UN leaders commit to act on emerging antimicrobial resistance threat
- Published: Thursday, 22 September 2016 08:24
Antimicrobial resistance is one of the major future threats to organizational resilience, with an expected 300 million premature deaths and up to $100 trillion (£64 trillion) lost to the global economy by 2050 (1). Leaders at the United Nations have now acknowledged the extent of the threat , agreeing a series of actions at a meeting during the 71st session of the UN General Assembly.
For the first time, Heads of State committed to taking a broad, coordinated approach to address the root causes of antimicrobial resistance across multiple sectors, especially human health, animal health and agriculture. This is only the fourth time a health issue has been taken up by the UN General Assembly.
"Antimicrobial resistance threatens the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and requires a global response," said Mr H.E. Thomson, President of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly. "Member States have today agreed upon a strong political declaration that provides a good basis for the international community to move forward. No one country, sector or organization can address this issue alone."
Countries reaffirmed their commitment to develop national action plans on AMR, based on the ‘Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance’ — the blueprint for tackling antimicrobial resistance developed in 2015 by WHO in coordination with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Leaders recognized the need for stronger systems to monitor drug-resistant infections and the volume of antimicrobials used in humans, animals, and crops, as well as increased international cooperation and funding. They pledged to strengthen regulation of antimicrobials, improve knowledge and awareness, and promote best practices — as well as to foster innovative approaches using alternatives to antimicrobials and new technologies for diagnosis and vaccines.
Leaders at the UN meeting called on WHO, FAO and OIE, in collaboration with development banks such the World Bank and other relevant stakeholders, to coordinate their planning and actions and to report back to the UN General Assembly in September 2018.