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27th Conference of the OIE Regional Commission for Europe: towards a new dynamic

19-23 September 2016

Lisbon (Portugal)

© DGAV-Portugal 

Lisbon, 26 September 2016 - The 27th Conference of the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE) Regional Commission for Europe, whose composition totals 53 Member Countries, was held in Lisbon, Portugal, from 19 to 23 September 2016.

The Opening ceremony was attended by several local and regional authorities. His Excellency, Mr Luis Capoulas Santos, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development of the State of Portugal, Dr Botlhe Michael Modisane, President of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates, Dr Maris Balodis, President of the OIE Regional Commission for Europe and Delegate of Latvia and Dr Monique Éloit, OIE Director General addressed welcome messages to the audience.
The event gathered national Delegates and/or their representatives of 40 Member Countries of the OIE Regional Commission for Europe and several high level representatives of the OIE Headquarters, the OIE Regional Representation in Moscow (Russia), the OIE Sub-regional Representation in Brussels (Belgium) and the OIE Sub Regional FMD Coordination Unit Office in Astana (Kazakhstan). Representatives of international and regional organisations involved in animal and veterinary public health activities in the region and numerous observers and experts also participated in the event.

The Conference was the occasion to pilot an innovative programme aimed at enhancing the participation of Member Countries in the discussions and decision-making on issues relevant to the region. As a result, plenary presentations on the necessary relationship among the various institutional actors, group sessions and panel discussions triggered a new dynamic for this important institutional event.

Participants were also provided with detailed information, analyses, and trends on the diseases of greatest concern in Europe, gathered through the OIE World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS), namely lumpy skin disease, African swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease, rabies, peste des petits ruminants and highly-pathogenic avian influenza.

The following technical items were subsequently discussed: “Control and elimination of rabies in Europe: challenges and strategies for a rabies-free Europe” and “Lumpy Skin Disease: current situation in Europe and neighbouring regions and necessary control measures to halt the spread in South-East Europe”.

Several key issues involving the Member Countries of the region, with special emphasis on the following matters were also deliberated:

Furthermore, a panel discussion involving several international and regional organisations was organised to address the challenges of international trade of animals and products of animal origin.

For the first time, a poster session was held to present, in a more appealing format, the technical knowledge of interest to all participants.

The discussions were fruitful and the recommendations adopted during the Conference will be submitted to the OIE World Assembly in May 2017, for endorsement.

The Conference was kindly hosted by the Portuguese Government.