The Netherlands hosted the 2nd Ministerial Conference on AMR – Accelerating Ambitions for Future Health, taking place 19-20 June in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The Conference aimed to bring together Ministers of health and high-level policy makers to reflect on the progress of the global implementation of the Global Action Plan on AMR, and to identify approaches to accelerate the multi-sectoral work for the coming years and to intensify the international cooperation.
The Netherlands hosted the 2nd Ministerial Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), taking place 19-20 June in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The Conference aimed to bring together Ministers of health and high-level policy makers to reflect on the progress of the global implementation of the Global Action Plan on AMR, and to identify approaches to accelerate the multi-sectorial work for the coming years and to intensify the international cooperation.
1. Urgency – emphasis on immediate action
The conference was timely, with the global attention to addressing AMR is at a high. Specifically, with the Interagency Coordination Group recently having delivered their recommendations and the process towards how these should be implemented is taking shape. To ensure that this opportunity is seized and that the momentum is kept, national commitment to accelerate their ambitions to address AMR is essential.
Country interventions by Ministers such as Mr. Bruno Bruins, the Minister of Medical Care and Sport, the Netherlands, and Ms. Nila Moeloek, Minister of health, Republic of Indonesia emphasised the urgency and the need to act on the IACG recommendations immediately and not to lose momentum that has so far been gained.
2. Multi-Partner Trust Fund launched
One hallmark of the conference was the launch of the AMR Multi-Partner Trust Fund. The fund has a five-year scope, through 2024, and aims to scale up efforts to support countries to counter the immediate threat of AMR, initially in 10 countries.
The initial appeal is 70 million USD for 2019-2020 to support implementation of the tripartite plans. During the conference the Netherlands pledged a contribution of 5 million USD and Sweden also pledged a significant, not yet defined amount.
3. Building on accomplishments
The conference partly reflected on progress made so far. There was agreement on that the accomplishments made so far are not enough, and that all must step up and accelerate the ambitions on what to accomplish in the years to come. The Tripartite agencies identified the need for more action, continued political commitment, need for financial resources to be devoted, need to link AMR across the Sustainable Development Goals, and that additional technical support to the countries is essential for advancing progress on moving from strategy to implementation of National Action Plans.
4. Twinning and partnering of countries
One part of the conference featured a twinning exercise, where opportunities for countries to meet and share experiences were given. In closed sessions, initial steps to work towards possible twinning partnerships were taken at the discretion of each country twinning couple.
5. Future of global AMR cooperation building on IACG recommendations
As the conference participants identified the need to urgently move to action, much focus is now on how to follow up on the UN InterAgency Coordination Group (IACG) on AMR recommendations. Some countries, as well as the EU Commissioner for health Mr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, called for a binding agreement/treaty on AMR like the convention on tobacco control. Mobilizing more resources for investments for a range of activities to advance the implementation of the Global Action Plan, National Action Plans and the IACG recommendations was also reflected on in the discussions.
Sweden and the United Kingdom announced that the Ministerial Alliance of Champions against AMR have written a letter to the UN Secretary General. In this letter the signatory governments are welcoming the IACG’s recommendations, proposing a special session on AMR at the UN General Assembly, and calling for maintaining the momentum of attention to AMR on a global level.
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