Jim O’Neill, the former Goldman Sachs chief economist, is spearheading a mission to tackle antimicrobial resistance, or AMR. The feature of an FT article, he was recruited last year by UK prime minister David Cameron to look for ways to reverse the rising tide of drug-resistant superbugs.
Jim has recently returned from China (pictured above next to President Xi Jinping), where he spent the last week in talks aimed at mobilising Beijing’s support. He argues that “it’s a similar challenge to climate change in that it affects everyone and can only be tackled with cross-border co-operation,” expressing hope that China will make the issue a priority of its G20 presidency next year.
“The western world made a mistake by lecturing the Bric countries about climate change,” he says. “With AMR, they must take charge of the issue because it is in the developing world that the challenge of superbugs is greatest.”
Working on a pro-bono basis from an office at the Wellcome Trust medical charity in London, Jim wants to harness global support for a UN deal on AMR by autumn 2016. An international panel of experts is helping him explore potential solutions.
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