Closer FAO-OIE cooperation to combat health scourges
Dr Diouf welcomes the synergies created between the two organizations
21 May 2006, Paris/Rome - "Collaboration between FAO and the OIE is a dynamic process that is under constant evolution,” FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said today. “It is strengthened over time as activities are implemented," he added.
Dr Diouf was addressing the 74th General Session of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) being held from 21 to 26 May, in Paris. He underlined that the two organizations "need to maximize their synergies”, hoping that they would continue working together on behalf of the least favoured countries and populations, while helping "protect the entire planet from the major health scourges that threaten the livestock but also the human populations".
Recalling that "animal diseases are at the origin of most of the food safety crises that affect humans,” the Director-General stressed the need for "prevention of disease on the farm".
"FAO is convinced that programmes for the prevention and control of animal diseases are central to the rural, economic and social development of the countries of the South,” he said. “They help secure regional and international trade and protect human beings from zoonoses and food-borne diseases."
Dr Diouf paid tribute to the FAO Animal Health Service which, he said, "had proven its great effectiveness. The coordination of veterinary disciplines with those of livestock production systems, and socio-economic, institutional and policy studies provide a comparative advantage in the global approach to disease.”
Globalization of trade and investment
Turning to the globalization of trade and the movement of people, live animals and products, and the need for greater investment in combating animal diseases, Dr Diouf warned against the ever-growing risk of the spread of pathogens.
"No country, whether in the North or in the South, is sheltered from these crises, so there is a convergence of interests between the two worlds,” he said.
“Solidarity towards the developing countries but, equally, the protection of countries untouched by these epizootic diseases suggest the need for sizeable investment. That would help us better control transboundary diseases where these emerge, which in most cases is in the countries of the South,” he added.
Describing animal diseases as "among the most serious of global problems", Dr Diouf recalled the recent initiatives undertaken by FAO in cooperation with the OIE to improve transboundary animal disease control. The avian influenza crisis, he said, had demonstrated the validity of their approach and built synergies between the two organizations.
(+39) 06 570 53473
(+39) 348 25 23807
e-mail this article