WHO and York University collaborate to host Q-and-A with international experts on antimicrobial resistance

As the race to find new vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 accelerates, experts in antimicrobial resistance will come together on Nov. 18 to address the urgent need for global action.

The event, organized by York University and the World Health Organization (WHO), will feature a Q-and-A panel with three international experts on antimicrobial resistance.

Professor Steven J. Hoffman, director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance  at York University

Nov. 18 marks the start of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week – a time to recognize the urgent action needed to prevent the spread of drug resistant infections. Increasing drug resistance is being driven by widespread overuse of these essential drugs in medicine and agriculture. High rates of resistance to commonly used antimicrobials are rapidly reducing the ability to treat many common bacterial or viral infections, and prevent infection during surgery.

The WHO has called for global action on antimicrobial resistance, and one year ago, designated York University’s Global Strategy Lab as the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance. The Collaborating Centre is focused on the global policies, commitments and legal arrangements that will be needed to conserve antimicrobials, ensure access to them and promote innovation to discover new antimicrobials.

In its recent projects and publications, the Centre has focused on the global governance of antimicrobial resistance, and particularly on the development of a new global legal agreement to promote global cooperation.

The Nov. 18 event celebrates this new collaboration, and will present three international experts on the Q-and-A panel:

  • Professor Dame Sally Davies, U.K. government special envoy on antimicrobial resistance
  • Peter Singer, special advisor to the director general of the World Health Organization
  • Professor Steven J. Hoffman, director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance at York University

In addition, Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer of Canada, will make introductory remarks at the event, along with York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. Faculty of Health Dean Paul McDonald will moderate the Q-and-A panel.

Hoffman, along with WHO Collaborating Centre managing director Susan Rogers Van Katwyk, will speak about the work of the Centre.

The international panel will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in a livestream format on YouTube, which can be accessed here.