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Opening of the 85th OIE General Session

Delegates from the 180 OIE Member Countries are meeting in Paris for six days of discussion and debate at the 85th General Session of the OIE World Assembly of Delegates, to adopt new international standards and guidelines for animal health and welfare.

Paris, 21 May 2017 – The works of the 85th edition of the OIE General Session have been declared open this afternoon at the Maison de la Chimie Conference Centre (Paris) by Dr Botlhe Michael Modisane, President of the OIE. A number of opening speeches were given during the Opening Ceremony including fifteen speeches from Ministers and government representatives from OIE Member Countries as well as key institutional stakeholders, and notably Ms. Josefa Correia Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture.

In addition, three recorded messages were addressed to the Assembly by Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), M. Gilbert Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Pr Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer of United Kingdom and co-convener of the Interagency coordination group which provides practical guidance to ensure sustained effective global action to address antimicrobial resistance.

The OIE was pleased to benefit from the support provided by France, the Organisation’s host country. This support will be further underlined to the Assembly in a speech by the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Mr. Jacques Mézard, at the opening of the Monday 22 May session.

All the speeches given during the Opening Ceremony will be available on Youtube.                           

The Opening Ceremony brought together nearly 800 participants from OIE Member Countries, representatives of the government authorities of these countries, and numerous representatives of national, regional, international and intergovernmental organisations. The ceremony was punctuated with the performance of a music group, Family One.
© OIE/I. Zezima

Honours and awards

During the Ceremony, the OIE presented its awards for services to the veterinary community and to the OIE. The Gold Medal was awarded to Dr David Paton (United Kingdom), while three meritorious awards were presented to Dr Konrad Sachse (Germany), Dr Nikolay Ivanov (Kazakhstan) and Dr Walter N. Masiga (Kenya).

Finally, the winners of the OIE worldwide photo competition, “Animal health and welfare, beyond the cliché”, were also announced for their respective regions:



OIE Network

Student Network


Dr Janette James (South Africa)

Mr Khaled Daamer (Tunisia)


Mr Fernando Dias (Brazil)

Ms Ginger Hobgood (United States of America)

Asia and Pacific

Dr Yadamsuren Dagvadorj (Mongolia)

Mr Christopher Ashish (India)


Dr Alfonso Ferrer Yus (Spain)

Mr Simon Halas (Slovakia)

Middle East

Dr Mozafar Sarmasti (Iran)

Dr Seyyed Jamal Emami (Iran)

Discover the winning photos on the website dedicated to the competition: www.oiephotocompetition.com

Watch the Award Ceremony!

Themes to be covered during the General Session

The works of the General Session will continue over the next five days and conclude on Friday, 26 May, with the formal adoption of the Resolutions discussed in plenary session by the Assembly of Delegates of OIE Member Countries.

In addition to the adoption of international standards, the following topics will be addressed and debated this year:    

  • Latest developments in global strategies developed by the OIE, particularly in relation to the fight against antimicrobial resistance.    
  • Proposition of an OIE Global Animal Welfare Strategy.    
  • Launch of a rinderpest communication campaign and publication of the 2016 Annual Report.    
  • Recognition of official disease status for certain Member Countries against priority diseases.    
  • Presentation of the global animal health situation.    
  • Presentation of future developments envisaged for WAHIS, the OIE World Animal Health Information System towards the WAHIS+ system.    
  • A new procedure for the election of the experts, members of the four OIE Specialist Commissions.

This 2017 edition will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the launch of the OIE PVS Pathway, a global program for the improvement of Veterinary Services.

A number of cross-cutting issues will be featured during the two technical sessions, namely:    

  • Global action to alleviate the threat of antimicrobial resistance: progress and opportunities for future activities under the ‘One Health’ initiative.    
  • Public-Private Partnerships: expectations of private sector partners for international animal health and livestock development programmes.

Finally, the membership of the 181st OIE Member, namely Curacao, will be submitted to the approval of the Assembly.

Follow the discussions of the 85th General Session of the OIE: #OIE85SG on social media (Twitter / Facebook

Several press releases will cover the topics addressed throughout the week.

In addition, some sessions and interviews will be broadcast on our Youtube channel, and official photos of the event will be made available on FlickR.

Further press information:

Contact: media@oie.int / 06 16 46 28 90