25 May 2014
82nd Session of the World Assembly of Delegates to
the Organization for Animal Health
Dr Karin Schwabenbauer, Présidente de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé animale,
Dr Bernard Vallat, Directeur général de l’OIE,
Dr Margaret Chan, Directeur général de l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé,
Son Altesse Royale de Jordanie, la Princesse Haya Bint Al Huseyn,
Mesdames et Messieurs,
Avant tout, je souhaiterais remercier l’OIE de m’avoir invité pour parler devant ses délégués.
Permettez-moi de commencer en soulignant l’importance et le rôle joué par l’OIE dans le contrôle des maladies animales transfrontalières, ainsi que dans l’évaluation de leur impact sur le commerce, l’économie et la santé.
Permettez-moi de passer à l’anglais maintenant.
Animal health is also of paramount importance to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization - FAO.
As you know, FAO has a global mandate to eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.
Establishing and strengthening partnerships is one of our hallmarks. This is the reason why I am here today.
We are committed to tackling high-impact animal diseases together with the regional and national partners.
There are many positive examples of that cooperation.
I must begin by mentioning the example of Global Rinderpest Eradication and its Declaration in 2011.
I also have to highlight the strategic partnership both organizations established in 2005, which launched the OFFLU network of expertise on animal influenza.
This network has supported and coordinated global efforts to prevent, detect and control important influenzas in animals, offering technical advice and veterinary expertise to international organizations and governments.
The OFFLU network has worked with OIE/FAO reference laboratories and world leading experts from a range of disciplines including diagnostics, epidemiology, virology, animal production, and vaccinology.
OIE also provides an important contribution to the Codex Alimentarius, whose Secretariat is jointly held by WHO and FAO.
Our three organizations together also have acted closely to address the most pressing issues, such as zoonotic influenza, rabies, antimicrobial resistance and other emerging threats. I want to take the opportunity to thank Dr Fuad from Oman for recently hosting a very fruitful meeting on the subject in the Near East.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today’s challenges are often multidimensional and need to be tackled with a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach.
Over the past 2 years FAO underwent a transformational change to better deal with them.
We have sharpened our priorities and are working in a crosscutting way, tapping into knowledge around the house to respond to issues such as ensuring food security, promoting sustainable development and dealing with transboundary diseases and animal health.
Working with a comprehensive group of experts allows FAO to explore synergies across the health and development sectors, and to ensure collaboration between national public and private structures.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Before ending, I would like to raise your attention to an important concern.
According to the last report launched by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) two months ago, the impacts of climate change on food security and animal health, for instance, turn out to be major issues.
With respect to food security, the IPCC concluded that the rural poor are particularly vulnerable. They have fewer means to react and they tend to live in marginal production areas where the impact of climate change in agriculture will be felt harder.
As for animal health, the report mentioned that tropical vector-borne diseases are highly sensitive to climatic conditions.
Climate change may also affect the distribution, composition and migration of wild birds that harbour the genetic pool of avian influenza viruses.
As noted, that is an additional focus of common work – actually a huge concern to be shared – by WHO, FAO and OIE.
Regardless of any scenario, our three organizations have built a proud history of collaboration on a wide range of issues, perhaps most notable of which was the successful global eradication of Rinderpest as I have said in the beginning.
Looking forward, it is important to highlight that our joint work should be focused on the complementary role of our mandates.
Our common actions play a key role in the reduction of poverty and hunger and promoting sustainable development.
Our three organizations are restating this spirit of cooperation and their intentions to continue the fight to keep both animals and humans healthy.
In view of the need to pursue this greater collaboration, OIE and FAO are reinforcing their cooperation in an Agreement signed here today.
Mesdames et Messieurs,
Je suis convaincu que cet Accord permettra d’améliorer l’efficacité de notre partenariat en vue d’un monde plus prospère et en meilleure santé.
Je vous remercie pour votre attention.