Follow-up on the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB
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At the first ever UN High-Level Meeting on tuberculosis in September, Member States agreed on a Political Declaration on the Fight Against Tuberculosis, to end TB by 2030. Here are 5 highlights committing leaders to a rights-based response to TB.
On 26 September 2018, Heads of State gathered in New York at the United Nations General Assembly first-ever High-Level Meeting on TB, to accelerate efforts in ending TB.
The High-Level Meeting resulted in an ambitious Political Declaration on the Fight Against Tuberculosis to strengthen action and investments to end TB. At the closing of the High-Level Meeting, H.E. Mrs. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, remarked that "The plan is on the table, the commitments have been made, the only thing left to do is to get up and do it."
The 2018 Political Declaration consists of 53 commitments to end TB globally by 2030, in line with the targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goals. These includes commitments to protecting and promoting human rights as part of effective responses to TB.
Here are 5 highlights of the ways in which Member States recognise and commit to human rights-based responses to end TB
- The Declaration notes the challenge countries - especially developing countries – face in protecting and promoting the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and providing access to tuberculosis health services and to quality, safe, efficacious and affordable tuberculosis diagnostics and treatment.
- The Declaration recognises the health of vulnerable populations as a human rights concern and commits to prioritizing vulnerable populations such as women, children, adolescents, indigenous people, health care workers, migrants, refugees, internally displaced people, people living in situations of complex emergencies, prisoners, people living with HIV, people who use drugs, miners, urban and rural poor, underserved populations, undernourished people, individuals who face food insecurity, ethnic minorities, people and communities at risk of exposure to bovine TB, people living with diabetes, people with disabilities, people with alcohol abuse disorders and people who use tobacco.
- The Declaration commits Member States to fulfilling the right to the highest attainable standard of health through providing universal access to quality testing for TB, the provision of preventive treatment, diagnosis, treatment care, and adherence support, with a special focus on reaching vulnerable and marginalized populations and communities.
- In so doing, Member States commit to protecting and promoting equity, ethics, gender equality and human rights; reducing stigma and discrimination in health care services, providing socio-economic and psychosocial support, removing discriminatory laws, policies and programmes that create barriers to equitable access to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for TB and promoting human rights and dignity.
- The Declaration commits Member States to ensuring the strong and meaningful engagement of civil society and affected communities in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the tuberculosis response.
Read the full declaration here