WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on the United Nation’s General Assembly meeting on antimicrobial resistance:

“Yesterday, the UN convened to consider antimicrobial resistance—a serious international health crisis in which diseases are able to resist the very drugs meant to destroy them, making ordinarily treatable conditions life-threatening.  While we rarely hear of this threat, antimicrobial resistance has the capability to kill more people annually than cancer and could do more damage to the world’s economy than the 2008 financial crisis.

“We’ve seen this frightening scenario unfold in our fight against tuberculosis, a curable disease that has nevertheless become the world’s number one infectious killer.  This is a warning for the global community to take the threat of drug resistance seriously.

“I’m pleased that the UN is giving this issue the attention it deserves, and I remain hopeful that it will produce serious action from the governments and NGOs around the world. We must ensure antimicrobial drugs are used appropriately; incentivize the development of improved drugs; and expand access to clean water, sanitation and vaccines to preempt infection.  This is a global issue that necessitates global partnership, and I’m hopeful that today’s collaboration will help lay the groundwork for a healthier tomorrow.”