World Organisation For Animal Health To Establish Sub-Regional Representation In Abu Dhabi
During its 87th General Session of the World Assembly of National Delegates, held from 26 to 31 May 2019, in Paris, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) named the UAE's capital, Abu Dhabi, to host the OIE sub-regional representation (SRR) in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA).
The move aims to strengthen the cooperation between the OIE and the Member Countries of the region, namely GCC countries and Yemen. It also supports the organisation's efforts to improve animal health worldwide, by ensuring control of global animal diseases and developing international standards to facilitate safe trade in live animals.
The session was attended by Dr. Monique Eloit, Director General of OIE, Dr. Mark Schipp, President of the OIE General Assembly, ministers of agriculture of the OIE's 182 Members, and Dr. Majid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Director of the Animal Health and Development Department at Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), as a representative of the United Arab Emirates.
In this regard, Dr. Monique Eloit said: "Choosing Abu Dhabi to host the OIE SRR stems from our belief in the UAE's considerable potential to support the proper functioning of the OIE SRR, considering the greater engagement of the sub-region and Gulf countries in animal health issues, including those related to the One Health concept."
Dr. Eloit affirmed that Abu Dhabi's SRR will enable the OIE to coordinate implementation of its international standards in reinforcing veterinary services capabilities in the control and management of animal diseases, notably trans-boundary diseases, through the rapid reduction of major diseases using OIE mechanism (PCP), upgrading of national laboratories, and supporting the establishment of regional reference laboratories. Given the UAE's prestigious position at all levels, the OIE SRR will also help strengthen collaboration with regional representations, she added.
For his side, Dr. Majid Al Qasimi expressed his appreciation to the OIE for choosing Abu Dhabi to host its SRR. He stressed the move is a great opportunity to strengthen international efforts among Middle East countries, particularly in GCC countries and Yemen, to maintain animal health and promote the biosecurity system in the region.
Al Qasimi noted that this great achievement is the outcome of the continuous follow-up and sound directives of the UAE's wise leadership, adding they are always keen to support international efforts in various issues to achieve sustainable development in all fields.
"Food safety and sustainability, animal development, and preservation of animal health, which directly affects the public health, are top priorities for the relevant government bodies in the UAE, particularly MOCCAE. They constantly launch initiatives and projects that help achieve those important goals," Al Qasimi added, praising ADAFSA's role in enhancing the animal health concept and promoting the best practices to realise animal sustainable development and preserve human and animal health.
He commended the OIE's important role in tracking and eradicating animal diseases, in addition to helping the national veterinary bodies and laboratories of the member countries improve their services and implement biosecurity standards and requirements, which contributes to reducing and eradicating trans-boundary diseases. Moreover, he stressed the importance of the OIE's continued support to GCC countries and Yemen regarding issues of animal and public health.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ghazi Yehia, the OIE Regional Representative for the Middle East, stressed that the OIE Regional Representation for the Middle East worked on this project since two years with close collaboration with ADAFSA team to strengthen services offered to the regional community in term of public and animal health. He noted that the establishment of the OIE SRR will be celebrated in November during the meeting of the organisation's regional commission in Abu Dhabi.
The OIE general assembly brings together representatives of 182 OIE Members - 12 of them from the Middle East region - and observers from international organisations that have signed an official agreement with the OIE, as well as other international and regional organizations and invited guests. The OIE has Headquarters in Paris, France, five Regional Representations, and seven Sub Regional Representations across the globe.