OIE, FAO and WHO enlarge their collaboration commitment to face health challenges

Today, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have released their second Tripartite strategic document  reaffirming their commitment to provide multi-sectoral, collaborative leadership in addressing health challenges. The scope of their collaboration will be enlarged to more broadly embrace the “One Health” approach recognizing that human health, animal health and the environment are interconnected.

Paris, Rome, Geneva – 13 October 2017: FAO, the OIE and WHO have been working together for years to address risks at the human-animal-ecosystems interface. Their collaborative work was formally laid down in 2010 in the FAO/OIE/WHO Tripartite Concept Note, and on multiple occasions, the three Organisations demonstrated that bringing together their knowledge, insights and technical capacities in human and animal health, food and agriculture, can generate strong synergies, which will yield more robust, effective and cost-efficient solutions to the complex problems facing the world today.

Since 2010, the Tripartite partners concentrated their efforts on three main technical topics, antimicrobial resistance, rabies and zoonotic influenza, three areas of work considered as representative of the importance of multi-sectoral collaboration for effective risk management.

The achievements are today visible. The WHO Global Action Plan against antimicrobial resistance has been developed with the close collaboration of FAO and OIE, and the Member Countries of the three organisations have committed to implement it at national level. In 2015, a Global framework for the elimination of dog-mediated human rabies has been adopted by countries, and has set the objective of reducing the number of human deaths to zero by 2030. And finally, the tripartite partners have been working hand in hand on zoonotic influenza for more than a decade, in particular thanks to the OFFLU network, improved global surveillance and information sharing with WHO experts to adapt flu vaccines to the current animal strains in circulation.

In parallel, in response to global events the organisations have also been working on a number of other topics that require multi-sectoral leadership such as zoonotic Tuberculosis, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome – Coronavirus (MERS CoV), or tools and capacity building to help strengthen cooperation between human health and animal health systems and synergise capacity development of health services.

Building on these successes, the partners have recently decided to enlarge the scope of their collaboration.

The document “The Tripartite’s Commitment: Providing multi-sectoral, collaborative leadership in addressing health challenges. October 2017”, presents the way forward that the three organisations will follow to face the challenges of the future. While maintaining the momentum achieved for antimicrobial resistance, rabies and zoonotic influenza, the partners decided to enlarge their collaboration with a particular focus on:

  • the reinforcement of national services in human health, animal health and food safety; 
  • the strengthening and modernisation of early warning and surveillance/monitoring systems;
  • the foresight, preparedness and response to emerging, re-emerging and neglected infectious diseases;
  • the encouragement and the promotion of coordinated research and development to achieve a common understanding of the highest priority zoonotic diseases;
  • the challenge that represents food safety requiring a multi-sector approach in the context of reinforcing food security.

This ambitious programme will be supported by the Tripartite secretariat, in order to drive effective and efficient coordination of their efforts in each of the strategic priority areas through joint planning, monitoring and reporting. As such, the Tripartite aims to maximize collaborative work programmes in all its activities. Partnerships with other key stakeholders in health will also be promoted, as well as participatory community outreach and improved public awareness and risk communication.

Through this new Tripartite strategic document, FAO, OIE and WHO re-commit to developing and implementing multisectoral approaches to face complex health challenges at the human- animal-ecosystems interface. And through their leadership and coordination at the global level, the partners will continue to encourage and support similar collaborations in regional, national and local networks.



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