After a protracted showdown, the United Nations has finalized a declaration to address a global tuberculosis epidemic, an effort that was repeatedly delayed this summer as the U.S. and numerous other countries battled over key passages. The move clears the way for approval by a high-level meeting on Sept. 26 and possible adoption by the General Assembly.
The run up to the declaration was marked by haggling over language that the U.S. wanted removed before agreeing to the text, although this prompted opposition from South Africa and dozens of other countries. A compromise was reached 10 days ago and no further objections were subsequently raised during a so-called silent period that ended last Friday.
As we reported previously, the U.S. had pressed other nations to change language referring to a World Trade Organization agreement that allows countries to issue compulsory licenses as a way to create lower-cost alternatives to medicines.