Africa: WHO Director-General's Opening Remarks At the UN General Assembly High-Level Interactive Dialogue On Antimicrobial Resistance


Your Excellency Prime Minister Mia Mottley,

Your Excellency Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,

Your Excellency President Volkan Bozkir,

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed,

Excellencies, dear colleagues and friends,

COVID-19 has demonstrated the devastating impact on health, societies and economies of a microbe for which we have no treatments or vaccines.

But the pandemic has also shown the challenges in mounting a coordinated global response to a global threat.

It is vital that together we harness the same urgency, the same innovation, and the same solidarity to confront antimicrobial resistance, and address the challenges we have faced in the response to the pandemic.

We are grateful to have Her Excellency Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, and Her Excellency Sheik Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, co-chairing the One Health Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, which is playing an essential role in advocating for urgent action to combat the threat of AMR.

I thank them for their leadership.

Through our Joint Tripartite Secretariat on AMR we have been working closely with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Organisation for Animal Health, and the UN Environment Programme to respond to the global threat of AMR.

This multisectoral partnership is essential to our efforts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a harsh illustration of the need to work across sectors with a One Health approach that integrates efforts to protect the health of humans, animals, and our planet.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also demonstrated the urgency to address a glaring weakness in our health systems around the world: the lack of water and sanitation.

Health workers in one-third of the world's health facilities have nowhere to wash their hands at points of care.

Without infection prevention and control, we cannot halt the spread of AMR.

This is why we are also encouraged to see a new indicator in the Sustainable Development Goals on blood stream infections for AMR included as part of strengthening capacity in countries.

This is particularly important in supporting the efforts of low- and middle-income countries for early warning and management of national and global health risks.

In closing, I urge all countries to sign on to the 2021 Call to Action on Antimicrobial Resistance. It has already gathered significant support.

It is urgent that nations around the world come together to commit and follow through on the global struggle to stop AMR.

I thank you.

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