Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne moderated a Global Leaders Group meeting in New York organised at the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, which was attended by various heads of state and health ministers, to discuss the way forward for Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR).
“It is encouraging that we are discussing this subject on a global level and that we are consistently seeing AMR on the agenda of prominent meetings, however, this momentum has to be consolidated with the urgency and specific commitments with which fight this crisis,” Minister Fearne appealed to the leaders present at the event.
AMR, which was officially recognised as a global crisis through the 2016 Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the UNGA, contributes to almost five million deaths per year, whilst disproportionately affecting low and middle-income countries. In fact, the leaders present at the event expressed their concern that if immediate and serious preventive joint action is not taken, medicine might reach a stage where it will not be an effective cure to treat infections in humans, animals, and plants.
The Global Leaders Group (GLG), which is composed of representatives of the World Health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the United Nations Environment Programme, and which the Deputy Prime Minister forms part of, is calling for G7 and G20 members to take specific actions against this crisis. Amongst other requests, it is encouraging these countries to allocate the necessary funding to fund their own national action plans on AMR, to contribute to funding multisectoral national action plans of low and middle-income countries and to support the research and development of new medicines and vaccines that may be effective against antimicrobials.
This event was also addressed by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley and the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Philip Davis, among other ministers.