International leaders in human and animal health are set to convene on Thursday (April 29) to accelerate work tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The president of the United Nations General Assembly, Volkan Bozkır, will bring together government representatives, leaders from pharmaceutical and agricultural companies, UN officials, and stakeholders to discuss and recommit to actions to address AMR.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread and death.

However, despite increased efforts around the world, AMR continues to pose severe threats to human, animal, plant and environmental health, undermining livelihoods, food safety and global food security and could put millions of people back into poverty.

Recommitting to tackling antimicrobial resistance

It's expected the meeting will lead to further international commitment and possibly even targets to speed up efforts to tackle AMR.

The meeting's agenda focuses on strengthening political commitment to the issue, taking stock of progress, recommitting to actions and ensuring that addressing AMR is a key factor in plans to build back better from COVID-19 and in preparing for future pandemics.

A spokesperson said: "UN member states are expected to present an ambitious, action-oriented call to action, containing voluntary commitments countries can take to begin tackling the growing threat of AMR."

Speakers at the event will include:

  • H.E. Volkan Bozkir, president of the UN General Assembly;
  • H.E. Amina J. Mohammed, deputy secretary-general, UN;
  • Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Mia Mottley of Barbados, co-chairs of the One Health Global Leaders Group on AMR;
  • Dr. QU Dongyu, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Dr. Monique Eloit, Directors-General of the Tripartite (Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization and World Organisation for Animal Health);
  • Henrietta Fore, executive director, UNICEF;
  • Joyce Msuya, deputy executive director, UNEP;
  • Ministers of Health from the United Kingdom, Ghana, Sweden, Fiji, Russian Federation, Germany, and others;
  • Members of the One Health Global Leaders Group on AMR, industry leaders and AMR experts.