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Press Release 99/20

FAO DIRECTOR-GENERAL MEETS HIS COUNTERPART OF THE OFFICE INTERNATIONAL DES EPIZOOTIES


Rome, 7 April 1999.- Dr Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today met Dr Jean Blancou, Director-General of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) to discuss ways and means to strengthen cooperation between the two organizations in the areas of animal health and production.

The meeting at FAO Headquarters focused on joint intervention strategies to cope with emergency epidemics in member countries including diplomatic contacts, improved coordination, epidemiological surveillance and control of animal diseases.

Dr Diouf and his counterpart also discussed FAO's and OIE's respective strategies with regard to direct impact of national, regional and international initiatives on animal health and production, particularly concerning structural adjustment policies, unwarranted trade barriers and prudent use of antibiotics for therapeutic or nutritional purposes.

Cooperation between FAO and OIE dates back to 1947 when the two organizations signed a "Note d'entente", followed in 1953 by an Agreement which laid the foundations of an exemplary and fruitful collaboration based on synergy and exchange of information and expertise in both normative and operational areas, particularly with regard to animal health standards and emergency situations such as transboundary diseases.

Every year FAO and OIE experts hold a two-day meeting in Rome for coordination purposes along with experts from the veterinary public health service of the World Health Organization (WHO) and from the animal health and production section of the FAO/International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) joint Division.

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For further information on FAO/OIE cooperation, please contact FAO media officer Pierre Antonios (tel.: 0039.06.57053473; email: pierre.antonios@fao.org) or FAO's Chief Animal Health Service, Dr Yves Cheneau (tel.:0039.06.57053531; email: yves.cheneau@fao.org).


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