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Tuberculosis takes center stage at UN hearing on antimicrobial resistance; A new WHO report recognizes that tuberculosis is one of the main threats to human health

NEWS ALERTMay 23, 2024 | Geneva, Switzerland

Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) is a leading cause of death due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). For years, the Stop TB Partnership has been advocating for prioritizing tuberculosis within the AMR and recent updates to the World Health Organization (WHO) Bacterial Pathogen Priority List (BPPL), with Mycobacterium tuberculosis placed on the critical category, have further strengthened the case.

Last week in NeTuberculosis takes center stage at UN hearing on antimicrobial resistance;  A new WHO report recognizes that tuberculosis is one of the main threats to human healthw York, “Yes! The voices of “We Can End Tuberculosis” echoed once again in the Trusteeship Council Chamber at United Nations Headquarters as the delegation of tuberculosis survivors, researchers, communities and civil society representatives led by the Stop TB Alliance attended the multi-stakeholder hearing in preparation for the United Nations. High Level Meeting (RAN) on Antimicrobial Resistance to be held on September 26, 2024.

Following the success of the UN HLM on tuberculosis in September 2023, the delegation, again this year, attended the meeting to push for the inclusion of tuberculosis (TB) in the next Political Declaration on AMR, building on the commitments already assumed during the UN RAN on tuberculosis. Tuberculosis in 2023.

Tuberculosis was the most prominent topic during the meeting, including nine interventions focused on tuberculosis. Seven of them were made by Stop TB board members and civil society partners as the discussions progressed. Additionally, panelists from the Global Fund and the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Association also highlighted the links between tuberculosis and antimicrobial resistance.

All interventions during the Hearing were made with the aim that tuberculosis would be included and prioritized when member states began negotiations on the Political Declaration on AMR. Speakers were loud and clear in urging member states to include strong language on TB in the Zero Draft Political Declaration on AMR.

You can watch the full recording of the multi-stakeholder hearing on antimicrobial resistance, including interventions, here: Opening Remarks, Part 1, Part 2

In addition, the Alliance of Countries to Fight Tuberculosis issued a joint statement on behalf of its 23 members. Nigeria, also co-chair of the Alliance, delivered the statement.

“Tuberculosis causes more deaths than other infections. The tuberculosis community learned the hard way about the devastating effects of antimicrobial resistance. Despite all efforts, 160,000 lives were lost to drug-resistant tuberculosis in 2022, accounting for almost one-eighth of all tuberculosis deaths. Tuberculosis has always been underfunded. Here in my hands are the key requests for the UN High Level Meeting on AMR that I would like to deliver to Barbados and Malta as co-facilitators of the HLM on AMR. If you are wondering what the global TB community expects to see, this is the answer,” said Mr Austin Obiefune, Vice President of the Stop TB Alliance Board.

“We need political commitment for funding, diagnosis and treatment, community rights and gender, research and development, and accountability. Our progress on tuberculosis is impressive, but it is not enough. That is why it is so important that all of us in this room agree that we cannot let tuberculosis or any other superbug win. We need to ensure that the Political Declaration sets the bar high and that we are willing to go much further to achieve the objectives agreed in the declaration,” he added.

HE Mr. Dennis Francis, President of the United Nations General Assembly (PGA), in his opening remarks, reminded everyone that strong political will and leadership at the highest level are indispensable to address the multidimensional challenges posed by the RAM.

Ahead of the meeting, the Stop TB Partnership launched the TB community’s key requests for the United Nations High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). The Key Questions have been developed through an inclusive process by gathering input from a range of partners, including civil society, affected communities and survivors, researchers, the private sector and academia.


On the sidelines of the multi-stakeholder hearing, the Stop TB delegation also met with key officials from 21 UN Permanent Missions. (Angola, Australia, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Eswatini, Philippines, France, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, Uganda, Ukraine) in New York and shared key questions from the TB community. The Permanent Missions reiterated their commitment to supporting the tuberculosis community and also pushing for the inclusion of strong language on tuberculosis and other community recommendations.

NEXT STEPS

On May 22, UN Member States published the zero draft of the UN Political Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance, which is available here. P35 of the zero draft that focuses specifically on tuberculosis reads as follows:

“Q35: Recognize that drug-resistant tuberculosis is a key component of the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance, and express deep concern that the scope and scale of disease and mortality from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and extremely resistant to drugs impose an additional burden on health and community systems, especially in low- and middle-income countries, (Source: based on A/RES/78/5, p25)”

As a follow-up to the multi-stakeholder hearing on antimicrobial resistance and the publication of the zero draft, Stop TB and our partners will continue to advocate for strengthened commitments and references to tuberculosis, supporting the agenda and efforts on antimicrobial resistance. antimicrobials in line with our Key tuberculosis calls for antimicrobial resistance during the next few months. Member States aim to conclude negotiations on the Political Declaration by August 2, 2024.

We call on partners to share the Key Requests with their political leaders and advocate for an ambitious Political Declaration on AMR that includes quantitative and measurable time-bound targets, linked to the already agreed language of the 2023 RANNU Political Declaration , and to continue advocacy at regional and national levels to ensure that tuberculosis is a priority in antimicrobial resistance discussions, national antimicrobial resistance plans and financing.

Also last week, Lucica Ditiu, CEO of the Stop TB Alliance, participated as a panelist at the event “The world together solving the antibiotic emergency”, organized by the Royal Society and the UK government and took advantage of this opportunity to highlight the links and progress that can be made to end tuberculosis and also resolve the emergency of antimicrobial resistance by addressing these challenges together.

On the sidelines of the World Health Assembly, which will be held in Geneva from 27 May to 1 June 2024, the Stop TB Partnership is organizing three side events, one of which, in collaboration with GARDP, focuses specifically in drug-resistant tuberculosis. and RAM. Find the full list of events here.

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