The Rt Hon Nick Herbert CBE MP, co-chair of both the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB and the Global TB Caucus, participated in the civil society hearing convened in New York on 4 June 2018 ahead of the forthcoming UN High-Level Meeting on TB.
Mr Herbert opened his remarks with a clear call to action; "Political declarations don't treat patients; words are not enough. Since then, 50 million people have lost their lives."
During his speech, he emphasised the importance of specific targets being set forth in the UN high-level meeting on TB's outcome document, saying that, "only if there are specifics can the world's leaders be held to account for delivering against those requirements", noting that "we shouldn't be afraid of targets because they give us something to aim for."
Mr Herbert closed his remarks by calling on heads of state and government to make attending the high-level meeting a priority; "Words are not enough. We need heads of government to be there, we need them to make specific commitments to act and with the funding to match so that we can hold them to account for achieving an end to TB. That is what they owe their electorates, that is what they owe the world's poorest, and that is what they owe to the world's poorest and the 1.7 million people who are continuing to lose their lives to this terrible disease each year"
To watch the full remarks, click here [start at 02:23:30].
Following the civl society hearing, Mr Herbert spoke at a side event on TB research, co-organised by partners including the World Health Organization, the Stop TB Partnership, UNDP, the Union on Lung Health, Treatment Action Group and MSF. Discussions focused on the need for further investment in and coordination of TB research globally.
The event was opened by Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Deputy Director General of the World Health Organization and featured speakers including the Department for International Development's Chief Scientific Office, Professor Charlotte Watts and Director of WHO's Global TB Programme, Dr Tereza Kasaeva, as well as academics and representatives from civil society and affected communities.
Further details and a video of the event can be found by clicking here.