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The Quartet welcomes new political commitments in the fight against antimicrobial resistance

The Quartet welcomes new political commitments in the fight against antimicrobial resistance

The Quartet welcomes new political commitments in the fight against antimicrobial resistance

The Third High-Level Global Ministerial Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance, hosted in Muscat, Oman, concluded today, where goals for addressing the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) were discussed for the first time. The conference and its numerical targets for antimicrobial use in the human and animal sectors will pave the way for bold policy commitments at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance in 2024.

The conference approved the Muscat Ministerial Statement, which outlined the three global goals:

  • reduce the total amount of antimicrobials used in agri-food systems by at least 30-50% by 2030, spurring national and global efforts;
  • Preserving antimicrobials critical to human medicine, ending the use of medically important antimicrobials to promote growth in animals;
  • Ensure that accessible mass antibiotics (a class of antibiotics that are affordable, safe and have a low risk of antimicrobial resistance) account for at least 60% of all antibiotic consumption in humans by 2030.

Globally agreed goals will be key to protecting antimicrobial efficacy and limiting the development of antimicrobial resistance worldwide, as well as reducing environmental pollution, which in turn reduces the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

Countries also pledged to implement national action plans for antimicrobial resistance and to strengthen surveillance through improved data reporting and management, private sector participation, and implementation of evidence-based practices.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE), better known as the Quad, welcome the outcome of the conference to accelerate action on antimicrobial resistance.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have limited global efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance, but it has also demonstrated the critical links between humans, animals, and the ecological ecosystem. A range of stakeholders—including the healthcare, pharmaceutical, veterinary, food safety, agricultural, and environmental sectors—have a shared responsibility to sustain the collective response to antimicrobial resistance.

“FAO recognizes the importance of reducing the need for antimicrobials on farms and will soon launch a 10-year global initiative to provide comprehensive support to members focused on transforming agri-food systems to contribute to this reduction,” said QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General.

“Self-reporting by countries indicates that a third of national action plans on antimicrobial resistance do not include the environment. This points to the critical importance of supporting countries to strengthen actions to prevent and reduce environmental pollution. The burden of antimicrobial resistance can be reduced if we focus on all its dimensions and work together. Commit UNEP is working with Member States and key partners, including the Quad organizations, to tackle antimicrobial resistance.”

“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most pressing and complex challenges of our time, and yet, perhaps because it is not as dramatic as a pandemic, war or humanitarian emergency, it does not attract the same attention,” said the WHO director. Major General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “It is my earnest hope that this meeting will pave the way for bold – and concrete – political commitments at the 2024 United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance.”

The use of antimicrobials in animals has shown an overall decline over the past years. By strengthening animal husbandry and biosecurity practices, such as animal vaccination, we can continue to build on this great achievement and sustainably meet the agreed goals. “Reducing the need for antimicrobials is the best way to prevent antimicrobial resistance.”

The conference marks the conclusion of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, a week-long annual global campaign that brings together leaders from various sectors to highlight actions needed to conserve and protect antimicrobials.

As the statement made clear, the quad will continue to expand support through the One Health approach, which balances and improves the health of people, animals, plants and ecosystems. The partnership will also continue to coordinate a global, multisectoral response to antimicrobial resistance, promote strong governance and leadership, and support countries in developing and implementing national action plans on antimicrobial resistance.

Notes to editors:

Antimicrobials They are agents used to prevent, control and treat infectious diseases that affect humans, animals and plants. They include antibiotics, fungicides, antiviral agents, and parasiticides.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) It occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites do not respond to antimicrobial agents. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents become ineffective and infections become difficult or impossible to treat, increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death.

About Quad Organizations:

About the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

The Food and Agriculture Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to end hunger. Its goal is to achieve food security for all and to ensure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active and healthy lives. With 195 members – 194 countries and the European Union, the organization operates in more than 130 countries around the world.

For more information, please contact:

Peter Meyer, FAO News & Media, [email protected]

About the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)

The United Nations Environment Program is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling countries and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising the quality of future generations.

For more information, please contact:

Keishamaza Rukikaire, Chief of News and Media, United Nations Environment Programme

About the World Health Organization (WHO)

Dedicated to the well-being of all people and guided by science, WHO leads and champions global efforts to give everyone, everywhere, an equal opportunity to live healthy lives.

For more information, please contact:

Media inquiries for the World Health Organization in [email protected]

About the World Organization for Animal Health:

WOAH is the global authority on animal health: we work across borders to improve animal health and our future, recognizing that animal health affects the health of all.

For more information, please contact:

Woah’s media applications [email protected]


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