape Town area.

The delegates at the Summit were members of the Global TB Caucus, a worldwide network of parliamentarians founded in Barcelona in October 2014. Since the initial meeting of just 9 countries, the Caucus has grown to become one of the biggest networks of its kind in the world, boasting support from over 1,000 parliamentarians in 101 countries.

Opening the Summit Conference on behalf of the hosting nation’s Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, South African Health Minister and co-chairperson of the Global TB Caucus, highlighted the role of parliamentarians in the fight against TB. "The world has a new set of Sustainable Development Goals which target the elimination of TB by 2030, and we have a new Global Plan to do it. Without political commitment, however, the Plan will not succeed. It is down to you to provide that political commitment."

During the Conference, delegates heard presentations from the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and from the Stop TB Partnership. There was unanimous agreement to advocate in unison in support of the Global Fund’s upcoming replenishment, and also discussed ways of increasing the accountability of governments who receive Global Fund money. Delegates also endorsed the Global Plan to End TB 2016-2020 and the 90-90-90 targets proposed by Dr Motsoaledi.

Speaking at the Summit, Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership, drew attention to the unique nature of the Global TB Caucus. "This is the biggest political meeting on TB in 100 years and the only network of its kind in the world. TB is the world’s biggest infectious killer because it has been neglected for decades, only politicians can end that neglect. This Summit marks a new era in the fight against TB."

In the final session, African delegates at the Summit committed to launching an African TB Caucus at TB2016 in Durban in July. Delegates from Europe and the Americas committed to launching similar networks by the end of 2016 to compliment the Asia-Pacific network set up in August 2015. Delegates also committed to establishing national TB caucuses in over a dozen countries by World TB Day. Finally, there was unanimous agreement to found a formal secretariat to support their efforts.

At the conclusion of the Summit, the Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP, co-chairperson of the Global TB Caucus, challenged the delegates to deliver on their promises. "The Global TB Caucus is not an end in itself." He said. "We must make sure that we drive real action against the epidemic in each of our countries. We are the people who approve budgets, we select our leaders, and we are responsible for setting political priorities. We have the power to drive the policy changes and secure the resources to end TB and that is what we must do."