Tuberculosis (TB)


26 September 2018, New York

Heads of State will gather in New York on 26 September this year at the United Nations General Assembly first-ever high-level meeting on tuberculosis (TB) to accelerate efforts in ending TB and reach all affected people with prevention and care. The theme of the meeting is “United to end tuberculosis: an urgent global response to a global epidemic”.

The high-level meeting on TB is a tremendous and unprecedented step forward by governments and all partners engaged in the fight against TB. It follows on from a very successful Ministerial Conference on Ending TB in Moscow on 16-17 November, 2017 which resulted in high-level commitments from Ministers and other leaders from 120 countries to accelerate progress to end TB.

The high-level meeting should result in an ambitious Political Declaration on TB endorsed by Heads of State that will strengthen action and investments for the end TB response, saving millions of lives.

Ending TB

TB carries a grave global toll having been one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide in 2016, causing 1.8 million deaths, including 0.5 million among people with HIV. In 2016, there were an estimated 10.4 million new TB cases worldwide. The public health crisis of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) continues. Although 53 million lives have been saved through global efforts since 2000, actions and investments fall far short of those needed to end the TB epidemic. Countries need to move much faster to prevent, detect, and treat TB if they are to meet the global targets. This requires multisectoral action across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Seventeen SDGs were adopted by the UN Member States in September 2015. Ending the TB epidemic is a target under SDG3 - “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.

United Nations General Assembly

Resolution A/71/L.41 - 15 December 2016 Global health and foreign policy: Health Employment and Economic Growth

The General Assembly, (...)

21. Takes note of the initiative to hold, in Moscow in November 2017, a global ministerial conference on the fight against tuberculosis in the context of public health and the Sustainable Development Goals;

22. Decides to hold a high-level meeting in 2018 on the fight against tuberculosis, and requests the Secretary-General, in close collaboration with the Director-General of the World Health Organization and in consultation with Member States, as appropriate, to propose options and modalities for the conduct of such a meeting, including potential deliverables, building on existing efforts in this regard;


WHO Executive Board resolution on UNGA high-level meeting on TB

On 26 January 2018, countries and partners at the 142nd World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board (EB), adopted a Resolution in support of the upcoming UN General Assembly high-level meeting (UNHLM) on tuberculosis (TB).

The Resolution included a request to WHO to work with key stakeholders to develop a draft TB multisectoral accountability framework to enable the monitoring, reporting, review and actions needed for greater accountability and impact, for consideration by the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA) in May 2018 and presentation during the UNHLM on TB.

It also recommended a resolution to be considered for adoption by the WHA in May 2018 in the lead up to the UNHLM. This resolution reinforces the commitments and calls to action of the Moscow Declaration, adopted by 120 countries at the first WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB in November 2017.

“The resounding support for the TB Resolution at the Executive Board signals the commitment of countries and partners to accelerate the End TB response,” said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of the WHO Global TB Programme. “At WHO we will be moving with urgency, as a united force - in collaboration with the UN and all partners, including civil society, for the success of the UNHLM on TB, and to drive down the deaths and suffering caused by this top infectious killer.”