13th REMESA Joint Permanent Committee Meeting
The 13th meeting of the Joint Permanent Committee (JPC) of the Mediterranean Animal Health Network (REMESA) was held in Byblos (Lebanon) on 3-4 November 2016 and inaugurated by the CVO and Animal Resources Director of the Ministry of Agriculture of Lebanon, the Director General of Health of the Agricultural Production at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment of Spain, Dr Valentin Almansa Lara, and the OIE Deputy Director General, Dr Jean-Philippe Dop. The meeting was attended by the Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of REMESA member countries or their representatives (Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco and Tunisia), representatives from International and Regional Organisations – Dr Moritz Klemm, DG Health and Food Safety, DG SANTE (European Union), Mrs Faouzia Chakiri, Chief division, Department Food Security, Arab Maghreb Union, and Dr Fabrizio Rosso, representative of the EuFMD, as well as Dr Etienne Bonbon, President of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission. This JPC was co-chaired by Lebanon and Spain (which hold the co-presidency of REMESA for 2016). Experts from the « Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement » (CIRAD) and Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) also attended the meeting. Representatives of Libya, Mauritania and FAO could not attend this meeting.
The agenda of the meeting included sessions on FMD, PPR, avian diseases, vector-borne diseases such as Lumpy Skin Disease, Bluetongue, and also a session on rabies highlighting actions implemented during the last World Rabies Day. During this 2-days meeting, the implementation at the regional level of the OIE/FAO PPR Global Control and Eradication Strategy was discussed in line with the recent workshops convened by the joint FAO/OIE Global PPR Secretariat. The state of play of establishment of a regional vaccine bank for FMD in the REMESA was presented. The new communication tools concerning the OIE rabies vaccine bank were also presented. On the second day of this meeting, the current OIE standard setting issues of interest for the REMESA were presented by Dr Etienne Bonbon who invited countries to actively participate in the OIE standards-setting process. This presentation was followed by an interactive discussion stressing the idea that the REMESA is a good network in which issues related to trade and appropriate implementation of OIE standards could be debated in order to avoid unjustified trade barriers between countries.