In June 2022, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus held a dialogue with the WHO Civil Society Task Force on Tuberculosis (CSTF-TB) in Geneva, Switzerland. The dialogue was followed by an online town hall with civil society and affected communities on CSTF-TB priorities and its engagement with broader civil society and affected communities working on TB.
Recognizing the importance of the 2023 United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis (UN HLM on TB 2023) to foster high-level political will, strengthen collaboration, mobilize resources for focused services people for people, households and communities affected by TB, The CSTF-TB called on WHO to take the lead in leveraging the multi-stakeholder working group to set collective priorities as part of the preparations of the UN HLM 2023 on tuberculosis.
In this joint statementthe Director General of WHO and the CSTF-TB commit to:
- Promote partnerships and synergies between WHO, UN agencies, partners, donors and other stakeholders for strengthened multisectoral engagement at the 2023 UN HLM on TB, as well as ambitious country prioritization;
- Support preparations for the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis through the WHO Multisectoral and Multistakeholder Task Force on ending TB in close partnership with the CSTF-TB, to facilitate more meaningful engagement of civil society and communities affected by TB at the meeting;
- Support rapid adoption of WHO guidelines at country level increase access to the best evidence-based interventions for people and communities affected by TB, including prevention, detection and treatment of people with TB and related comorbidities, with the involvement of civil society and affected communities.
Thus, the CSTF-TB urges governments, partners and stakeholders to take immediate action to:
- To assure multisectoral consultations involve the highest level of policy makers in the preparation of the UN HLM 2023 on TB with the inclusion of civil society, the community affected by TB and sectors beyond health in each country;
- Identify and document successes and lessons learned** on multisectoral collaboration and accountability **to end TB in countries, to inform strategic action to further strengthen multisectoral engagement to end TB tuberculosis;
- Mobilizing funds for meaningful engagement of civil society and communities affected by TB in the preparations for the UN HLM 2023 on tuberculosis, as well as for participation in national delegations;
- Mobilizing funds for the development of new tuberculosis vaccinesincluding meaningful community engagement throughout the process, including trial design, implementation, evaluation, and community preparedness;
- Facilitate strong engagement of all stakeholders, including relevant UN agencies in the preparations for the UN HLM 2023 on tuberculosis at the country level;
- Ensure that the UN HLM 2023 on tuberculosis has co-facilitators representing low TB prevalence countries and high TB prevalence countriesencouraging an African country to assume a co-facilitating role.
Members of the WHO Civil Society Task Force on Tuberculosis are committed to actively working closely with WHO and all stakeholders to support WHO Member States to advance action multi-sector and multi-stakeholder in preparation for the 2023 UN HLM on TB and to move the end of TB on track through increased political commitment and accountability.