An international conference on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) concluded last week with an agreement on global targets for antibiotic use in humans and animals.
In an official statement, participants in the Third Global High-Level Ministerial Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance committed to reducing the total amount of antibiotics used in the agri-food system by at least 30% to 50% by 2030, ending the use of medically important antibiotics for nonmedical veterinary purposes (ie, growth promotion) and ensuring that first-line, or Access antibiotics, represent 60% of overall human antibiotic consumption by 2030.
Participants also agreed to update and implement National Action Plans for AMR and strengthen national, regional, and global AMR and antibiotic-use surveillance.
The aim of the conference, which was attended by ministers of health, agriculture, animal health, and the environment, along with policy experts and representatives from the private sector and civil society, was to pave the way for "bold and specific" political commitments at the 2024 United Nations (UN) General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AMR.
The agreement was welcomed by members of the Quadripartite, which includes the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH, formerly OIE), and the UN Environment Programme. The Quadripartite is coordinating the global response to AMR.
"The use of antimicrobials in animals has shown an overall decrease over the last years. By strengthening biosecurity and husbandry practices, such as animal vaccination, we can further build on this great achievement and sustainably reach the agreed goals," WOAH Director-General Monique Eloit, DVM, said in a WHO press release. "Reducing the need for antimicrobials is the best way to prevent antimicrobial resistance."
"Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most urgent and complex challenges of our time, and yet perhaps because it is not as dramatic as a pandemic, a war or a humanitarian emergency, it doesn’t attract the same attention," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD. "It is my firm hope that this meeting will pave the way towards bold—and concrete—political commitments at the 2024 UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AMR."