On September 21st, Member States convened for the first ever High-level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) during the 71st UN General Assembly (UNGA). AMR is the fourth ever health issue to make it onto the agenda of the UNGA, only preceded by major global health issues such as HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases, and Ebola.
Heads of States adopted a Political Declaration calling for coordinated, global action which over the past several months has been negotiated among Member States under the auspices of the Ambassador of Mexico to the UN, Mr. Juan Gomez Camacho.
Includes delinkage – a principle ReAct has been calling for
The final Declaration contains strong and important wording on public health and needs-driven research and development (R&D), including the principle of delinking the cost of R&D from product price and sales volume. This is a principle React has been calling on governments to implement for years to address the dual challenge of ensuring stewardship and conservation of new drugs coming into the market, while ensuring affordable access to them for all in need.
Multisectorial nature of AMR
Moreover, the Declaration recognizes the multisectoral nature of AMR and the need for a continued One Health approach. It also calls for the mobilization of “adequate, predictable, and sustained funding and other resources” from various channels towards national action plans, innovation of health technologies, and improvement of “related infrastructure.”
Mandate to establish UN Interagency Coordination Group
Finally the Political Declaration mandated the Secretary-General to establish an ad hoc UN Interagency Coordination Group co-chaired by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and the World Health Organization (WHO). An important step to monitor and ensure that the Declaration’s words are now translated into action across all relevant sectors.
High-Level Meeting Panels: Assuring sustainability by working together
Two panel sessions followed the adoption of the declaration – with representatives from governments, civil society, and the private sector.
- The first panel focused on the “relevance of addressing AMR for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular the health-related Goals.”
- The second panel focused on “addressing the multisectoral implications and implementation challenges of AMR in a comprehensive manner.”