In Rome, from 30 November to 2 December 2009, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is hosting an international meeting on Rinderpest virus and vaccine sequestration. It brings together Chief Veterinary Officers from many African and Middle East countries, as well as experts and representatives from international organizations dealing with animal health issues, such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The objective of this meeting is to engage stakeholders in active dialogue regarding rinderpest eradication, virus and vaccine sequestration and disposal, and post eradication surveillance. The main topics addressed encompass an overview of the global rinderpest situation, highlights of the FAO/OIE declaration of rinderpest freedom, lessons learnt from the eradication of smallpox, mechanisms for sequestration of biological agents, as well as country and regional statements. Presentation will be followed by working groups addressing specific questions.
This important meeting is organized and convened by the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP), a flagship initiative of FAO’s Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES). GREP was conceived as an international coordination mechanism to achieve global eradication of rinderpest and subsequent verification of rinderpest freedom, while providing technical guidance to member states.