Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Last year, four Norwegian Ministers jointly launched our current inter-ministerial, national antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategy.
Our experts were very clear: we need a multi-sectoral and comprehensive approach, both nationally and globally, using a ‘One Health’ approach. This is important for the environment, for animal welfare, for the economy of the farmers, and not least – for consumer trust and health.
Therefore, Norway works to:
i) End all routine preventive use of antibiotics in animals.
Our experience, from animal and fish production, has demonstrated that preventive use of antibiotics in animals and fish is unnecessary.
ii) End use of antibiotics as growth promoters.
The potential benefit of using antibiotics as growth promotors are dubious and the negative effects are obvious.
iii) Ensure that prescribing of antibiotics is not influenced by economic incentives.
It is a contradiction on the one hand promoting prudent use of antibiotics and on the other hand giving incentives for antibiotic prescription.
iv) Enhance access to antimicrobials for all who really need them.
Antibiotics are among our most precious drugs. If seriously ill, everybody should have access to them, whether rich or poor whether young or old.
v) Extend and harmonize the global monitoring of antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance.
An effective global surveillance system is a necessary precondition if efforts at the global level to combat antibiotic resistance are to be successful.
vi) Increase awareness and knowledge on appropriate antibiotic use.
We must see to that the public, as well as prescribers, are well informed about appropriate antibiotic use.
vii) Improve infection control and support research and development (R&D) for new vaccines, diagnostic tests and new antibiotics.
Due to AMR general measures, such as good hand hygiene, will, in the future, be even more important than in the past. Norway also support ongoing work to establish a multinational agreement on principles and financing commitments for antibiotic innovation.
viii) Limit the spread of resistance in our environment caused by industrial waste.
Too many antibiotic manufacturers dump their waste in the local environment. This can cause an unnecessary high frequency of resistant bacteria. This needs to stop.
In conclusion, it is essential that we now unite and give full support to the work of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Organisation for Animal Health in implementing the Global Action Plan on AMR and the AMR declaration.
My country will contribute and provide more resources to the AMR work of WHO in the coming years.