This content was published in the period between 3 October 2014 and 20 January 2019.

Ministers on this page who have left the government

Between 3 October 2014 and 27 July 2017 he was Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport.

Ministers on this page who have left the government

Between 3 October 2014 and 27 July 2017 he was Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport.

Gabriel Wikström led the Swedish delegation at the high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance at the UN General Assembly

Published

On 21 September 2016, a high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was held during the UN General Assembly. AMR – and antibiotic resistance in particular – is a global health threat that is increasing in scale. AMR also entails costs for society and consequences for sustainable development throughout the world. Sweden has long been a driving force behind raising the AMR issue on the global agenda.

The fact that this high-level meeting has taken place shows that the AMR issue is very important. The few but serious health issues previously discussed in the UN General Assembly have been HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases and Ebola. The meeting is an opportunity to send a strong political signal to all countries and relevant sectors about the need for further measures to combat AMR.

Measures needed from world leaders

International awareness of AMR has increased in recent years. But a great deal of work remains to be done to increase awareness, develop capacity and take measures within relevant sectors. If world leaders do not take measures, the problem will increase in scale, in terms of human suffering, costs for society and consequences for sustainable development.

Gabriel Wikström led the Swedish delegation

Sweden has long been a driving force behind raising the issue of AMR on the global agenda and intended to use this opportunity to continue pursuing the issue. The Swedish delegation was led by Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport Gabriel Wikström and included participants from the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation.

Declaration approved at the meeting

Prior to the meeting, a political declaration was negotiated in New York for approval at the meeting. Sweden was involved in the preparatory work so that the meeting would:

• show the importance of the issue and the need for additional measures and a multi-sectoral approach that links human and animal health and the environment;

• reaffirm existing commitments, particularly regarding the global action plan from 2015 and the drawing up of national action plans by May 2017; and

• establish a mechanism for promoting cooperation/coordination between relevant actors (above all various UN bodies) and follow up developments in the area.

Declaration: Draft political declaration of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on antimicrobial resistance

The situation in Sweden is relatively good

As regards AMR, the situation in Sweden is relatively good among both humans and animals. Sweden therefore has a good reputation in this area. This is the result of active engagement in various sectors and at various levels over a long period of time. But in Sweden too, continued measures are needed to maintain and further improve the situation. Sweden is also affected by the deteriorating situation globally, as resistance can spread internationally.

Updated Swedish strategy

In April 2016, the Government adopted an updated strategy to combat antibiotic resistance. The updated strategy has seven objective areas staking out the direction of future work. Compared with the previous strategy, the updated strategy places greater emphasis on international efforts, on the basis of the 2030 Agenda and the Policy for Global Development, for example.

Sweden has an international leading role

Sweden has a leading role in international AMR work and has helped lift the issue onto the global agenda, in the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and, most recently, the United Nations.

For example, Sweden has worked to bring about the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, which was adopted by the countries of the world in 2015. In connection with this, Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport Gabriel Wikström launched a ministerial alliance against AMR together with his counterpart from the United Kingdom. The alliance includes 16 ministers from different countries.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden conducts activities in the area of AMR. The Agency is responsible for supporting WHO in its work on the global action plan in terms of developing a global resistance surveillance system. For this purpose, a WHO cooperation centre for AMR was established at the Agency in August 2016.

Facts: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health threat that requires measures in several sectors.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and in particular antibiotic resistance, is a growing global health threat that entails costs for society and consequences for sustainable development throughout the world.

AMR involves microorganisms becoming resistant to various medicinal products, making treatment difficult or impossible. AMR covers resistance in bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. Antibiotic resistance relates to resistance in bacteria.

Estimates indicate that hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world die each year from infectious diseases due to resistance. Effective antibiotics are a prerequisite for various health and medical care measures, such as cancer treatment and operations of various kinds.

Antibiotic resistance is also a challenge for sustainable development in a broad sense. The costs to society of AMR have been estimated in the billions in Europe and globally. This would include increased medical care costs and other costs in the form of reduced production levels, for example.

AMR is a problem affecting several sectors. The problem must therefore be tackled using measures in a number of sectors (’One Health’). The health and agricultural sectors are primary actors, but other sectors are also affected. The term ‘One Health’ is to be understood to mean that all significant factors are covered, such as issues concerning the economy, research, the environment and development cooperation.

Ministers on this page who have left the government

Between 3 October 2014 and 27 July 2017 he was Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport.

Ministers on this page who have left the government

Between 3 October 2014 and 27 July 2017 he was Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport.