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9th Conference of the OIE Regional Commission for the Middle-East (anglais)

Damascus, Syria 28 October- 01 November 2007

PRESS RELEASE

Damascus, 1 November 2007 - The 9th Conference of the Regional Commission for the Middle East of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) was held in Damascus , ( Syria ) from 28 October to 01 November 2007 .

The Conference was chaired by Dr George Khoury, the OIE Delegate for Syria . His Excellency , Dr. Adel Safar, Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform of Syria , Dr Barry O’Neil, President of the OIE International Committee, Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE, Delegates of OIE Member Countries, representatives of international and regional organisations and observers attended the Conference.

In his opening speech, the Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian reform of Syria commended the role of the OIE in the international control of animal diseases and the facilitation of international trade of animals and animal products and thanked the OIE for the support provided to countries of the region. Regarding standards, he said “ as a strong believer of international standards, Syria regularly updates legislation regarding livestock to ensure compliance with OIE international standards”.

Two technical items were discussed during the Conference namely:

  • The role of Veterinary Statutory Bodies and Veterinary Associations.
  • The application of the Geographical Information Systems in the surveillance of animal diseases.

Dr Vallat stressed the importance of these two items for the Middle East and expressed the wish that countries implement the recommendations adopted during the Conference on those topics as soon as possible.

Dr Vallat reminded that more than 75% of emerging human diseases recorded over the past two decades have been traced to an animal source. He commented on the frontline role played by Veterinary Services in the prevention and control of such diseases which are likely to become more frequent due to climate change and globalisation of movements of goods and services. He observed “Veterinary Services are now considered as a “Public Good’ by the international Community and more national and international resources are being provided. I urge you not to betray the trust placed in your services to tackle animal diseases and zoonoses.”.

The OIE Regional Commission expressed its gratitude to the support provided by the OIE to Member Countries of the Region and strongly supported the actions being undertaken by the OIE to promote the control of animal diseases and zoonoses worldwide and in the region.

Dr Bernard Vallat warmly thanked the Government of Syria for kindly hosting and supporting the Regional Conference and all participants for their valuable contributions to the outcome of the Conference.

All recommendations adopted by the conference will be submitted for consideration and adoption during the next OIE General Assembly of all Member Countries in May 2008.

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