Republic of Korea shows great leadership towards ending TB

International Forum “Political Actions in the Global Fight to End TB” for the establishment of Korea TB Caucus and UNHLM on TB held in Seoul

20 July 2018, Seoul – Hon Myunyeon Kim MP, a chairman of the Cooperation Committee in Stop TB Partnership KOREA and Stop TB Partnership KOREA (STBK) together hosted an international forum entitled “Political Actions in the Global Fight to End TB” at the National Assembly Building of Republic of Korea in Seoul on 20 July 2018. This forum was organized to pave the way for the creation of Korea TB Caucus (KTBC) by raising awareness on global TB among Korean MPs, the potential members of the caucus, and inspiring them to join forces with the global community to end TB. With the UN High-Level Meeting (HLM) on TB approaching fast, this forum will galvanize MPs and high-level government officials to take actions in their positions to support the ongoing fight against global TB as well as high level participation to the meeting in New York.

The forum began with a congratulatory video from Hon Keizo Takemi MP and Hon Takagai MP, Chair and Vice Chair of Japanese Parliamentary Caucus on Stop TB Partnership, in which they emphasized the importance of engagement and support from the government and members of parliament to eradicate TB globally. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of Stop TB Partnership, opened Session I with her presentation on “Overview on Global TB and UNHLM on TB”, followed by Hon Brenda Shanahan, Co-Chair of Multi-Party Global Health Caucus of Canada, with her presentation on the “Efforts of Multi-Party Global Health Caucus of Canada”. Sarah Kirk, Deputy Head of the Secretariat of Global TB Caucus, presented on “Political Actions in the Global Fight to End TB”.

Session II, a panel discussion on “Political Actions of Korean MPs in the Global Fight Against TB”, was led by Dr. Dong-il Ahn, visiting professor at the Yonsei University Graduate School of Public Health and former WHO Representative for Cambodia and Laos. The panels comprised TB experts and government officials such as Dr. Eliud Wandwalo, Senior Disease Coordinator for TB at the Global Fund, Hyun-won Kim, Director General for Global Disease Eradication Fund Department at KOICA, Tae-ick Cho, Director General for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Dr. Kyung-hyun Oh, Head of Department of Program Cooperation at the Korean Institute of Tuberculosis of the Korean National Tuberculosis Association, and Dr. Ditiu, and discussed the role of the government and Members of Parliament of Korea in the global fight against TB.

Currently, a total of 27 MPs from all parties have joined forces to establish Korea TB Caucus. The Caucus and its members will interact and cooperate with members of other national TB caucuses to seek ways to expand Korea’s role in the global fight against TB.

With this occasion, Dr. Lucica Ditiu - Executive Director of the Stop TB partnership had bilateral meetings with high level representatives of the government of Republic of Korea, including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, KOICA and Ministry of Unification. “I am grateful for the hard work and impeccable organization of the event and visit done by our colleagues and friends from Stop TB Partnership Korea. We had very good and open dialogue on the TB epidemic in the country, in the region as well as in DPRK. We are looking forward for some great engagement and bilateral support between Stop TB partnership and different institutions from Republic of Korea” – she said.