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UN Volkan Bozkir / lack of awareness about silent AMR pandemic


Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly opened a High-level Interactive Dialogue on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) on Thursday 29 April 2021 in New York.

“We ignore AMR at our peril,” he said recalling how the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in humans, animals and agriculture has driven up resistance in the micro-organisms these medicines are meant to fight.

Lack of regulation, the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animals, over-the-counter and internet sales have given rise to an increase in counterfeit or poor quality antimicrobials. “It is critical that stakeholders involved in food production, food processing, animal husbandry and agriculture are included in discussions on AMR,” said Bozkir.

Speaking at the opening session Director-General FAO, QU Dongyu, called for coherent, swift and decisive action. Issues relating to AMR cause a burden to humans, animals and the environment. “AMR is an increasing threat to global health, food safety and food security potentially also leading to substantial socio-economic damage,” he said.  

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO underlined the importance of multisectoral partnership. “It is vital that together we harness the same urgency, the same innovation and the same solidarity we have seen in the face of COVID-19 to confront antimicrobial resistance.”


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Watch opening remarks from Volkan Bozkir in full

FAO Director-General calls at UN General Assembly for decisive action to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Codex and AMR