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The Director General of the OIE on an official visit to the United States.

The Director General of the OIE on an official visit to the United States. He was received at the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), the World Bank and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO).

Washington,  January 2003 - Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) visited the headquarters of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and also visited the OIE Collaborating Centres in Ames (Iowa) and Fort Collins (Colorado).  

During his visit to the USDA in Washington, Dr. Vallat met the Administrator of APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), Dr. Bobby Acord, the Delegate of the United States of America to the OIE, Dr. Peter Fernandez, and the Under Secretary of Agriculture at the USDA, Mr Bill Hawks. During these meetings, Mr Hawks expressed his appreciation for the work accomplished by the OIE and showed great interest in the future activities of the organisation. APHIS attached special importance to the normative work of the OIE and its new initiatives in the field of animal welfare and support for developing countries. The Under Secretary of Agriculture was invited to the opening session of the OIE General Session, due to be held in Paris from 18-23 May 2003.

Dr. Vallat also took the opportunity to visit the USDA's largest veterinary research and diagnostic centre, (Ames, Iowa), where he discussed the strengthening of collaboration between the scientific units in Ames and the OIE with various officials. In Fort Collins (Colorado), he then signed a new collaboration agreement with the CEAH (Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health) in the field of animal health information world-wide.  

During his visit to the World Bank, Dr. Vallat met, among others, the Vice President, Mr Ian Johnson, with whom he notably discussed the implementation of the Agreement between the OIE and the World Bank. Within the framework of capacity building, Dr Vallat reaffirmed the OIE's willingness to be a key partner of the World Bank in carrying out the "initiative for the development of livestock in Africa", in the new "Standards Trade Development Facility" mechanism and in support for veterinary research world-wide.

The Director General also visited the newly appointed Director General of the PAHO, Dr Mirta Roses. The OIE and the PAHO have decided to strengthen their cooperation. Dr. Vallat has been invited to deliver an address at the next RIMSA (Reunión Interamericana Ministros de Salud y Agricultura: Inter-American Meeting, at the Ministerial Level, on Health and Agriculture), in Washington on 24 and 25 April 2003, which will be attended by all the Ministers of Health and Agriculture of the American continent.

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