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Speech by Lena Hallengren at the UN High-level Interactive Dialogue on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

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Speech by the Minister for Health and Social Affairs Lena Hallengren at the UN High-level Interactive Dialogue on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) on April 29. Check against delivery.

Dear Excellencies, distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am very happy to be a part of this important meeting today and to see so many prominent participants taking an interest in the subject. Taking the time to discuss this issue, despite the ongoing pandemic, another threat to public health, shows the commitment that is needed.

Political leadership, from the very top and from different sectors, is crucial in the fight against AMR. The Swedish government has put the effort to combat the silent pandemic of AMR at the core of our agenda.

The importance of using a One Health perspective must be underlined. To defeat AMR, we must involve multiple areas, such as human and animal health, the environment, research, education, trade and international development cooperation. All sectors of the society must be involved, active and held accountable for the spread of AMR.

We are committed to reduce AMR via close cooperation and dialogue with the prescribers. This is thanks to the interdisciplinary organization Strama, which is a Swedish acronym for cooperation against antibiotic resistance, that has promoted responsible use of antibiotics since it was formed in 1995.

Swedish animal production is characterized by strong animal welfare and good animal health. We were pioneers in phasing out growth-promoting antibiotics in the 1980:s without compromising animal health or yield – This makes us an important role model in the world and we are sharing our experiences in different foras! Tackling AMR in the livestock sector is hard, but possible!

Sweden is proud to be assisting the WHO in their Global AMR Surveillance System GLASS, with the aim to develop it and to assist countries joining the system. Simultaneously as this meeting today, Sweden and the Republic of Korea co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) is organising a conference for the surveillance system with the aim to move forward with the further development and implementation of it. The meeting, welcomes representatives from 88 countries from all WHO regions. All participating member states have agree to work together with WHO to move forward with further development and implementation in all countries of the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System - GLASS.

In order to secure access to important antibiotics, Sweden is performing a pilot that has been of international interest on testing an alternative payment model for new antibiotics. The idea is that the company is payed a guaranteed pre agreed payment, regardless of sale level, if they guarantee fast access of the antibiotic to the healthcare.

I am proud that our engagement is continued within the One Health Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, where I am very honoured to be a member. The group provides an excellent platform for collaborative action and continued action in our fight against AMR.

Collaboration is not all we need - financial contributions by more countries is also needed to the Multi-Partner Trust Fund in order to support low and middle-income countries to develop and implement action plans on AMR.

The covid 19 pandemic has taught us that by pooling our resources and by making decisive political decisions, it is possible to take great strides in a short period of time. It is possible to produce new medical products and to achieve coordinated research and development to solve the pressing health needs of today.

The same kind of decisive actions are needed to combat AMR. We need to start today.