Statement by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations and Co-facilitator for the UNGA High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis, at an interactive civil society hearing toward the General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis

(As delivered)

Mr. President,
 
I realize that some of you could not take the floor because of the shortage of time, and that you had to be limited to one minute so I’ll try to make my own statement very short. So, instead of naming everyone who I would like to thank I will just thank the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Lajčák, as well as the Secretary-General who was here with us this morning, and every one of you who participated in this meeting. It was for me a special occasion, and as co-facilitators Ambassador Aubrey Webson and I myself look forward to today as one of the key highlights of the process towards the High-Level Meeting, and indeed, it was a very informative and moving experience for me.
 
Throughout the day we heard very powerful, strong statements about the efforts that have been made by the Tuberculosis community and the challenges that they face. And we were also offered valuable ideas, some very concrete about what we should be doing with the aim to make significant difference on the ground for the people effected by and at the risk of Tuberculosis.
 
Now, it is our turn as the Member States to translate these voices into a political declaration, which the Heads of State and Government adopt and, more importantly, act upon for ending Tuberculosis. We will commence deliberations this week. 
 
I’m confident that this hearing process serves as a spring board towards an impactful UN High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis, as all of you pointed out, is curable disease but so neglected for far too many years. But one thing that we did agree on, that we must seize this opportunity to turn the global TB epidemic around. This is the time, and thank you all again for coming together to make our voice heard in the world.
 
Thank you very much.