21 September 2016, New York – Speech by EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis at the 71st UN General Assembly, high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance
Excellences, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
We would like to thank the President of the General Assembly as well as the tripartite agencies – WHO, OIE and FAO – for organising this timely meeting on addressing antimicrobial resistance internationally. We especially thank Ambassador Camacho and the Mexican Delegation for leading consultations with the Member States.
This meeting marks an international mile-stone to tackle the grave social, economic and environmental threat that AMR presents, as demonstrated by the high-level political commitment presented here today. We stress that human and animal health are interconnected, and that, to tackle AMR, a ‘One-Health’ approach is indispensable.
The European Union welcomes the political declaration and emphasises the strong need for close international cooperation and coordination to address AMR. AMR is a major global challenge which requires a global solution; we need to work together to shape and implement joint measures. The European Union and its Member States are committed to playing its part in international efforts.
The European Union welcomes the Declaration’s emphasis on strengthening infection prevention and control, ensuring appropriate access to diagnostics and antimicrobials and investing in research and innovation for new antibiotics and alternative therapies.
We also welcome the focus on monitoring and surveillance of AMR, sanitation, clean water and universal health coverage as key measures to prevent infections; on the need for prudent use of antimicrobials and for increasing awareness of AMR. The Global Action Plan on AMR of the WHO is the blueprint for global action and we urge all Member States to implement its actions; and in particular, to develop national action plans on AMR adapted to national circumstances.
We recognise that low income countries face extra challenges and the EU and its Member States will support these countries in addressing AMR, in accordance with national priorities and international commitments.
We believe more needs to be done to address AMR within the EU and internationally. The EU and its Member States look forward to working in partnership to implement the WHO Global Action Plan.
In this regard, we welcome the UN Secretary General initiative to convene an interagency coordination group on AMR and look forward to its first report to the General Assembly.
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