Norway’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Jon Georg Dale set the scene for the day with his opening speech:
“Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest challenges the world faces, and we must implement effective measures to reduce the dramatic consequences caused by the misuse of antibiotics.
Dale was joined by Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie, and Norwegian Minister of Fisheries Per Sandberg in hosting the summit which was attended by international experts, politicians, and decision-makers.Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest challenges the world faces, and we must implement effective measures to reduce the dramatic consequences caused by the misuse of antibiotics
The European Commission’s action plan
The challenges of antibiotic resistance are complex. EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis likened the situation to a silent tsunami, with the risk of a recession greater than the 2008 financial crisis.
Andriukaitis stressed the importance of preventative efforts and presented the three focus areas of the action plan for antibiotic resistance that the European Commission will present later in the week:
- Make the EU a region of best practice in antibiotic resistance
- Boost research, development, and innovation in antibiotic resistance
- Design a global agenda for antibiotic resistance
The sharing of experiences is crucial
“You cannot underestimate the crisis that the world is in,” Professor Otto Cars stressed. The challenges are structurally similar to climate change with the difference that alternatives exist for fighting antibiotic resistance. According to Cars, the problem cannot be cured, but it can be managed. He gave the participants a clear message:
“If we don’t look at antibiotic resistance from a global perspective, we won’t succeed. Nor will we succeed if we don’t support low- and middle-income countries.”
Nordic Region leading the way
Antibiotic resistance is killing people through infections from animals, due to overuse by people, which spills over into the environment. Professor Sally Davies expects the Nordic countries to show global leadership:
“The level of treatment using antibiotics in the Nordic Region is probably the lowest in the world, and this means that you’re leading the way and are in a position to share your experiences of what you’ve done, how you’ve done it, and how other countries can learn from this.”
The conclusions of the summit are being presented to the Nordic ministers for fisheries and aquaculture, agriculture, food and forestry at their ministerial meeting on Wednesday 28 June.
See the programme and watch the live stream (Nett-tv, Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food)