For the first time ever, the United Nations is holding a General Assembly high-level meeting on tuberculosis this September, on the 26th. The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is the main decision- making body of the UN, representing all 193 Member States. The kind of people who attend these meetings are Heads of State, Government Ministers, UN Secretary General and other UN leaders & Ambassadors, and sometimes civil society members, researchers, academics, etc.
There have only been four other health-related high level meetings, one on HIV/AIDS in 2001, one on noncommunicable diseases (disease that people don't transmit to one another, like cancer and heart disease) in 2011, one on Ebola in 2014 and one on antimicrobial resistance in 2015. So this is a big deal! Basically the highest levels of the UN will be meeting JUST on TB. This is the kind of political attention we all know TB deserves, but for whatever reason is hard to come by. It's very exciting and a great opportunity to get real political commitments from world leaders to end TB.
One of the most important things you can read about this meeting are the asks that we, the Domestic TB community, have made of our USA delegation.
Please check this out: http://www.treatmentactiongroup.org/sites/default/files/tb_usg_key_asks_5_18_finalC.pdf
This week in NYC there was a "civil society hearing" to prepare for the high level meeting (HLM) at the UN. Different organizations representing TB elimination around the world participated and basically went through the various things they believe should be mentioned at the HLM. The hearing was divided into panels, each representing a focus for the HLM. There was a TB survivor on almost every panel!
Closing gaps in TB diagnosis and treatment. Really ensuring that we are reaching EVERYONE at risk for TB.
Investing in / funding Research & Development. (Research & development is a term basically used to describe new drugs, treatments, diagnostics, vaccines.) This panel focused on getting the money/financing for R & D, and securing commitments from governments for this funding.
Innovation, new tools and approaches to treating TB. How best to support these new tools and why they are needed.
Role of communities and the importance of a "person centered" approach to fighting TB. This was very inspiring to me as a survivor advocate.
You can read a more detailed rundown here (scroll down): https://www.un.org/pga/72/wp-content/uploads/sites/51/2018/04/HLM-Tuberculosis-27-April.pdf
You can watch the recording here: http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/treaty-bodies/watch/part-1-interactive-civil-society-hearing-on-the-fight-against-tuberculosis/5793469827001/?term=&lan=original
Here are some links so you can read more about the UNGA HLM on TB: