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The Director General of the OIE presents her New Year’s greetings to the press

At the end of her first year in office as Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Dr Monique Éloit described, yesterday morning, the Organisation’s achievements under the framework of its Sixth Strategic Plan, covering the period 2016–2020, and announced the highlights that will mark 2017.


Left: Dr Monique Éloit, OIE Director General - Right: Dr Neo Joel Mapitse, Deputy Head of the OIE World Animal Health Information and Analysis Department
©OIE/P.Pinet

Paris, 12 January 2017 – A year after taking up her role as Director General, Dr Monique Éloit has reaffirmed the Organisation’s commitment to better governance of animal health and welfare worldwide, since these are the foundations for economic prosperity as well as for the social and environmental well-being of human populations.

During her presentation, she reviewed the progress achieved in the implementation of the Sixth Strategic Plan and explained the organisational changes made within the OIE to ensure its success.

Furthermore, she emphasised once again the three strategic priorities which will continue to guide the Organisation’s work in years to come; namely:

  • To improve animal health and welfare by appropriate management of the risks encountered at the human-animal-environment interface;
  • To reinforce trust through transparency and good communication about the animal health situation and OIE standards on the sanitary safety of international trade;
  • To support and strengthen the capacity and sustainability of national Veterinary Services.

In this context, significant progress was made over the course of the year.

New global strategies to improve animal health and welfare

As part of its action to fight antimicrobial resistance, the OIE published its Global Strategy on Antimicrobial Resistance and the Prudent Use of Antimicrobials. The result of many years’ work on this issue, and of the commitment made by the OIE’s 180 Member Countries through a range of international resolutions, this strategy will help to preserve the efficacy of antimicrobials. It is also in line with the global effort undertaken in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). A significant highlight of 2016 was the occasion last September when, for the first time, the three organisations spoke as one at the United Nations General Assembly to gain the commitment of countries to deploy the Global Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance in their own territories.
The OIE was also mandated by its Member Countries to establish a global database to monitor the use of antimicrobials in animals. The results of this first year of data-gathering have recently been published.

The implementation of the OIE/FAO Strategy for the Control and Eradication of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) began with the launching of the PPR Global Eradication Programme, which covers the first five years of this mission to eradicate the disease by 2030.

Finally, the OIE developed a global strategy to promote animal welfare, to enable us to build: A world where the welfare of animals is respected, promoted and advanced, in ways that complement the pursuit of animal health, human well-being, socio-economic development and environmental sustainability. Approved by all the participants at a Global Conference on the issue last December, this strategy will be proposed for adoption by the OIE’s 180 Member Countries at the next World Assembly, from 21 to 26 May 2017.

Improving access to world animal health information for greater transparency

A range of activities were undertaken to promote and enhance the work of the OIE global network, with the goal of improving the information flow to Member Countries and partners.

The World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS) entered a new phase of modernisation, in order to improve the quality and distribution of animal health information. Now available through a mobile application, future improvements to WAHIS will enable it to be more responsive to evolutions in the OIE standards, improve its performance and data analysis and make it more user-friendly. The system will also offer interoperability with other information systems, particularly regional systems, in just a few years.

In the same spirit of transparency, the OIE is modernising and diversifying its channels of communication, to make it easier for everyone to access its information. In particular, it renovated its website in 2016, increased its presence on social media and introduced new web portals on specific diseases and cross-sectoral issues, such as avian influenza and the ‘One Health’ concept.

Building the capacity of Veterinary Services and increasing the sustainability of their activities

The OIE is committed both to its global programmes and to the support it provides to Member Countries through the PVS Pathway, its step-by-step process for evaluating national Veterinary Services, which today constitutes an essential pillar of the Organisation’s mandate. To ensure that this mechanism continues to adapt to the changing needs of the Veterinary Services who request its assistance, 2017 will see the establishment of a Think Tank. This will analyse the successes and weaknesses identified by beneficiary countries to adapt the tool to new needs.

In other areas, the OIE continued to support Member Countries in the implementation of its global strategies, for example, by providing millions of doses of vaccines through its Vaccine Banks.

Finally, the objectives of this current action plan can only be met by an effective and high-performance veterinary profession. For this reason, safeguarding the training of veterinarians remains a priority for the OIE, which, last June, organised a Global conference on veterinary education, with the aim of encouraging harmonisation on a global scale. This conference also allowed highlighting of the vital role of veterinary para-professionals. The OIE is committed to developing appropriate guidelines for their training.

The next major meeting, the OIE General Session, will bring together the Delegates of 180 Member Countries, from 21 to 26 May 2017 in Paris.

Click on the image to display Dr Eloit’s presentation:

 
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