SUPERBUGS! (Photo: John Voo/CC BY 2.0)

UN meetings aren’t all boring commissions on tariffs and diplomacy, sometimes they are about creating a worldwide defense against “superbugs.” According to Science Alert, the UN General Assembly is set to meet in order to discuss strategies for combating the growing number of drug-resistant pathogens.

The trouble is that as good as we have become at creating drugs to battle diseases and plagues, they seem to be much better at evolving to meet us. Unfortunately, after centuries of anti-bacterial science and medicine, it seems as though we might be at the end of the rope for the time being. We have begun to discover strains of bacteria that are resistant to even the strongest antibiotics such as colistin.

The UN meeting hopes to bring together strategies that were previously being explored at lower levels of governments around the world, to create a unified plan for combatting what could very quickly become a global crisis. Some of the plans of action include measures to strengthen the power of antibiotics themselves, and even employing bacterial parasites that might attack diseases in the system.

While no concrete plans are expected to come out of the meeting, it signals an important political commitment from world leaders to an issue that is often invisible, and usually addressed far too late. Also, at least it’s not another meeting about flags.