Berlin TB Summit concludes with call for G20 leadership on TB

23 March 2017 - Berlin, Germany - The Berlin TB Summit concluded yesterday with a call for G20 leaders to prioritize TB in their agenda ahead of the G20 Summit in July this year.

Delegates from across the G20 states came together to endorse the call, and to formally agree a proposal for Heads of State to consider in relation to TB and other forms of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The event was hosted by the Global TB Caucus, the Stop TB Partnership, and the ACTION Partnership, along with German NGO, DSW. It was part of a series of events planned across the first half of 2017 to capitalize on the prioritization of AMR within this year’s G20 agenda.

The Rt Hon Nick Herbert CBE MP, co-chairman of the Global TB Caucus, said: "The Berlin TB Summit is a step, albeit an important one, towards securing recognition of TB as a global health threat at the highest level. We will be pressing our governments for coordinated action on TB, particularly on the development of new drugs, when we return to our national parliaments."

At the Summit’s main plenary on the evening of Tuesday 21 March, Yael Selfin from KPMG presented new data on the potential threat of MDR-TB to countries around the world. The data, which estimates the impact of MDR-TB by 2050 in a worst-case scenario, demonstrates the enormous threat posed by an airborne, drug-resistant infection were it to get out of control.

The Parliamentarians and other stakeholders had an opportunity to share their views and discuss with the participants of the Symposium of Koch-Metschnikow Forum (KMF) led by Dr Timo Ulrichs, Vice-Chair of the KMF in Berlin.

"Our global movement to End TB is getting some very good political support. The reality is that it is a shame for humanity that a disease so old, that had a very cheap cure is still among us and we allowed it to become the number one infectious disease killer. The G20 MPs and leaders should understand that it is perfectly within their power to end this disease, they just need to want it," said Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.

The outputs of the Berlin meeting will feed into a meeting of G20 Sherpas, countries lead G20 negotiators, in Frankfurt on World TB Day where they will discuss the importance of TB with the AMR agenda. This will be a key meeting in the lead up to the G20 Health Ministers Meeting taking place 19-20th March in Berlin, and the G20 Heads of State Summit taking place 7-8th July in Hamburg, Germany.