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The OIE to host the Standards and Trade Developmeent Facility (STDF) meeting in September 2004

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Trade Organization (WTO) are committed to work together to assist developing countries enhance their expertise and capacity to contribute to the development and implementation of international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards, improving their human, animal and plant health situation, and thus their ability to gain and maintain market access.

Their commitment has been demonstrated by the establishment in 2002 of the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) hosted by WTO. It explores new technical and financial mechanisms for coordination and resource mobilization and aims to build alliances between standard setting bodies and the implementing and financing agencies so as to ensure the most effective use of technical and financial resources. As a co-ordinating mechanism, the STDF acts as a forum for information sharing on the regular activities of the partners and Member Countries, notably on technical assistance.

The STDF is lead by a Policy Committee, consisting of high level representatives of the partner agencies, including OIE, deciding on policy and strategy.
The OIE will be hosting the meeting of this important Committee on the 9 and 10 of September 2004 at its Headquarters in Paris. In its capacity of regulatory body of the STDF, the Policy Committee will be approving the new business plan which will then be formally presented to a group of major international donor organizations, specially invited to participate at this meeting for the first time.

The participation by the OIE as a founding partner of the STDF represents another step in its commitment to capacity building, particularly of public and private veterinary infrastructures. Three of OIE specific capacity building projects have already received the approval of the STDF and are in their initial stages of implementation. These specific projects address the strengthening of African veterinary infrastructures to contribute to the overall reduction of poverty and to the regional and international market access for animals and animal products; the development of a programme aimed at preparing technical trainers at a regional level to improve the implementation of OIE/SPS standards and Veterinary Services world wide; the creation of a tool for the evaluation and planning of Veterinary Services.

On the occasion of this important donor round table discussion on the future policy and funding of STDF, a press conference will take place on the 9 September 2004 at 6:00 pm at the OIE Headquarters in Paris. Journalists who would like to confirm their participation to the press conference and to the cocktail reception that will follow are kindly requested to do so by e-mail return to m.zampaglione@oie.int.

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