News and Opinions  –  2019

Open letter to UN Member States from former IACG members Anthony So and Otto Cars

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2019-05-22

As former members of the IACG, Anthony So and Otto Cars of ReAct have written a letter to the Member States which has been sent to the Permanent Missions to the UN organizations in Geneva, New York and Rome. The letter was sent to raise awareness around the IACG recommendations and to prompt discussion, and bring their perspectives on certain key recommendations.

In an open letter to UN Member States, Anthony So, head of ReAct North America, and Otto Cars, founder ReAct, bring their perspectives on certain key IACG recommendations.

The recommendations from the UN Interagency Coordination Group (IACG) on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) were presented to the UN Secretary-General on the 29th of April. During the 72nd World Health Assembly taking place in Geneva this week, it is anticipated that important discussions around the process to carry forward the IACG recommendations will take place. Member State engagement in this will, of course, be crucial in the months to come, leading up to and following the report back by the UN Secretary-General to the UN General Assembly.

In the letter Anthony So and Otto Cars highlight some of the measures which they consider particularly important for governments to prioritize to address health system failures in relation to antimicrobial resistance.

In addition, they urge governments to demonstrate leadership in the processes of setting up the governance mechanisms needed for advancing the global response to antimicrobial resistance recommended by the IACG. In particular they call for specific attention on how to implement the governance structures that the IACG is proposing:

1.Create a One Health Global Leadership Group on AMR and a multi-stakeholder partnership platform

Stressing the importance of a transparent process that involves the Member States. That the composition of the Global Leadership Group avoid financial conflicts of interest. That the multi-stakeholder partnership platform ensure representation from low- and middle-income countries, that it operate in a transparent way and avoid financial conflicts of interests in its deliberations.

2. Establish an Independent Panel on Evidence for Action against AMR

Reinforcing the acute need for an Independent Panel as the gap between science and policy is widening. There is need for a stronger cross-sectoral perspective in the scientific assessments and the translation of evidence into policy recommendations for options for action.