Public health, innovation, intellectual property and trade

Antimicrobial Resistance: How to Foster Innovation, Access and Appropriate Use of Antibiotics?

A Joint Technical Symposium by WHO, WIPO and WTO

Date: 25 October 2016, 09:30 a.m. – 05:30 p.m.
Place: New Conference Hall, WIPO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland

This symposium is the sixth in a series of joint technical symposia convened by WHO, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). It builds on the collaborative work undertaken by the three agencies to enhance capacity, including the trilateral study ‘Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation’.

The provisional agenda of the symposium is available here

Further details about the Symposium can be accessed here

Objectives and key issues

The purpose of this symposium is to provide a forum to achieve a better understanding of the challenges of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and to envisage ways forward to combat the global threat of AMR.

AMR is one of the most pressing challenges for humanity. It threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an increasing range of infections. Increasing resistance threatens to roll back the achievements of modern medicine as many medicinal procedures rely on effective antibiotics. Antimicrobial resistance is present in all parts of the world with new resistance mechanisms emerging and spreading globally. An effective response requires global action across countries, all government sectors and the whole of society. Antibiotics, more than other medicines, can be considered a public good for which society has a collective responsibility.

The symposium will be opened by the Directors-General of WIPO and WTO, and the WHO Special Representative for AMR. Lord Jim O’Neill, Chairman of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, will present the results of the recent Review. This will be followed by three panel discussions. The first panel will focus on new approaches to foster access and appropriate use of antibiotics. A second panel will review research and development (R&D) initiatives underway and discuss challenges for, and new approaches to, antibiotics innovation. A third panel will analyze the potential role of trade policy in support of antimicrobial access and stewardship.

Geneva-based delegations to WHO, WIPO and WTO, representatives of international and philanthropic organizations, experts on trade and intellectual property policies, civil society organizations and industry representatives may want to attend the event.

Further information regarding the symposium and online registration are available at:

The event will be held in English only.