14 May 2023 | Geneva, Switzerland
The resounding echoes of "YES WE CAN! END TB!" reverberated through the hall as TB stakeholders arrived at the United Nations in New York, wielding an urgent call to action. With unwavering determination and a powerful sense of purpose, they demanded that tuberculosis (TB) occupies to the top of the political agenda as an airborne pandemic that can be ended by 2030. The passionate energy of the attendees was stirring, and was a powerful reminder that together, yes we can end TB. Watch video here
The United Nations successfully convened a Multi-Stakeholder Hearing in preparation for the UN High-Level Meeting (UN HLM) on the fight against tuberculosis (TB) in September. Among those speaking at the event, were TB survivors, commnunities and civil society representatives as well as private sector, academia, researchers and parliamentarians.
Ahead of the hearing, the TB stakeholders shared the TB Key Asks to more than 45 Country Permanent Missions to UN as they prepare for the UN HLM on TB. The Hearing saw 20 speakers and moderators and at least 25 floor interventions, as TB stakeholders made clear call for Key Asks to be included in the Draft Political Declaration on TB. The shared vision included urgent demands for access to TB diagnosis, treatment and care, R&D, communitiy and Gender, Funding, accountability, alignment with UHC, and PPPR.
All interventions during the hearing were made with the aim of being taken into consideration for the Zero Draft of the Political Declaration on TB to be issued on May 15, 2023, with the first reading planned on May 25.
Ahead of the hearing, the TB stakeholders shared the TB Key Asks to more than 45 Country Permanent Missions to UN as they prepare for the UN HLM on TB
The Vice-Chair of the Stop TB Partnership, Austin Obiefuna, made a powerful appeal and launched the Deadly Divide: Priorities to Close the Deadly Divide - Call to Action report. The report focuses on TB commitments vs. TB realities and highlights the gap between the two. The launch saw attendees demonstrating incredible fervour, engagement, and solidarity, making the hearing memorable. Check out the updates on social media
Despite the meaningful realisation of the UN Multi-Stakeholder Hearings on TB, it was unfortunate that TB was largely overlooked in the two subsequent hearings on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (PPPR) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Unfortunately, none of the formal speakers or moderators of these UN Multi-stakeholders Hearing mentioned the TB response leaving the TB situation largely unaddressed.
Going forward, it is crucial for the PPPR, UHC and TB community to ensure that the connections between TB and UHC and TB and PPPR are recognized and included in the respective political declarations at the upcoming UN High-Level Meetings. This remains one of the most significant challenges facing the TB community in their efforts to eliminate this disease.