Ministers agree on international action to address antimicrobial resistance in animals and to safeguard medicines for humans and animals alike

Milestones :: Perspectives

Ministers agree on international action to address antimicrobial resistance in animals and to safeguard medicines for humans and animals alike

Marrakesh, 31 October 2018 –  The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) hosted this week global leaders in animal health from the private and public sectors and civil society to discuss new ideas and solutions to the global rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The three-day event was placed under the high patronage of his majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco. Entitled the 2nd Global Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance and Prudent Use of Antimicrobial Agents in Animals, it focussed on the role played by animal health in what is one of the 21st century’s starkest global health challenges.

Prevention of AMR in farming is critical to human health, as well as to food safety, food security, animal health and animal welfare. Antimicrobials are used around the world to control and treat infections in animals and humans, but their overuse and misuse puts their efficacy at risk. Unprecedented movements of people, animals, goods and food worldwide, enable resistant pathogens to populate the planet with ease.

The conference was attended by more than 500 participants, including representatives of OIE’s 182 Member Countries, of international partners (such as FAO, WHO, World Bank, and the United Nations Interagency Coordination Group on AMR), as well as representatives from the meat, dairy, poultry, egg, aquaculture and pharmaceutical industries, civil society and academia.

A prominent theme of the discussions was the need for cross-sector, national level coordination through national action plans to prevent the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance. Conference speakers included Ministers, Deputy Ministers and State Secretaries from countries across the world, including Morocco, Germany, Senegal, Thailand, Japan, Norway, Botswana, Serbia, and Uzbekistan.

“It is only by promoting the responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials that their efficacy can be safeguarded, ensuring that essential medicines that protect both human and animal health can continue to be used.” said Dr Monique Eloit, Director General of OIE. “We have made important progress in this mission today. International Standards on prudent use already exist. We now need to put them into practice at national level to tackle AMR. For this, international collaboration is essential. By working together, countries can discuss challenges, share best practice and make global improvements.”