Closing remarks at General Assembly High-level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance

Closing Remarks by H.E. Mr Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the General Assembly, at General Assembly High-level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance

21 September 2016


Heads of State and Government, Honorable Ministers, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have come to the end of a fascinating day of discussion. I would like to thank the moderator and all the panelists for their thoughtful remarks about global public health challenge.

We have heard today that AMR poses a serious threat to the entire world, and that solving it will require urgent, concerted multi-sectoral action.

We have heard that all government sectors – from health to agriculture, from foreign affairs to finance – need to be involved.

We have also consistently heard the extent to which AMR is relevant to development. And that if it continues unabated, it can undo the hard won gains of the Millennium Development Goals in HIV/AIDS, Malaria, tuberculosis, and maternal and child health, and that it will impede our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The highest levels of political leadership have today agreed to address AMR urgently. We now need to get down to work.

We already have the global action plan for AMR, which all countries have agreed to implement.

More broadly, the international community must also work in an integrated, coherent, efficient and innovative manner, building on each other’s comparative advantages, and focusing on delivering real added value.

The panel discussions today stressed that only a multi-sectoral approach would be able to effectively address AMR, and that we need to share best practices across sectors, and across countries. The need for innovation and a global education and awareness effort, was particularly emphasized.

To stop AMR, sustainable financing of research and development, and for country-level support, is essential.

Collaboration and strategic partnerships will also need to be strengthened, and inclusive models of engagement encouraged.

It will be critical for all actors to adopt a long-term perspective in which progress is achieved in stages, incrementally, but surely.


This is only the fourth time a health issue has come before this Assembly.

Like HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases, and Ebola, AMR is a global health crisis.

It may be quieter and less well-known than the others, but it is no less serious. We need to build further political and public awareness about AMR to steadily enable us to move on our path towards achieving the SDGs.

It is clear that we have no time to waste.

We have the Political Declaration approved today and the Global Action Plan that puts in motion the necessary steps to move forward to address the AMR challenge.

Let us now turn our words into action, and to ensure that in our universal push to transform our world, no one is left behind.

Thank you.