STATEMENT BY H.E. DR. HALA ZAYED, MINISTER OF HEALTH AND POPULATION OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT, ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA, AT THE HIGH LEVEL MEETING "UNITED TO END TUBERCULOSIS: AN URGENT GLOBAL RESPONSE TO A GLOBAL EPIDEMIC" (New York, 26 September 2018)
Thank you Madam President of the General Assembly for giving me the floor.
Heads of States and Governments,
Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Director General of the World Health Organization,
Distinguished Ministers, Excellencies,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
1. This High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis is a historic moment: nations of the world are gathering to commit to end a disease as old as humanity.
2. Though preventable and curable, Tuberculosis claimed the lives of 1.3 million people in 2017 according to the 2018 World Health Organization's Global TB Report. Millions of others with TB are affected by the toxic effects of medications, live in dire social and economic conditions, and may suffer from social stigma and exclusion.
3. While anyone can contract tuberculosis, this disease affects mostly the poorest communities, and further aggravates their economic hardship. Three years ago, the international community committed to ending the tuberculosis epidemic, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
4. To be on track for ending TB by 2030, the political declaration of this Meeting sets some ambitious targets: treating 40 million people by 2022, including 3.5 million children and 1.5 million people with drug-resistant TB.
5. In order to do so, we must strengthen the response to TB in all its aspects and phases of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
6. It is important in this regard, that we, the international community provide the resources and means of implementation necessary to realize our ambitions:
a) First, it is crucial that we scale up financing from both domestic and donor sources, to provide at least the 13 billion US dollars per year needed to fight this disease; in addition, the international community needs to close the annual funding gap of 1.3 billion US dollars for tuberculosis research;
b) Second, we have to put into action the spirit of global solidarity and principles of development cooperation, especially to support countries in special situations, notably African countries, Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Islands Developing States, conflict and post-conflict countries and countries and peoples living under foreign occupation, while recognizing the specific challenges faced by Middle-Income Countries;
c) Third, we must ensure affordability and access to existing and new medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and other medical tools, including through the use to the fullest extent of the flexibilities provisions in the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health;
d) Fourth, we must, support, as a matter of urgency, research and development of medicines, vaccines, diagnostic tools and other health technologies. This must be done while ensuring that R&D efforts are needs-driven, evidence-based, and a shared responsibility. These efforts must be guided by the core principles of affordability, effectiveness, efficiency, and equity through delinking research and development costs from prices and sales volume;
In fact, we need to scale up efforts for Tuberculosis research and innovation for new affordable, non-toxic and shorter-regimen drugs;
e) Fifth, there is a need to further support the work of the World Health Organization, which provide invaluable assistance to national health systems, including national programmes to combat TB.
We should address all of these actions in a concerted manner to avoid missing this historic opportunity and the current political momentum …Let's work together, hand in hand to truly put to action the theme of our High Level Meeting: "United to end tuberculosis", and ensure that when leaders meet for a comprehensive review of the matter in 2023, we will be on track to end TB by 2030.
I thank you.