Antimicrobial Resistance

Who We Are

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been working together for decades to address risks at the human, animal, plant, and environment interface. Since 2018, the three agencies joined forces as a Tripartite to strengthen their long-standing partnership, with a renewed focus on tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) from a One Health approach.

The engagement of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in this work is also essential to support governments, civil society, and the private sector in addressing AMR risks related to the environmental sector. In 2022, the Tripartite became formally the Quadripartite as it welcomed UNEP in the alliance to accelerate coordinated strategy on human, animal and ecosystem health.

To advance a One Health response to AMR, the AMR Quadripartitee Joint Secretariat (QJS) was established with liaison officers based in FAO, OIE, UNEP and WHO. Its role is to coordinate and support the Quadripartite and collaborate with other United Nations agencies and stakeholders.

The Quadripartite’s goal is to preserve antimicrobial efficacy and ensure sustainable and equitable access to antimicrobials for responsible and prudent use in human, animal and plant health, contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and implementing further the Global Action Plan on AMR (GAP). To achieve this goal, the objectives are:

  • To optimize the production and use of antimicrobials along the whole life cycle from research and development to disposal; and
  • To decrease the incidence of infection in humans, animals, and plants to reduce the development and spread of AMR. 

Facilitating Global Governance

The report by the Inter-Agency Consultation Group (IACG) on AMR, "No time to wait: Securing the future from drug-resistant infections," recommended that the Tripartite establish a set of global governance mechanisms to tackle AMR.  These are: 

While the Quadripartite aims to lead in contributing to achieving its goal and objectives, they cannot realize them alone. A coordinated One Health response is needed at global, regional, and national levels to help all sectors and stakeholders design and implement evidence-informed responses to AMR.

Joint FAO/WHO Centre (Codex Food Standards and Zoonotic Diseases)

In light of the challenges posed by zoonotic diseases and AMR to sustainable agriculture and agri-food systems, FAO has established the Joint FAO/WHO Centre for Zoonotic Diseases and AMR (CJWZ). The Centre coordinates FAO’s work on AMR within the context of the FAO Action Plan on AMR with technical support from relevant units on cross-cutting issues under the Action Plan.

The core functions of the centre cover a broad spectrum of activities, including coordination, policy and strategy development, publication of knowledge products, scientific advice, communication, and support to project implementation.

The One Health approach requires strong cross-sectoral coordination for strengthening systems to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases. Therefore, CJWZ coordinates all external relations with the Quadripartite and other stakeholders for better health security through prevention, preparedness and response.

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