Tuberculosis (TB)

WHO Executive Board adopts resolution on upcoming UN General Assembly high-level meeting on TB

Countries and partners at the 142nd World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board (EB), adopted a Resolution yesterday 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.”

The EB Resolution was put forward by Brazil, Philippines, Russian Federation and South Africa, and received strong support from other EB members: Brazil presented a statement of support for the Resolution on behalf of the BRICS countries, Tanzania did the same on behalf of the African Union, and statements were made by Bahrain, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Iraq, Japan, Philippines, Pakistan, Swaziland and Thailand. Further statements of support then followed from other Member States, including Argentina, Bangladesh, China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Panama, Peru, Russian Federation and the United States.

UNAIDS and various Non-State Actors including, Global Health Council, International Council of Nurses, International Federation of Medical Students Associations, International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Médecins Sans Frontières International, Medicus Mundi International, World Heart Federation and World Medical Association, also voiced their support for the resolution.

WHO’s Global TB Programme will hold a stakeholder consultation on the development of the multisectoral accountability framework in March 2018.

In mid-January, the UNGA President appointed two co-facilitators for the UNGA HLM process – Japan and Antigua. WHO will continue to work with the UN Secretary-General to support the preparation process for the UNHLM, in collaboration with key partners including the Stop TB Partnership and civil society.

On the side-lines of the Executive Board, Dr Kasaeva met with Member-State delegations, including Vietnam, Japan and the Russian Federation, as well as partners, to advocate for highest level participation at the UNHLM on TB.