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Seizing the opportunity of UNGA 2024 for bold commitments to AMR

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Dr Haileyesus Getahun

Director, Global Coordination and Partnership Department, Division of Antimicrobial Resistance, World Health Organization and the Quadripartite (FAO, UNEP, WHO and WOAH) Joint Secretariat on AMR

We must strengthen our efforts to make the 2024 political commitment a game-changer with specific and bold commitments for the response to antimicrobial resistance.

The 2016 Political Declaration of the High Level Meeting (HLM) of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was a milestone that brought a paradigm shift in the global fight against AMR through galvanised political leadership.  

Political declaration led to progress  

A 2019 progress report on implementing the political declaration highlights progress made by countries and international organisations, particularly in the development of National Action Plans for addressing AMR based on the Global Action Plan. The progress includes the 14 recommendations of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group on AMR (IACG) while underlining that urgent support and investments are still required to scale up responses at the national, regional and global levels.  

The further actions needed were elaborated in the call to action ,following the 2021 High-Level Interactive Dialogue on AMR, which was supported by 113 countries and 40 organisations. Despite these efforts, AMR still poses a major threat to human and animal health as well as food safety and security — contributing to the loss of nearly 5 million human lives annually.  

A unique opportunity 

The UNGA adopted a resolution in March 2022 to hold a HLM on AMR in 2024. Advocating for HLM on AMR to take stock of the 2016 Political Declaration is a key performance indicator of the Global Leaders Group (GLG) on AMR in its action plan first published in July 2022. It seeks to transform the global response to AMR across the One Health spectrum in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

AMR still poses a major threat to human and animal health as well as food safety and security.

Targets and accountability  

The 2024 HLM on AMR should secure concrete, specific and bold commitments with aspirational targets and strengthened accountability. The outcome of the Third Ministerial Conference on AMR in November 2022 aims to support this process with proposed targets.  

Financing mechanisms  

Disruptive measures are needed to avail the required financial resources to strengthen and transform human and animal health systems and the ecosystem for a strong pipeline of antimicrobials, vaccines and alternatives to antimicrobials.  

In addition to leveraging existing internal and external financial resources for AMR by building the economic case, there is a call to establish a financing mechanism for global public goods that will benefit the AMR response.  

The HLM in 2024 should legitimise and strengthen the mandate and structure of the Quadripartite organisations to coordinate multisectoral and sector-specific responses in humans, animals, plants and the environment.  

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