Professor William Gaze is either the sole adviser, or one of a handful of advisers globally, on AMR to UNEP, WHO and FAO. He is now a member of the UNEP Expert Group on AMR and Environment; sits on the WHO/FAO pesticides and fertilizers working group, contributing on AMR and environment issues; and is part of the European Food Safety Authority’s working group on AMR in livestock production environments.
The ECEHH team’s research has also informed international AMR policy directly, with several citations in international policy documents such as the WHO / UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report on AMR in the food chain in 2019 . Research carried-out by the group has also underpinned WHO recommendations: the Beach Bum Survey for example, helped guide the WHO recommendations on scientific, analytical and epidemiological developments relevant to the parameters for bathing water quality in the European Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC).
Prof Gaze was the lead co-author of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Frontiers Report on AMR and the Environment, published in 2017 and presented the UNEP Frontiers Report at the 3rd meeting of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi in 2017, at which countries around the world, including the UK, made a commitment to combat antimicrobial resistance from an environmental perspective for the first time. This marked the first time that the importance of the environmental dimension of AMR was highlighted at a United Nations Environment Assembly.
The UNEP report was one of only two natural environment AMR citations in the UN Interagency Coordination Group’s (IACG) final report to the UN secretary general, which is the most significant AMR report produced to date.
Its key conclusion was: “Antimicrobial resistance is a global crisis that threatens a century of progress in health and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The IACG was formed following the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, at which Member States adopted the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance. This declaration, to which Gaze made a significant contribution highlighting the importance of the natural environment, recognises the magnitude of this global problem and provides a consensus about the actions needed to prevent a post-antimicrobial era.