29 October 2014 - Barcelona, Spain - The Stop TB Partnership welcomed the signing of the Barcelona Declaration by political representatives from nine countries spanning five continents, formalizing their commitment to work together for accelerated action and significant investment in the fight against tuberculosis. It was signed by representatives from Brazil, Canada, France, Kenya, India, South Africa, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The declaration was the culmination of the inaugural Global TB Summit - the first time elected representatives from around the world have gathered to plan how they will work together to combat the epidemic.
Although many countries have political caucuses or committees dedicated to fighting tuberculosis, never before have parliamentarians reached across geographic divides to plan coordination on TB.
The announcement comes on the heels of data released last week by the World Health Organization showing that there are more cases and deaths from TB in the world than previously estimated.
"As elected representatives we have reached across geographic and political divides to plan how we can use our leadership and influence to demand more effective action to beat the TB epidemic", said Nick Herbert MP, co-chairman of the APPG TB. "By signing the Declaration we are committing to work together in a global effort to prioritise TB on political agendas in every country which has a role in combatting this disease."
"As we come to terms with the reality that there’s more TB in the world than we knew, we must be more ambitious than ever in fighting this preventable and treatable disease. Driven by policy makers themselves, the Barcelona Declaration is an encouraging, essential, and bold step in the acceleration of the global fight against TB," said Dr. Joanne Carter, Executive Director of RESULTS Educational Fund and Vice Chair of the Stop TB Partnership.
During the Summit, parliamentarians also committed to establishing a Global TB Caucus - a body that will work with NGOs and other international institutions to build commitment in their own countries and beyond for the fight against TB.
Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership said, "The creation of the Global TB Caucus is an essential moment in the TB fight. We are raising the TB conversation at the level of parliaments, governments and heads of states. It is an essential step that needs to be done if we want to change the approach, the tone and therefore the outcomes in fighting TB at a global level."
The Summit was co-hosted by the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB, and preceded the annual Union Conference on Lung Health.