STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL PRAYUT CHAN-O-CHA (RET.), PRIME MINISTER OF THE KINGDOM OF THAILAND, AT THE PLENARY OF THE HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE (New York, 21 September 2016)
President of the General Assembly,
Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Director General of the World Health Organisation,
Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and
Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE),
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
2. This High-level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance is an historic and important landmark. It is an opportunity to raise awareness on the issue of AMR worldwide. We must also galvanise political will at the highest levels to support urgent efforts to address AMR, consistent with the WHO Global Action Plan on AMR and its five strategic objectives. These efforts must support a government and public-health driven, whole of society, multi-sectoral response based on a One-Health approach.
3. AMR is a universal challenge for all humankind. It affects people indiscriminately. However, the capacity of countries to deal with AMR varies drastically, from a country's level of development to the varying capacities of their health systems. The ramifications of not addressing AMR effectively, therefore, can be particularly pronounced in developing countries.
4. The Group of 77 and China underline that all of this must be taken into account. In the final equation, implementing policies to address AMR must not in any way further hinder affordable and equitable access to existing and new antimicrobials, vaccines and diagnostic tools.
5. From the vantage point of the Group of 77 and China, addressing AMR must support a number of overarching goals. First, we must encourage appropriate use of antimicrobials in animal and human health and agriculture and raise awareness on AMR. Second, we must continue to strengthen our ability to prevent infections, including by ensuring access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation, immunization, and infection control. Third, we must strengthen health systems and promote Universal Health Coverage.
6. Fourth, we must support, as a matter of urgency, research and development of antimicrobials, especially new antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostic tools and innovation, including in traditional and herbal medicine. This must be done while ensuring that R&D efforts are needs-driven, evidence-based, and a shared responsibility. These efforts must be guided by the core principles of affordability, effectiveness, efficiency, and equity through delinking research and development costs from prices and sales volume. The Group of 77 and China is pleased to see this delinkage principle underlined in the Political Declaration.
7. Fifth, we must ensure affordability and access to existing and new antimicrobials, vaccines, diagnostics and other medical tools. In this regard, we welcome the launch of the much anticipated report of the High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines convened by the Secretary-General.
8. Sixth, we must enhance capacity building, technology transfer, technical assistance, international cooperation and funding to support the development and implementation of national action plans, which includes developing and strengthening surveillance on antimicrobial resistance and use of antimicrobials. We must also support health systems research, and R&D in both appropriate use of antimicrobials and on how to further protect and ensure access to medicines in this regard.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
9. Through the Political Declaration, we have reaffirmed the WHO Global Action Plan on AMR. We have committed to international cooperation, to mobilising human and financial resources, technical and other support to develop and implement National Action Plans. We have committed ourselves to action.
10. We have also underlined the public-health dimension of all of our coordinated efforts and that our collaboration must critically result in sustainable public health outcomes for our generation and for our children's generation. In this regard, the Group of 77 and China looks forward to receiving the report as called for in the Political Declaration for our continued consideration and work in this area.
I thank you.