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ReAct's Mengying Ren: Perspectives of low- and middle-income countries are pivotal in shaping effective policies

We have interviewed ReAct staff across the nodes to learn more about their role at ReAct and their work towards a world free from untreatable infections. Mengying Ren is Policy Advisor at ReAct Europe. Her work focuses on policy analysis and advocacy strategies around global governance and financing of antibiotic resistance.

Mengying Ren, Policy Advisor, ReAct Europe. Photo: ReAct Europe.

What have you learned from working at ReAct?

– Working at ReAct has taught me the pivotal role of low- and middle-income country perspectives in shaping effective policies.

–I have also gained insights into the importance of mobilizing civil society and communities from the bottom-up to ensure that the realities on the ground are well represented in decision-making processes.

Is there something that you have done or been involved with at ReAct that you are especially proud of?

– I take pride in our independent and evidence-based policy positioning and advocacy efforts. It is fulfilling to work with a passionate team and be part of the journey contributing to our mission of sustainable and equitable access to effective antibiotics for all.

Why is global governance and funding important for the issue of antibiotic resistance?

– Antibiotic resistance poses a systems challenge. It requires the global community to collectively manage a global common resource – effective antibiotics – in a sustainable and equitable way across all sectors. Globally coordinated governance and funding are indispensable for a broader remit of action. A viable governance mechanism should provide leadership and play a front-facing role to advocate for political will and promote whole-of-society mobilization.

“Accessible, predictable, and sustainable funding is crucial for supporting core global functions such as generating evidence, monitoring and analysis of country progress, setting targets and guidelines, as well as coordination.”

– And more importantly, funding is vital for any successful implementation of national action plans at the country level.

The UN High-Level meeting on antimicrobial resistance is coming up shortly, tell us more about what it is?

– The UN High-level Meeting (HLM) on AMR is a rare opportunity with significant political weight to forge consensus and commitments. This provides a unique platform to reinvigorate global momentum, mobilize funding and agree on cooperation measures to address AMR.

Group photo of participants at EU high-level meeting on AMR under Sweden's EU presidency.
Participants at the EU high-level meeting on AMR under Sweden’s EU presidency. ReAct’s Otto Cars is the 5th person from left, back row. Photo: Johannes Frandsen, Government Offices Sweden.

What are your wished outcomes of the High-Level meeting?

– Advocating at this high political level is critical and I wish that a common vision will be developed that incorporates the principles of equity and access to effective antibiotics.

– A meaningful outcome from the HLM will need broad consensus, country ownership, and civil society support. I hope to see an open, inclusive and transparent process with active public consultations leading up to the HLM and its resulting declaration.

” Governments should define a clear vision for global collective action: Reduce the burden of bacterial infections and ensure equitable and sustainable access to effective antibiotic treatment for all – for a world free from untreatable infections.”

Photo of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria and Jakob Forssmed Minister for-Social Affairs and Public Health in the audience at high-level meeting on AMR under Sweden's EU presidency.
Photo of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria and Jakob Forssmed Minister for-Social Affairs and Public Health in the audience at high-level meeting on AMR under Sweden’s EU presidency. A meeting that ReAct Europe participated in. Photo: Johannes Frandsen, Government Offices Sweden.

ReAct Europe:

  • ReAct Europe works to raise the profile of antibiotic resistance as a global issue. ReAct Europe acts as a catalyst for debate by organizing high-level meetings as well as technical briefings.
  • In collaboration with the World Health Organization, ReAct Europe supports countries in establishing National Action Plans using the Toolbox as one of the main resources.
  • ReAct Europe contributed to link antimicrobial resistance and the Sustainable Development Goals. The efforts helped incorporate antimicrobial resistance into the Sustainable Development goals Outcome Document.

Contact Mengying Ren