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Global Political Leaders Must Take Action To Advance Efforts Against Antimicrobial Resistance

Project Syndicate: Global Cooperation as a Life-and-Death Issue
Jim O’Neill, commercial secretary to the U.K. Treasury, honorary professor at Manchester University, visiting research fellow at Bruegel, and chair of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance

“…[I]n May the Review on [antimicrobial resistance (AMR)] that I lead published its strategy for tackling such infections, laying out proposals to ensure the development of the necessary new antibiotics, and to use existing antibiotics more efficiently in humans and agriculture. … With our final report complete, the Review will now continue to make the international case for action directly to political leaders. … While high-level meetings and speeches about AMR send the right message, they will mean nothing if we do not manage to translate the current momentum into concrete action, beginning at the G20 and U.N. meetings this September. … [E]fforts to fight AMR should be incorporated into broader economic development strategies, including the implementation of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover, progress should be measured, not only so that policymakers, companies, and health systems can be held accountable, but also so that others can emulate their successes. … Finally, to account for changing political priorities and personalities, we need a constant champion in the fight against AMR. … Over the last couple of years, governments, industry, and international organizations have made important strides in meeting the AMR threat. But the really hard decisions must be taken now. If we are to prevent the slow-motion car crash of rising AMR, our leaders must take evasive action now…” (7/13).