Professor Anthony So, Director of the ReAct Strategic Policy Program and Head of ReAct North America and of the IDEA (Innovation + Design Enabling Access) Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is appointed Co-convener of the United Nations Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance by the United Nations Secretary General.
The Interagency Cooordination Group (IACG) Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a global, multidisciplinary, coordinating body that will provide practical guidance to the UN Secretary General to ensure sustained effective global action on the growing threat of antimicrobial Resistance. As co-convener, Dr. So will help guide and facilitate the work of the IACG to deliver recommendations to the United Nations (UN) Secretary General by May 2019. Professor So says:
“I’m honored by the opportunity and humbled by the challenge we face in putting forward strategic recommendations for the UN Secretary General in addressing antimicrobial resistance.”
The IACG to provide guidance and improve coordination
The IACG brings together leaders of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), representatives from UN agencies and international organizations and individual experts. Together, their mission is to:
- review progress globally since the September 2016 UN Political Declaration on AMR
- advocate for and guide concrete action to address antimicrobial resistance and
- recommend post-IACG governance models for improved coordination, accountability and continued political momentum.
The Group is chaired by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed and World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The IACG is divided into six subgroups:
IACG Subgroup 1: Communication, public awareness, behavior-change, professional education and training.
IACG subgroup 2: National Action Plans, including measurement and surveillance.
IACG subgroup 3: Reduce need for antimicrobials and unintentional exposure, and optimizing use subgroup 4: Invest in innovation and research, and boost R&D and access.
IACG subgroup 5: SDG alignment, Global Governance post 2019, and UN role and responsibilities.
IACG subgroup 6: Surveillance and monitoring for antimicrobial usage and resistance.
Stimulating civil society engagement
Dr. So currently heads the Secretariat for the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition (ARC), a network of over 25 civil society groups working in the human health, environmental and agricultural sectors to tackle antimicrobial resistance globally. In this position, he has successfully mobilized civil society to provide valuable input to the work of the IACG.
Professor So says:
“I hope I can contribute to ensuring that voices across sectors and differently resourced settings, but particularly those from civil society, are heard as we continue the work of the IACG over the coming year.”
Dr. So has served on The Lancet Infectious Diseases’ Commission on Antibiotic Resistance and co-edited the Chatham House report on a new global business model for financing antibiotic research and development. He has chaired a WHO expert working group on fostering innovation to address antimicrobial resistance and was part of the Antibiotic Resistance Working Group of the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology. He also has studied antibiotic innovation as a recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award in Health Policy Research.
Along with Dr. So’s appointment, the IACG on AMR appointed another three new members: Dr. Fajer Al Salloom of Bahrain, Dr. Mesrak Mekonnen of Ethiopia and Ms. Sunita Narain of India.
Research Program Coordinator, Communication ReAct North America