UN to discuss antibiotic resistance for first time

The U.N. General Assembly plans to host a "high-level" meeting Sept. 21 at the U.N. headquarters in New York to establish a commitment to address antimicrobial resistance and improve awareness of the problem.

This is the first time the U.N. will discuss antibiotic resistance, according to National Geographic.

"This is only the fourth time the General Assembly has addressed a health issue, and the others rose to the level of HIV and Ebola," Keiji Fukuda, MD, special representative for antimicrobial resistance to the director-general of the World Health Organization, told National Geographic. "Hopefully what will be achieved is to have the highest-level decision-makers in the world acknowledge that we have a major issue that has to be addressed and also have that level acknowledge that certain actions are needed."

The meeting was convened by the president of the General Assembly, the WHO and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. It will emphasize the role governments and inter-governmental organizations, like the WHO, play in curbing the threat of antibiotic resistance.

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