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The Director General of the OIE, Dr Bernard Vallat and the Director General of SADC met in Gaberone

Gaberone (Botswana) - The Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Dr. Prega Ramsany and the Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Dr. Bernard Vallat met for a two days consultation at Gaberone, Botswana, on 9 - 11 June 2004. During the meeting, the two organizations agreed on all the technical aspects of a programme of activities of common interest in the framework of the Agreement already established in 2003.

This programme which has to be finalized in administrative matters will be funded mainly by the European Union and will be signed officially in autumn 2004.

It will allow the establishment of an OIE sub regional office dedicated to SADC Member States. Its aim will be to help SADC Members comply with the OIE standards on the quality and the evaluation of the Veterinary Services, on laboratories and common policies on vaccination and control of animal diseases. Such investments on animal disease control will have a positive impact on the reduction of poverty, on food security, on food safety and on the international market access for animals, animal products and vaccines produced in the region.