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Capacity building activities of the OIE Regional Representation for Eastern Europe well underway with three new seminars

The OIE Regional Representation for Eastern Europe pursues its capacity building mission within the “Dialogue and common activities between OIE Member Countries of the EU (European Union) and the other OIE Member Countries of the Regional Commission for Eastern Europe” with the conclusion of three new information seminars on animal health and veterinary services held in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia from October 2 nd to October 7 th 2006.

The capacity building programme aims at reaching out to the highest policy-making spheres of Member Countries for strengthening national veterinary services and animal disease prevention and control policies. Seminars are designed to directly involve national veterinary services, stakeholders and government officials in their works.

Organised in cooperation with the European Commission (EC) and EC -TAIEX (the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument of the Institution Building unit of Directorate-General Enlargement of the European Commission) the three seminars were particularly well perceived by the national and local authorities.

They mainly looked into informing on mandates and standard setting activities by giving an overview of EC directives and legislation and OIE standards and guidelines ( Terrestrial Animal Health Code and Aquatic Animal Health Code ).

Special attention was paid to the OIE Fourth Strategic Plan for 2006-2010 , the new World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS) and to the relevant ways of collaboration between the OIE and the EU within the OIE Regional Commission for Eastern Europe .

The need for a common OIE/EC strategy in Europe in the field of veterinary qualification, implementation of OIE standards and veterinary legislation throughout all of Europe was unanimously supported.

In Georgia approximately 100 participants attended, counting stakeholders, Veterinary Services, representatives of veterinary academia and members of the Government. Similarly, the events in Azerbaijan and Armenia gathered some 200 participants across the veterinary and political spectrum under the auspices of Mr. Ismet Abasov and Mr. David Lokyan, respectively Minister of Agriculture of Azerbaijan and Armenia .

The programme destined to OIE Member Countries of Eastern Europe is part of the OIE's IVth Strategic Plan approved in May 2005 and is planned for completion in 2008. So far it was applied to 11 countries, and the seminars in Georgia , Azerbaijan and Armenia were the last scheduled during the fourth quarter of 2006.