High level dialogue held in the opening of Stop TB Partnership’s 28th Coordinating Board Meeting calls for a UN High Level Meeting on TB in 2017

19 September 2016 - New York, USA - The first day of the 28th Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board Meeting ended with the Board endorsing a call to convene a United Nations High-Level Meeting in TB. This proposed High-Level Meeting would bring together Heads of State, political leaders, UN agencies, and People Affected by TB to push for a renewed and well-funded global response at the highest political levels in order to End TB.

The high level dialogue was opened by the Chair of the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board and Minister of Health of South Africa, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

"I’ve just come from the 5th Global Fund Replenishment conference in Montreal hosted by Prime Minister Trudeau, where the world clearly showed their full commitment to ending the TB, AIDS and Malaria epidemics through a pledge of 12.9 billion dollars to replenish the fund. The time has come to move TB to the centre of the stage. A United Nations High-Level Meeting devoted to TB in 2017 is an important way to do this and to reframe TB from simply a technical health problem, to a global development challenge requiring a whole of society response," said Minister Motsoaledi.

Her Excellency Ms Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, Wife of the President of Nigeria who delivered the keynote speech noted, "I’m pleased to hear the call by Minister Motsoaledi to convene a United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB in September 2017. I strongly support this call, and I look forward to assisting through my role as the Wife of the President of Nigeria and a TB Champion to mobilize other First Ladies all over the world and the Wives of the Governors in Nigeria to support and advance the cause of ending TB," she said.

The high level dialogue featured panels of people affected by TB, Ministers of Health and heads of donor agencies including USAID, as well as UNAIDS, the Global Fund, UNITAID, WHO and the Stop TB Partnership. It also featured a session with the current candidates for WHO Director-General, where each of them they outlined their vision for the key steps they would take to ensure that we are on track to end TB by 2030, if they were elected as the head of WHO.

Dr. David Nabarro, UN Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development delivered remarks on behalf of the UN Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon.

"I commend you, in the Stop TB Partnership, as you have achieved remarkable progress. I count on your continued efforts to make the world understand and respond to this killer disease so we can prevent the needless suffering it causes," said Dr David Nabarro.

"Antimicrobial resistance, which includes multidrug-resistant TB, poses a major health risk worldwide. Multi-drug resistant TB has been undermining progress over the past two decades. Unless this is confronted head-on, we risk losing gains already made and jeopardizing our overall objectives. Multi-drug resistant TB needs to be high on the global antimicrobial resistance agenda as we discuss these issues at the upcoming United Nations high-level meeting."

Later in the evening, the Stop TB Partnership Board dinner was held at the renowned restaurant owned by Marcus Samuelsson, an Ethiopian-born, Swedish raised celebrity chef and TB survivor who is willing to champion the TB cause using his celebrity status. *Mr Samuelsson, who lost his mother to TB when he was three, gave a compelling account of his story and called for more political will and support in order to end TB.

As part of Stop TB Partnership’s presence in New York this week, and through joint efforts with the US National TB Controllers Association, a billboard in Times Square features a series of awareness-raising messages on TB. These will run over the next three months.

The Coordinating Board which ended today, approved a series of decision points that you can find here. Briefing documents and presentations from the Coordinating Board meeting are available on the Stop TB Partnership website.

The Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board provides leadership and direction, monitors the implementation of agreed policies, plans and activities of the Partnership, and ensures smooth coordination among Stop TB Partnership components.

*Marcus Samuelsson was born Kassahun Tsegie in rural Ethiopia in 1971. When he was one, he and his three-year-old sister were taken by their mother to hospital in Addis Ababa so all three could be treated for TB. His mother died there. The children were quickly adopted by a geologist and his wife from Gothenburg in Sweden. After becoming interested in cooking through his maternal grandmother in Sweden, Samuelsson studied at the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg where he was raised. His restaurant Red Rooster, opened in 2010 in Harlem. Today, through his various ventures, including his flagship restaurant, he has given jobs to 200 locals. Paul McCartney and the jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis have eaten here, along with former state governors and superstar basket players. He has cooked for President Barack Obama at the White House, and has also hosted a fundraising dinner for the Democratic National Committee.