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OIE's participation in International Pledging Conference on Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza

Beijing 17-18 January 2006

During the International Pledging Conference on Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza which was held on 17 th and 18 th January 2006 in Beijing ( China ), the international community pledged a total amount of $1.9 billion US dollars to fight avian influenza and to cope with a possible human influenza pandemic. Co-organised by the Government of the People's Republic of China , the World Bank and the European Union, the main goal of the conference was to confirm the technical strategies that had already been agreed upon in Geneva in November 2005 and to define the mechanisms by which the pledges announced in Beijing by donors would be managed.

The conference was attended by almost 700 participants including a large number of OIE Delegates who formed part of their respective national delegations.

In his two presentations, Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE stressed the front line role to be played by Veterinary Services worldwide in the field of prevention and control of the spread of animal pathogens. He presented OIE's strategy in the fight against avian influenza at the global, regional and national level.

“The OIE proposes that financial support be provided for the immediate creation of a global forum to define new global veterinary policies, build new alliances among international organisations, private sector and consumers, and develop common communication policies on threats from animal diseases”, Dr Vallat said.

“At the regional level, we propose to support mirror actions through Regional Animal Health Centres with the involvement of relevant Regional Organisations, within the framework of the joint FAO/OIE GF-TADs (Global Framework for the progressive control of Transboundary animal Diseases) regional mechanism, which was created within the very strong partnership existing between the two organisations. This mechanism will facilitate coordination of regional policies and provide technical inputs through evaluation of Veterinary Services, capacity building and expertise provided to countries on request”.

“At national level, the evaluation of Veterinary Services will be crucial for the preparation and the design of national investments to be made in order to address the prevention and control of avian influenza and other emerging and re emerging diseases linked to globalisation. This evaluation will also determine the national needs on capacity building and build new alliances between official Veterinary Services and the private sector (including farmers). For example, the implementation of compensation mechanisms for farmers in case of disease outbreaks will constitute a priority”, he added.

In Beijing , more than ten international donors showed interest in providing financial support to OIE's proposals.