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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.

Speech by Minister Gabriel Wikström at the inaugaration of the WHO collaborating Centre at the Swedish Public Health Agency

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Speech by Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport, Gabriel Wikström, at the inaugaration of the WHO collaborating Centre at the Swedish Public Health Agency.

Stockholm, 24th of August 2016.

Check against delivery.

Thank you.

Ambassadors. Director-General. Ladies and gentlemen.

I am very pleased to attend this inauguration of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Containment at the Public Health Agency of Sweden.

I wish to thank the organisers, the speakers and not least all of you who have taken the time to be here today. A special thanks to those of you who have travelled far.

This is an important collaborating centre – addressing one of the most important issues for the future of modern health care and public health.

Sweden greatly values the long-standing good collaboration with WHO in different areas. A strong WHO is indispensable for the work of improving global public health.

Stockholm, and Sweden, featured early on in the history of the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

It was here, in the City Hall, that Alexander Fleming held his Nobel lecture – for the prize he won for discovering penicillin. Already then, in 1945, he gave us a glimpse of what was to come.

"A note of warning. (...) It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory (...) and the same thing has occasionally happened in the body."

That was in 1945. Unfortunately, the world didn't take his warning seriously enough.

But even so, much has happened, especially in the last few years.

In May 2015 the World Health Assembly adopted the Global Action Plan on AMR. This plan is an important step towards global consensus on what the world needs to combat AMR.

One of the five strategic objectives of the Global Action Plan is to strengthen the evidence base through enhanced surveillance and research.

A significant step in this regard is the development of the global AMR surveillance system

I am honoured that Sweden and our Public Health Agency, is contributing to this important work.

So far Sweden has a relatively favourable national situation when it comes to AMR. Sweden's accomplishments are the result of strong commitment, allocation of resources and the hard work put in by many professionals at both national and local level – all reflecting a cross-sector, One Health perspective.

But there is no room for complacency. AMR is an evolving threat that calls for an evolving response. Also, resistance spreads across national borders. In a globalised world, health threats of this kind are never something any country can tackle on its own.

We need to share our experiences and learn from each other in order to be successful.

The Swedish Government is strongly committed to the fight against AMR. This commitment is part of a long tradition and extends across political parties.

In April, the Swedish Government launched an updated national strategy to combat antibiotic resistance. The strategy underlines the importance of international work.

Last year, together with my ministerial colleague from the United Kingdom, I also initiated a ministerial alliance against AMR – the Alliance of Champions (against AMR).

Through the Alliance and other forums we have advocated a high level meeting on AMR in the UN General Assembly. Such a meeting is now a reality.

In September, in just a few weeks' time, leaders and experts will meet in New York for the high level meeting on AMR. This will be only the fourth time in the history of the UN that a health topic is discussed at the General Assembly .

The fight against AMR requires engagement at the highest political level. The high level meeting is a unique opportunity to increase awareness and send a strong signal calling for action.

The high level meeting underlines that AMR concerns not only the health sector. AMR requires a One Health approach with action across sectors and disciplines.

It is important to remember that the high level meeting is not an end point. The meeting must be followed by action to ensure the momentum is sustained.

In this regard, monitoring and surveillance are fundamental to inform further action and to follow up on progress.

I am convinced that this Collaborating Centre will make a valuable contribution to the containment of AMR.

This Collaborating Centre is indeed important, as is the work all of you, in different ways, are doing.

It is not just about solving a health problem. It is about ensuring that the wonders of modern health care can be available not just to us but to our children and their children in the future. It is about them even more than it is about us.

Once again, thank you all for coming.

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.