Effective Global Action on Antibiotic Resistance Requires Careful Consideration of Convening Forums
7 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2016 Last revised: 11 May 2016
Date Written: May 2016
There have been calls from academics and policymakers to take global collective action to address the growing health security threat of antibiotic resistance (ABR). One suggestion has been the use of international law – which formally represents the strongest possible mechanism through which states can commit to each other. While much of the literature has focused on what should be done to address ABR, less has focused on how or where such collective action should be facilitated. This article evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of different global political forums that may be used to develop an international legal agreement for ABR. Four forums that seem plausible for developing such an agreement: (1) self-organized venues (e.g. G7); (2) the World Health Organization (WHO); (3) the World Trade Organization (WTO); and (4) the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Each forum comes with its advantages and drawbacks which, taken with the complexity of the issue of ABR, suggests that an effective response may best be coordinated through multiple forums. This would allow for a multi-sectoral approach that creates a universal scheme and ensures strong national enforcement.
Keywords: policy, policymakers, global, collective, action, antibiotic, resistance, ABR, international, law, forum, political, multi-sectoral, advantages, drawbacks
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