We need a global, legally binding antibiotics treaty – now!

To save millions of lives we must change the way we use antibiotics globally. No country can do the job alone. Support the international campaign for an antibiotics treaty!

The international campaign for an antibiotic treaty works to ensure that all countries’ governments, international organizations and industry:

  • Recognize that antimicrobial resistance is a threat to global public health
  • Recognize that a new international legal framework is needed to strengthen the control of antimicrobial resistance and ensure equitable access for everyone across the globe
  • Implement measures to support negotiations on a new international agreement to secure antibiotics for all

Why an antibiotics treaty?

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to global public health. Resistant bacteria kill more than a million people every year. If states and international stakeholders do not take immediate action, this number could increase to 10 million people annually by 2050 or sooner. 

Antimicrobial resistance is the result of natural processes that occur when microbes constantly evolve. Although the process occurs naturally, it has accelerated due to human misuse and overuse of antibiotics – in both human and veterinary medicine. In some countries, antibiotics are used as growth promoters in the meat industry.

Other, more indirect causes of antimicrobial resistance come from lack of access to clean water, poor sanitary and hygienic conditions, inadequate disease prevention efforts, inadequate access to vaccines and diagnostic equipment and inadequate waste management.

Antimicrobial resistance is also driven by macro-trends such as globalization. In recent years, international travel has exploded.

Development of new antimicrobial drugs can prevent some of the negative consequences of antimicrobial resistance. However, current research is outpaced by resistant bacteria. Soon we will find ourselves in a situation where we have no effective antibiotics to offer sick people.

Antimicrobial resistance has been on the international political agenda since the mid-1990s. However, progress is slow due to lack of global cooperation between states and low engagement among civil society organisations. There is an urgent need for political action. Failure to act will have dire consequences for public health and the global economy, and will jeopardize progress towards the UN sustainability goals.

10 million

will die yearly due to antimicrobial resistance in 2050

750 000

are already currently dying yearly due to antimicrobial resistance

5,7 millioner

dies today due to lack of anibiotics

The solution: A new antibiotics treaty

As a cross-sectoral problem and tragedy of the global commons, it is clear that the solution to the antimicrobial resistance health crisis requires global mechanisms that effectively encourage nations to act according to long-term global interests.

Existing political and legal frameworks have so far not been enough to solve the problems of misuse and overuse of antibiotics globally. A new and legally binding antibiotic treaty can provide a solution.

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