World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan attends a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York, March 16, 2017. The United Nations announced on Thursday the establishment of the Inter-agency Group on Microbial Resistance to be co-chaired by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UNITED NATIONS, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations announced on Thursday the establishment of the Inter-agency Group on Microbial Resistance to be co-chaired by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan.
It will be comprised of high level representatives of relevant UN agencies, other international organizations and individual experts across different sectors, including animal health, agriculture, environment and others, according to a statement by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"The objective of the group will be to provide a practical guidance for approaches needed to ensure sustained effective global action to address antimicrobial resistance, including options to improve coordination, taking into account the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance," Guterres said.
With resistance to antibiotics, both for humans and animals, having become a global problem, the UN General Assembly last September adopted a resolution seeking formation of this ad hoc group which now includes 15 international experts from various concerned disciplines and representatives of UN and other international agencies.
"Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most pressing issues globally and not only for human health," Mohamed told reporters here. "It's a multi-sectoral problem involving animal health, agriculture, environment, trade and many other sectors."
"AMR really does pose a formidable threat to attainment of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), particularly in all developing countries," she said. "AMR has profound affects on our ability to insure clean water, sustainable food production and to eliminate poverty."
Antibiotic resistance "can prolong illness or require expensive second or third line antibiotics to get well," said Chan.
"It is also important for poverty elimination, sustainable food production, the environment, particularly water and sanitation," she said. "Because of the multi-sectoral nature of the issue, we require a multi-sector response."
"I look forward to working with all the agencies, and with governments, to support them to implement the global health action plan on AMR to reduce misuse and abuse of antibiotics in both human health and the agricultural sector," Chan said.