World leaders join forces to fight the accelerating crisis of antimicrobial resistance
High-level global leaders group will advocate for urgent action to combat antimicrobial resistance across all sectors and ensure the availability of important medicines for the future
Paris, 20 November 2020 – The heads of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Health Organization (WHO) today launched the new One Health Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance.
Group members include heads of government, government ministers, leaders from private sector and civil society. The group is co-chaired by their Excellencies Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, and Sheikh Hasina Wazed, Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
The full list of the members of the One Health Global Leaders Group is available here.
The group will harness the leadership and influence of these world-renowned figures to catalyze global attention and action to preserve antimicrobial medicines and avert the disastrous conse-quences of antimicrobial resistance.
The Tripartite organizations launched the group during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020 (18-24 November), as part of their shared call for united action to preserve and protect an-timicrobial medicines. The group was created in response to a recommendation from the Inter-agency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance and supported by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The Director Generals described the rapid rise of antimicrobial resistance as one of the world’s most urgent threats to human, animal, plant and environmental health – endangering food securi-ty, international trade, economic development and undermining progress towards the Sustaina-ble Development Goals (SDGs). Antimicrobial resistance also leads to increased health care costs, hospital admissions, treatment failure, severe illness and death.
Preventing the most severe outcomes of antimicrobial resistance
Antimicrobial resistance is making many infections harder to treat worldwide. WHO’s latest reporting shows that the world is running out of effective treatments for several common infections.
“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest health challenges of our time, and we cannot leave it for our children to solve,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Now is the time to forge new, cross-sector partnerships that will protect the medicines we have and revitalize the pipeline for new ones.”
A common agenda across human, animal and plant health
Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials in humans, animals and agriculture are the main drivers of antimicrobial resistance. Resistant micro-organisms can spread between humans, animals or the environment, and the antimicrobial medicines used to treat various infectious diseases in animals and humans can be the same.
“No single sector can solve this problem alone,” said QU Dongyu, Director-General of FAO. “Collective action is required to address the threat of antimicrobial resistance – across different economic sectors and country borders.”
Elevating political leadership for good governance
The group will provide political leadership to address this critical global challenge. It will elevate the need to prioritize best practices to address antimicrobial resistance at global, regional, and national levels. And it will advise and advocate for the development and implemen-tation of polices and legislation to govern the importation, manufacture, distribution and use of quality antimicrobial drugs across all sectors.
“Antimicrobial resistance is a current problem affecting animal health, human health, and the en-vironment, we need to act today to protect their efficacy,” said Dr Monique Eloit, Director Gen-eral of OIE. “I am confident that this group will advocate powerfully to implement legislation and mobilize key stakeholders to change antimicrobial use practices to protect our collective health and welfare.”
Note to Editors
The Interagency Coordination Group (IACG) on Antimicrobial Resistance was convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations after the UN High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance in 2017 following the request of the 2016 Political Declaration of the High Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance contained in resolution A/RES/71/3. The IACG brought together partners across the UN, international organizations and individuals with expertise across human, animal and plant health, as well as the food, animal feed, trade, development and environment sectors, to formulate a blueprint for the fight against antimicrobial resistance. The Secretariat for the IACG was provided by WHO, with contributions from FAO and OIE. The IACG completed its mandate on 29 April 2019 upon the handover of its report to the UN Secretary-General.
- The full list of the members of the One Health Global Leaders Group
- Inter-Agency Coordiantion Group on AMR Report
- OIE Standards, Guidelines and Resolution on Antimicrobial Resistance and the use of antimicrobial agents
- International instruments on the use of antimicrobials across the human, animal and plant sectors