20 Mar 2017

United Nations launches the Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance


Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization Credit: United Nations


On Friday, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced the creation of the Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). The group will be co-chaired by the Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed and the World Health Organisation Director General Dr. Margaret Chan. It will produce a report for the Secretary-General to be showcased during the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in September 2018.

The Group is composed of relevant organisations and experts of AMR at a national and international level and the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) is proud to be the only non-Governmental organisation to take part of the Group.

The WFO action will be focused on the protection of farmers with the aim of promoting a global and sustainable development that respect and minimize health risk.

The objective of the Interagency Coordination Group is to provide orientations and actions to address AMR, taking into account the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance adopted by the World Health Assembly on May 2015.

Antimicrobial resistance refers to the ability of microorganisms to resist to drugs and involves human beings, livestock, aquaculture and agriculture. This means that medicines become ineffective and that, as stated in the declaration of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on antimicrobial resistance approved on 21st September 2016, this severely challenges some of the milestones achieved by medicine. More specifically, it affects the reduction in illness and death from infectious disease for which humanity fight so hard in XX century through economic development, scientific discovery and disease prevention. Moreover, as declared by Amina Mohammedantimicrobial resistance really does pose a formidable threat to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in our developing countries”.

AMR is due to an improper use of medicines protracted over the years not only in public health, but also in agriculture, animal, aquaculture and food sectors. For this reason, fighting AMR needs a multi-sectoral approach and an intense work aimed at educating all the actors involved.

The Group will start its work in the next few weeks.