Stop TB Partnership

The UN High-Level Meeting on TB: The Countdown Continues

March 2018 Update

Dear Partners, colleagues, and friends,

We are now almost six months away from the United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB and have several updates to share. This week marks a critical milestone for the UNHLM, with governments agreeing to the UNHLM Modalities Resolution which sets out the dates, length, agenda and other key details for the meeting.

Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the TB community, including our partners, civil society leaders, and champion countries, the resolution includes many of the TB communities key priorities (click here to download the full resolution). Highlights include:

Date: Member states agreed the UNHLM on TB will take place on 26 September 2018 at UN Headquarters in New York, on the second day of the opening of the UN General Assembly.

Level of Participation: The resolution requests member states to participate at the highest levels, specifically at the Head of State level.

UNHLM Outcomes: Member states agreed that the UNHLM will ‘approve a concise and action orientated political declaration, agreed in advance by consensus through intergovernmental negotiations’.

Meeting Theme: United to End Tuberculosis: An Urgent Global Response to a Global Epidemic

Agenda: The UNHLM will include an opening segment, a plenary segment for general discussions, two multi-stakeholder panels and a closing segment. The panels will focus on a) ‘Accelerating a comprehensive response through access to affordable prevention, diagnosis and treatment and care to end the TB epidemic...’ and 2) ‘Scaling up sufficient and sustainable national and international financing and implementation for service delivery, innovation, and R&D...’

Civil Society Participation: Member states emphasized the participation of civil society throughout the resolution, including agreement to hold a UNHLM Civil Society Hearing in New York, encouraging inclusion of civil society in member state delegations, inclusion of a civil society speaker in the opening segment, and agreement to invite non-ECOSOC accredited organizations to the UNHLM. While the dates of the UN Civil Society Hearing have not yet been agreed, it is expected it will take place in the first half of June. We will keep you updated on all relevant details.

Other Important Updates:

  1. Selection of UNHLM Co-facilitators: Mr. Walton Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN and Mr. Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN, have been selected as the UNHLM co-facilitators. They will have a critical role in the UNHLM preparations and will chair key discussions and negotiations. In recent meetings with the STBP, both co-facilitators have expressed their strong commitment to the success of the meeting, their desire for ambitious outcomes, and their support for the strong and robust involvement of civil society.
  2. 'Key Asks’ for the UNHLM Political Declaration: In the coming months (potentially May or June) the co-facilitators will produce a ‘Zero Draft’, which is a first draft of the UNHLM Political Declaration that will be endorsed by Heads of State. The Zero Draft will be the basis for member state negotiations to produce a final resolution for agreement. The UN HLM Coordination Group Work Track on Content Development has nearly completed a top line ‘key asks’ document as the basis for further discussions and advocacy for the Political Declaration. We’ll share this with you in the coming weeks.
  3. Accountability Update: From 1-2 March WHO held a stakeholder consultation on developing a TB multisectoral accountability framework which will be considered by the World Health Assembly in May. Below are key dates to be aware of:
    6-13 April: draft document posted online for public consultation and discussions with missions in Geneva.
    21-25 May: consideration of draft framework at 71st World Health Assembly.
    May-June: action was taken based on recommendations made by WHA, including any required revisions to the document.
    26 September: presentation of the framework at UN HLM on TB.
  4. Online Civil Society Consultation: The Affected Communities and Civil Society Advisory Panel to the HLM has developed a community consultation process for the UN High Level Meeting on TB in order to collect information related to the needs and priorities within each region, which will be used to develop tools to guide in-country advocacy in the lead-up to the HLM, and also feed in to civil society’s inputs into the Political Declaration. You can take the online survey by clicking here.

    The Panel has also established a UNHLM listserve which you can participate in by clicking here.
  5. Stop TB Partnership & WHO World TB Day Campaign and Activities: The 2018 WTBD campaign is a call for leaders to take action to end TB. The call "Wanted Leaders for a TB Free World. Make History. End TB" is aimed at galvanizing support from the grassroots to the heads of state level to end TB. Stop TB Partnership and WHO have joined hands to maximize impact and create a joint voice to end TB. In addition to a joint STBP-WHO Advocacy and Media Toolkit launched on 1 March to mark the start of the WTBD month-long campaign, the Stop TB Partnership and the World Health Organization will hold another UN Missions briefing on 21 March in conjunction with World TB Day. A special TB installation in UN Headquarters will also be unveiled to launching the push to the UNHLM in New York. This will build on the successful briefing event in New York for UN Missions at the end of November last year, which was attended by over 55 UN Missions (click here for details).

    Following this, STBP is supporting the Global TB Caucus and other partners for a Parliamentary Consultation on the UNHLM from 25-27th April in New York, which will bring together Parliamentarians, civil society and communities and offer an opportunity for them to meet with UN Missions and push for strong outcomes from the UNHLM.
  6. Private Sector Update: The Private Sector Constituency of Stop TB Board is working towards a plan of action to support the UNHLM on TB.

This progress is possible due to the strong efforts and outreach of colleagues, partners and the entire TB community. For any questions or inputs please contact us anytime at

Thank you for your support!
The Stop TB Partnership

Media contacts:

Unjela Kaleem

Advocacy & Communications
Stop TB Partnership
Phone: +41 791084996

Shamila Sharma

Public Information and Advocacy Officer
WHO South-East Asia Regional Office
Phone: +91 9818287256