About The Union

Established in 1920, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) is committed to creating a healthier world for all, free of tuberculosis and lung disease.

The Union is a global membership, technical and scientific organisation, led by people who are committed to our vision, mission and values.

Our members are individuals and organisations from around the world. We are made up of government and non-government agencies, charities, donors and funders, professional groups, patient groups and civil society organisations. We bring together clinicians, managers, policy makers, front-line workers and implementers, scientists, patients and survivors, advocates and civil society.

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About The Union

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Our vision

A healthier world for all, free of tuberculosis and lung disease

Our mission

The Union strives to end suffering due to tuberculosis and lung diseases by advancing better prevention and care.

We seek to achieve this by the generation, dissemination and implementation of knowledge into policy and practice.

We aim to ensure that no-one is left behind, people are treated equally and we have a focus on vulnerable and marginalised populations and communities.

Our values

  • Quality: We deliver our services and products to the highest possible standards
  • Transparency: We are open and direct in our dealings
  • Accountability: We are responsible stewards of resources, deliver on our commitments, and are accountable to our stakeholders
  • Respect: We recognise people’s intrinsic value and have due regard for the welfare, beliefs, perceptions, customs and cultural heritage of those we deal with
  • Independence: We seek to pursue our mission free from interference by conflicts of interest

Strategic Objectives

The Union is pursuing each of these strategic objectives in accordance with the mission and values:

  • Knowledge generation: innovation, operational, clinical and public health research
  • Knowledge dissemination and exchange, capacity building, and communication globally and in countries
  • Action: intervention and support for populations vulnerable to tuberculosis, lung disease and tobacco
  • Leadership and advocacy: to promote the development and implementation of policies that advance our mission
  • Engagement: with the global health community at large, including governments, donors, multi-lateral agencies and members, as well as strengthening the voice of affected communities and individuals, and the healthcare workforce
  • Building a sustainable, resilient Union: one that is fit for purpose in pursuing its mission 

Our governance

The Union is led by elected representatives, staff and consultants, and its membership.

The elected leadership is comprised of the Board of Directors, the Coordinating Committee of Scientific Activities (CCSA), and the Community Advisory Panel (UCAP).

The Bureau is sub-committee of the Board of Directors that meets every two weeks and governs The Union between Board meetings.

The Union's Management Team, headed up by the Executive Director, comprises the Heads of Managed Units, Scientific Departments and Country Offices, as well as a core team of Central Services.

While our members inform, support and help steer the organisation.

Members are the lifeblood of The Union

The Union relies on our members to provide leadership, influence and support to reach our common goal. Union members are part of a movement of like-minded individuals and organisations who work together to champion change for a better future in lung health.


The Union’s approach to tackling the global health problems is unique. We start with developing knowledge through global research (KNOW), which we then share as widely as possible (SHARE) and turn that into the real action to save lives on a local level (ACT).

KNOW: We conduct research that advances knowledge and leads to changes in public health policy and practice that strengthen health systems and save lives

SHARE: We facilitate global sharing of expertise and knowledge with key stakeholders

ACT: We deliver essential health services, manage large-scale public health projects, and advocate for policies and resources that safeguard people’s health

Our areas of focus

Tobacco control

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The Union has helped:
• 3.82 billion people in 37 countries through smoke-free laws
• 3.87 billion people in 28 countries through higher tobacco tax
• 4.11 billion people in 33 countries through graphic health warnings