Statement by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations at the 73rd Session of UN General Assembly on Item 129 - Global health and foreign policy, Statement on Political Declaration on the Fight against Tuberculosis

(As delivered)
Madam President,
 
On behalf of His Excellency, Ambassador Aubrey Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda and myself, as co-facilitators for the High-Level Meeting on the Fight against Tuberculosis, I would like to express sincere appreciation to all the Member States and Observers for their commitment and spirit of flexibility exhibited while we jointly worked to draft the first ever Political Declaration by the General Assembly on the Fight against Tuberculosis. Thanks to your constructive engagement, we were able to agree on a strong ground-breaking Declaration which was endorsed unanimously by the Heads of State and Government and Ministers during the High-Level Meeting on the Fight against Tuberculosis convened on September 26th and today formally adopted by consensus.
 
We would like to thank you, Madam President and the President of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly, the Office of the President of the General Assembly, the Office of the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Tuberculosis, the World Health Organization, and other key partners, notably the Global TB Caucus and the Stop TB Partnership, for their strong support and assistance.
 
While we prepared for the negotiations on the outcome document, building on the Moscow Ministerial Declaration on Tuberculosis, we were able to listen to the voices of many stakeholders, including most importantly those of TB survivors and their families and supporters. This process included Mission briefings, the Civil Society Hearing organized by the President of the General Assembly, and bilateral meetings, all of which profoundly enriched the consultations concerning the Political Declaration.
 
This first ever Political Declaration on Tuberculosis by the General Assembly includes some key commitments: Treatment target figures of 40 million people and preventive treatment target figures of 30 million people, commitment to mobilize 13 billion US dollars for Tuberculosis response as well as 2 billion US dollars for research and development. The Declaration also highlights important issues in the fight against Tuberculosis, including special attention for children, vulnerable populations, gender, human rights, access to affordable medicines, resilient health systems, and incentives to research and development. In order to measure our progress the Declaration requests the Secretary-General to prepare a progress report in 2020 and to convene a high level review meeting in 2023. It also highlights important linkages to HIV/AIDS, antimicrobial resistance, non-communicable diseases and, most notably, Universal Health Coverage.
 
Now we must implement the commitments made by the leaders to end Tuberculosis. Next year in September, the Member States will convene the High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage. We must capitalize on this opportunity to accelerate our efforts to end Tuberculosis in a way that synergizes with our efforts to address both communicable and non-communicable diseases, contributing to achieving the SDGs.
 
As part of our own contribution, Japan will convene a series of relevant meetings next year, including the G20 Osaka Summit and the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development or TICAD which would promote our collective effort in these areas.
Let us also work together to make next year’s High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage an important milestone following through on our pledge to end tuberculosis, so that no one will be left behind from the highest attainable health, which everyone deserves.
 
I thank you.