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United Nations Makes Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance, Including Use on Farms

October 6, 2016

The growing public health challenge of bacteria that can’t be treated with antibiotics – and the role played by antimicrobial drug use in both people and livestock – was the focus of a major international conference last month.

NMPF staff participated in the Sept. 21 conference at the United Nations that was termed a “high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The meeting included expert panel discussions on the importance of attacking AMR to achieve health-related goals, and the implementation challenges associated with comprehensively addressing AMR. NMPF’s participation helped ensure dairy’s interests are represented in these important international forums and that judicious use efforts—that have been a cornerstone of antibiotic use in the U.S. dairy community for more than 25 years—are recognized.

Joining NMPF at the meeting were delegates from more than 70 nations providing input on the importance of addressing AMR on a global basis. The meeting concluded with adoption of a Political Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance affirming a commitment to the development of national action plans based on the 2015 World Health Organization Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, including coordination with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Organization for Animal Health.

Such plans are needed to understand the full scale of AMR. The political declaration recognizes that the key to tackling AMR lies with prevention and control of infections in humans and animals and calls for:

  • innovative research and development;
  • affordable and accessible antimicrobial medicines and vaccines;
  • improved surveillance and monitoring of AMR; and
  • increased international cooperation to control and prevent AMR.

NMPF will continue to engage on issues related to antibiotic use and AMR in intentional and domestic forums. In the international arena, NMPF will be advocating for dairy farmer interest in the new Codex Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance which begins work this winter.