The Union Community Advisory Panel (UCAP) statement for the UN High-Level Meeting on the fight against tuberculosis (TB), delivered by Zahedul Islam, UCAP Chair
I represent the Union Community Advisory Panel, a dedicated group committed to advancing the cause of those affected by tuberculosis around the world. Our goal is to ensure that no one is left behind in the fight against TB.
We commend the dedication of Member States to combating TB and involving TB-affected communities in the process of drafting and finalisation of the Political Declaration. However, the journey to the current Political Declaration has been marked by prolonged deliberations and divisions among Member States. The result is a Declaration that does not completely capture the needs and aspirations of TB-affected communities. We note, with hope, that future opportunities may arise to strengthen the recognition of Community, Rights, and Gender considerations in our collective efforts to end TB.
We call upon Member States to fulfil the commitments made within this declaration, and we urge them to prioritise TB as a global health crisis that demands immediate and unwavering attention.
Investment in TB research and development is paramount. The development and access to new TB vaccines, diagnostics, drugs, and digital health technologies must be accelerated. We cannot overemphasise the urgency of this matter, especially considering the needs of the most neglected, key, and vulnerable populations.
We need swift advancement of TB vaccine development. A TB vaccine is not just a scientific achievement; it is a lifeline for millions of people worldwide. We urge Member States to prioritise the allocation of funds and resources necessary to expedite this critical research.
In closing, we look beyond this moment and implore Member States to focus on tangible actions and investments. The future we envision is one where TB is eradicated, where affected communities are empowered, and where vaccines and treatments are accessible to all who need them. We stand ready to work collaboratively with governments, researchers, and stakeholders to make this future a reality.
Let us remember that our commitment to ending TB should not waver. The time for action is now, and together, we can achieve a world free from the burden of TB.