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Seventy-third Session,
18th Meeting (AM)

Adopting Two Resolutions, General Assembly Reaffirms Political Declarations on Urgent Global Responses to Tuberculosis, Non-Communicable Diseases

The General Assembly adopted two resolutions containing political declarations on urgent global responses to tuberculosis and on accelerating efforts to address non-communicable diseases.

By the terms of the resolution “Political declaration of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the fight against tuberculosis” (document A/73/L.4), the Assembly adopted the Declaration “United to End Tuberculosis:  An Urgent Global Response to a Global Epidemic”, by which world leaders pledged to end the global tuberculosis epidemic by 2030 and acknowledged that the disease disproportionately affects developing countries.  (For more information, see Press Release GA/12067.)

Following the adoption, delegates stressed that the resolution, drafted with the active participation of varied stakeholders, makes bold commitments.

“The Declaration is a historical opportunity to offer a concrete path towards eradicating tuberculosis,” the representative of South Africa said, explaining his delegation’s position.  Calling for increased investment in research and development to develop new, affordable medications, she emphasized that it disproportionately affects poor communities, with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis being the leading cause of death in her country.

Elaborating on that point, the representative of Japan said the pact commits to targeting 40 million people with treatment and mobilizing $13 billion for response efforts, adding that the Declaration also highlights the need to pay special attention to vulnerable populations.  “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,” he said.

The Assembly then adopted the resolution “Political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases” (document A/73/L.2), containing a related political declaration.  (For more information, see Press Release GA/12069.)

The representative of Italy, explaining her delegation’s position, said she had the honour to co-facilitate negotiations and that the Declaration is concise, balanced and builds on current opportunities.  The resolution highlights the importance of healthy lifestyle choices in the prevention of non-communicable diseases, she noted, adding that the Declaration will guide national and international efforts.

In other business, the Assembly considered several issues on its agenda.  Delegates took part in a joint debate on the implementation and follow-up of major United Nations conferences and summits, follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit, strengthening of the United Nations system and reform of the Organization.  During discussions, many underlined a need to adapt the United Nations so it can better meet the needs of all people and assist Member States in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

A real contribution to enhancing United Nations effectiveness must include a dialogue between States and the Secretariat, said Andrei Rzheussky (Belarus), adding that “this will enhance its standing in the world”.  Emphasizing that the Organization must continue to play its role in coordinating international efforts in myriad sectors, including peace and security and sustainable development, he said it is unacceptable to rush through timeframes when reaching agreements.

Meanwhile, Maria V. Frolova (Russian Federation) said disagreements remain regarding management reform and that any changes must adopt a comprehensive approach to improve the work of the Organization.  When considering reforms, global human resources structures must be examined, she said, adding that all United Nations human resources capacities must be conducted by a single office in the Secretariat.

The Assembly also considered a note of the Secretary-General titled “Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (2016-2025)” (document A/73/184) and reports of the Secretary-General on “Literacy for life:  shaping future agendas and education for democracy” (document A/73/292), “The United Nations in global economic governance” (document A/73/356) and “Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations:  comparative assessment of human resources structures” (document A/73/366).

Also participating in the joint debate today were the representatives of Egypt (for the “Group of 77” developing countries and China) and Saint Kitts and Nevis (for the Caribbean Community), as well as the European Union.

Explaining their delegations’ position after the adoption of “L.2” were the representatives of Egypt (for the Group of 77), Austria (for the European Union) and Thailand.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Friday, 12 October, for the election of members of the Human Rights Council.

For information media. Not an official record.