Global leaders discuss antimicrobial resistance

Sept. 23, 2022

The Global Leaders Group co-chairs, Their Excellencies Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh and Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, hosted a UN General Assembly side event to discuss and address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) with Heads of Government and State, government Ministers and relevant stakeholders. The event was moderated by Global Leaders Group member Christopher Fearne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health of Malta.

AMR is already a global threat that contributes to almost 5 million deaths per year, while disproportionately affecting low- and middle-income countries. It poses serious threats to human, animal, plant and environmental health, and severely undermines the sustainability of agri-food systems.

“Urgent action is required to stop the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Without action, we face a future where we will be unable to treat infections in humans, animals and plants. We must work together to protect our medicines” says co-chair of the Global Leader Group on AMR Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

The 2016 Political Declaration of the High-Level meeting of the UN General Assembly on AMR was critical to galvanizing political action while officially recognizing AMR as a global crisis and that preventing and controlling infections are the key to tackling it. Today’s side event was an opportunity to urge political leadership and action on AMR in advance of the UN General Assembly High-level meeting in 2024 that the Global Leaders Group is pleased to have secured to progress global action to mitigate AMR.

“As we continue together towards the High-level meeting in 2024, let us ensure we make an impact and set the course for concrete political action on AMR.” says co-chair of the Global Leader Group on AMR, Her Excellency Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados.

This event was attended by Heads of Government and State, government ministers, stakeholders, and members of the Quadripartite comprised of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). While this side event was critical to continue the discussion of developing and implementing national action plans to address AMR, the Global Leaders Group urges all Heads of Government and State to build on this political momentum and continue to engage on AMR across all sectors with urgency and include it in all aspects of their work. The G7 and G20 countries particularly have a special role to catalyze and galvanize the global response against AMR.

“It is encouraging to see AMR as a consistent agenda item in G7 and G20 presidencies.” says member of the Global Leaders Group on AMR, Christopher Fearne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health of Malta. “This momentum has to be consolidated with urgency and specific commitments.” he adds.

The Global Leaders Group has been calling for specific actions from G7 and G20 countries that include fully funding their own national action plans on AMR, contributing to fund multi-sectoral national action plans of resource-limited countries through support to existing financial structures, financially supporting the AMR Multi-Partner Trust Fund, supporting financial incentives and mechanisms for the development of new antimicrobials (particularly antibiotics), vaccines, diagnostics, waste management tools, and safe and effective alternatives to antimicrobials, with a defined timeline and following through on their existing AMR commitments and finally, monitoring their progress annually.

In their respective roles, the members of the Global Leaders Group will continue to advocate for political leadership on this issue in every country and collaborate globally to address AMR through a One Health approach across the human, animal, plant and environment health sectors. 

WHO release