17 March 2017

Secretary-General establishes Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance

The Secretary-General announced the official establishment of an Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, which will be co-chaired by the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, and the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Margaret Chan. Antimicrobial resistance—when a drug that was originally used to treat a certain infection becomes ineffective, the micro-organisms that cause the infection might have become “resistant” to the drug—is one of the biggest threats to global health today.


The announcement follows on recommendations of a Political Declaration adopted on 21 September 2016, during the High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance in the margins of 71ST Session of the United Nations General Assembly, reflecting Member States’ recognition of the magnitude of this global problem and consensus about the actions needed to prevent a post-antibiotic era.


The Group—comprised of high level representatives of relevant UN agencies, other international organizations, and individual experts across sectors in different regions of the world—will provide practical guidance to ensure sustained effective global action to address antimicrobial resistance, taking into account the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, launched in 2015.


It is anticipated that the Group will convene its first meeting within the next few weeks. It will produce a report to the Secretary-General for the 73rd session of General Assembly.


Group members invited so far include:


  • Dr Hanan Balkhy, Executive Director, Infection Prevention & Control, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, Saudi Arabia
  • Dr Jarbas Barbosa da Silva, President, National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), Brazil
  • Professor Otto Cars, Senior Professor, Infectious Diseases, Senior Adviser – ReAct, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Professor Junshi Chen, Senior Research Professor, China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment
  • Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, United Kingdom
  • Dr Lyalya Gabbasova, Assistant to the Minister of Health for AMR issues, TB, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, Ministry of Health, Russian Federation
  • Ms Martha Gyansa-Lutterod, Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Ministry of Health, Ghana
  • Ms Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland
  • Mr Martin Khor, Executive Director, South Centre, Switzerland
  • Dr Marco Marzano de Marinis, Secretary-General, World Farmers Organization, Italy
  • Dr Gérard Moulin, Deputy Director, National Agency for Veterinary Medicinal Products (ANMV), and Research Director, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (Anses), France
  • Dr Donald Prater, Acting Assistant Commissioner for Food Safety Integration, Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, United States Food and Drug Administration, United States of America
  • Professor Susana Ramirez Hita, Professor, Collective Health, Environment and Society, University Andina Simon Bolivar, Ecuador
  • Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director-General, Indian Council of Medical Research, India
  • Dr Naoko Yamamoto, Assistant Minister for Global Health and Health Industry Strategy, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan


Other participants to be confirmed shortly include experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank, the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).