Greenpeace activists campaign against the excessive use of antibiotics in livestock farming John Macdougall/Getty Images

Tackling AMR With the IMF

The world has made significant and relatively fast progress in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. But to ensure continued success, more effective mechanisms are needed to hold governments to their increasingly lofty promises.

LONDON – This month is the first anniversary of the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance, which the United Kingdom’s independent Review on AMR helped to bring about. That moment last year was very gratifying for me, as the chairman of the Review, as well as for my team and the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies.

Last year’s High-Level Meeting resolved that member-state delegates are to reconvene for a progress assessment after two years – so, in September 2018. The meeting also called for the establishment of an Interagency Coordination Group to guide efforts in the fight against AMR during that two-year period. From what I have gathered, the group is being led by deeply committed individuals. And, more broadly, policymakers at the national and international levels have begun to pay more attention to the threat of AMR.

In fact, since the UN High-Level Meeting, the G20 has also made notable commitments in the battle against AMR. At the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, in July, governments agreed to establish an “R&D Collaboration Hub,” and to begin to phase out antibiotics in agriculture, where producers use them to promote animal growth.

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