23. September 2022

Danish Minister urges countries to join ICARS at the Global Leaders Group side event at UNGA77

On 22 September, the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) hosted a side event at the UN General Assembly 77th Session in New York. The event, attended by Heads of State and Government aimed to build political commitment and visibility of AMR and plan for the UNGA 2024 High-level meeting on AMR.

The Global Leaders Group (GLG) on AMR was established by the Quadripartite organizations (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, United Nations Environment Programme, World Health Organization and World Organisation for Animal Health) to accelerate political action on AMR, based on a One Health approach. The GLG is comprised of world leaders and experts from across sectors working together to accelerate political action on AMR based on the One Health approach.

The discussion kicked off with opening remarks from Her Excellency Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, Co-Chair of the GLG and Her Excellency Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados, Co-Chair of the GLG. The event was chaired by Dr Christopher Fearne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Malta and Member of the GLG.

The Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Flemming Møller Mortensen, opened his speech saying, “We must speak loudly about AMR because it is extremely important” and described how addressing the threat of AMR domestically and globally is a Danish government priority. He emphasised the need for a One Health approach to tackling AMR and commended the GLG for insisting on the need for global political action. His speech also urged countries to partner with ICARS to support our mission of co-developing context-specific and cost-effective solutions with low- and middle-income countries, because “the best way to fight AMR is to fight it together.”

To date, ICARS has more than 20 active projects, with at least 10 more in the pipeline. Our collaborative projects are present in 15 low-and middle-income countries, span the One Health spectrum, and are the result of engagement with more than 70 research and ministry partners. ICARS core principles include partnership and country-ownership, which has enabled the growth of our diverse portfolio of solutions.

Flemming Møller Mortensen, Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark  (centre) with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO (left) and Victoria Grace Ford, Minister for Development, United Kingdom (right)

The dynamic speakers at the event  brought to life the need to address the growing threat of AMR from multiple dimensions. Including, amongst other priorities, the need for multisectoral national action plans supported by a clear AMR investment case, integrating AMR into existing initiatives like universal health coverage, as well as increasing uptake of existing innovations like vaccines. Others drew attention to the need for stronger regulations on antimicrobial use and access to tackle the often-ignored environmental dimension of AMR. All speeches were united by a passionate plea to urgently work together, across sectors, both nationally and internationally.

In 2021, GLG members participated in the UNGA High-level Interactive Dialogue on Antimicrobial Resistance and outlined their vision to maintain urgency, public support, political momentum, and visibility of AMR on the global agenda.

In March 2022, UNGA resolution A/RES/76/257 was adopted and established a High-level Meeting on AMR to be held in UNGA 2024 in collaboration with the Quadripartite organizations and the GLG.