Draft Global Framework On Antimicrobial Resistance In Discussion This Week At WHO

In an effort to curb antimicrobial resistance and the looming disaster of a defenceless world against bacterial infection, three United Nations organisations have joined forces. The World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, and the World Organization for Animal Health have been tasked to establish a global framework which would encourage the development of new antibiotics and the good management of current ones. This week, WHO member states and stakeholders are meeting to discuss a draft of the framework.

The 2nd Consultation of Member States and Partners on the Global Development and Stewardship Framework to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance is taking place from 1-2 October.

The agenda of the meeting is here [pdf]. Member states and stakeholders are expected to discuss the draft Global Framework [pdf] for Development & Stewardship to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance.

According to the draft framework, the aim of the document is to present possible goals, form, structure and content of the global framework.

The framework’s aims are to address current gaps in the global governance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through “setting overarching goals, norms and standards as well as targets, ensuring their implementation and accountability across countries, organizations and relevant stakeholders,” the document says.

In particular, it says, the framework will work in different directions. It is expected to support the development of new and affordable diagnostics, treatments and alternatives to antibiotics, and vaccines in human, animal and plant sectors “where the market does not provide sufficient incentives.”

The framework is also expected to: “stimulate the research needed to fill remaining knowledge gaps on AMR, including in the environmental sector”, “adopt and implement standards, regulations and targets for improving access to and responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials,” and “increase access and reduce shortages of existing essential antibiotics.”

Ensuring appropriate financial flows to allow necessary research, establishing sustainable global multisectoral governance to coordinate action to combat AMR, and ensuring that all relevant stakeholders, including intergovernmental organisations, civil society and the private sector are involved are part of the expected functions of the framework, according to the document.

The framework, the document says, builds on the Global Action Plan on AMR, which was developed by the WHO in collaboration with FAO and OIE, and national action plans.

The draft framework contains five chapters: the goals, scope and mandate of the framework;  different options for the legal form of the overarching framework; Key challenges and objectives to fostering research and development and access, and key principles that should apply to the further development of the part of the framework governing access and R&D; Access and stewardship policies, with the main challenges with respect to access and stewardship policies and information on the possible roles of the tripartite organisations (WHO, FAO, OIE); and environmental aspects of AMR.

Annex 1 of the document presents selected financing mechanisms, and Annex 2 lays out the current R&D landscape.

According to the WHO, “The outcome of the consultation will provide input for the finalization of the global framework” by the FAO, the OIE, and the WHO “as per the United Nations high-level political declaration.” The declaration is available here [pdf].


Image Credits: WHO.

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