On the 21st of March 2018, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB hosted a reception to mark World TB Day in the Houses of Parliament. Joined by representatives from the UK's leading academic institutions, civil society organisations, public institutions and ministries, the event brought attention to the forthcoming UN High Level Meeting on TB that is scheduled to take place in New York this September.
The APPG was thrilled to have been joined by the Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, who in her opening remarks emphasised the UK's continued commitment in the fight against TB;
"In September, the global spotlight is going to be on us and it is going to be on TB in the first ever meeting of its kind. That is a real opportunity for us to demonstrate the global leadership and research commitment we need to defeat this disease. And it's an opportunity we mustn't let go to waste if we are going to meet that Global Goal and have a TB free world" (The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, Secretary of State for International Development)
Minister Takashi Okada, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Japanese Embassy in London, joined the reception to offer remarks on behalf of the Japanese Government, who have been appointed co-facilitators of the UN High Level Meeting. With progress in TB lagging behind the Global Goal of ending TB by 2030, Minister Okada confirmed Japan's commitment to making the meeting a success;
"International cooperation and coordination is absolutely imperative if we wish to get back on track ahead of 2030. I am confident that the upcoming UN General Assembly High Level Meeting later this year will bring about greater action and boost national and international efforts to eradicate TB" (Minister Takashi Okada, Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan)
We were also joined by Dr Viorel Soltan from the Geneva-based Stop TB Partnership, who spoke to the challenges faced by people affected by TB. Speaking to the need for patient-centred care models and advances in TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment, Dr Viorel underlined the importance of the UN High Level Meeting in ensuring political leadership and investment needed to fundamentally transform the fight against TB.
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