News and Opinions  –  2023

Towards UN AMR High-level Meeting 2024: New ReAct Report! Unlocking Barriers for Collective Action

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The upcoming High-level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) at the UN General Assembly in 2024 will be a historic opportunity for the world to renew political momentum and commitment towards addressing antibiotic resistance.

Now ReAct releases the report "Unlocking Barriers for Collective Action" from the Uppsala Dialogue Meeting held earlier this year, on the road towards the High-level Meeting in September 2024.

Cover of the ReAct Report: Unlocking Barriers for Collective Action.
Click image to download the ReAct Report: Unlocking Barriers for Collective Action (PDF):

The Uppsala Dialogue Meeting “The Global Need for Effective Antibiotics – Unlocking Barriers for Collective Action” from May 2023 deliberated on the needs for a common vision and was an early step to propose key components and steps to make the next AMR UN High-level Meeting successful.

The meeting days resulted in the ReAct Report: Unlocking Barriers for Collective Action.

Messages from the Uppsala Dialogue Meeting

Key areas for continued discussion and wider consideration in mobilizing collective action:

A common vision and aspirational target(s)

The complexity of antibiotic resistance entails that there will not be one single target, however all agree that it is crucial to find ways to describe a common vision and aspirational target(s) to drive action and change behavior.

  • A common vision will drive the narrative and target setting.
  • We need to be clear about what we want to achieve and what is needed to achieve it.

A strong and clear narrative

The framing of the antibiotic resistance issue is a key enabling factor to shape a common vision and prompt action across all thematic areas on global and national governance, financing, as well as a broader movement including building civil society mobilization.

  • Such a narrative on antibiotic resistance should formulate the problem and its consequences in a manner that is relatable and inspires action/changed behavior. It should show a clear connection between action and effect.
  • We need to think out-of-the-box and bring a uniting, holistic ‘umbrella narrative’ with a more people-centred view to connect different stakeholders’ perspectives.
  • It is also important to discuss what specific narratives are needed for different audiences, how we can frame it so it brings hope and a conviction that we can do something about the problem.
  • It is suggested to co-create the narrative and solutions from the bottom-up, engaging representatives from wider communities to discuss and learn together about the issue and what can be done.

For the High-level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance to deliver tangible results, world leaders need to step up and make bolder commitments in the 2024 declaration, including on:

  1. Robust, predictable, accessible and sustainable financing for both global and national actions on antimicrobial resistance.
  2. Strengthened and coordinated global and national governance mechanisms for higher political buy-in and sustainability.
  3. Invest in civil society mobilisation and meaningful engagement from local, people-centric community level to the global level; ensure their fair representations in governance structures and decision-making process.
  4. Accountability mechanisms and monitoring frameworks to follow through the commitments and the responsibilities of global governing bodies, countries and other relevant actors.

Below are a few examples of steps and processes proposed by the Uppsala Dialogue meeting participants for preparations towards the High-level Meeting 2024

  • To convene working groups or a task force to co-create and improve the narratives, involving social scientists, broader behavioral change experts and other organizations/the non-usual suspects, including representatives from wider communities.
  • To convene financing meetings engaging finance ministers and financing institutions and set financing targets for robust and sustainable financing to address antibiotic resistance.
  • AMR communities to be more proactive, presenting briefing notes, holding side meetings at governing bodies, other meetings of country and regional unions, etc. to get member states onboard and prioritize the AMR topic for the HLM.
  • To collect and communicate about key evidence and data including burden on health, economic cost, and investment returns for stronger political attention.
  • To form a core group of stakeholder representatives that meet regularly and develop a common vision, narrative, and roadmap ahead of the HLM.
  • To convene broader civil society, e.g. organize joint meetings with civil society from other health areas such as cancer, patient safety, WASH, UHC, immunisation etc. to enhance collaboration and joint advocacy on AMR agenda.

The dialogue meeting was organized by ReAct in collaboration with Uppsala University, with financial support from the The Beijer Foundation and the Swedish Research Council.

Look at recording of the webinar: AMR High-level Meeting 2024: Mobilizing Collective Action

The webinar features highlights and learnings from the ReAct Report: Unlocking Barriers for Collective Action. You also get the opportunity to take part of reflections from invited panelists.

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