The World Assembly of Delegates is the highest authority of the OIE.
It comprises the Delegates of all Member Countries and meets at least once a year. The General Session of the Assembly lasts five days and is held every year in May in Paris.
Voting by Delegates within the Assembly respects the democratic principle of ‘one country, one vote’.
The main functions of the Assembly are:
- to adopt international standards in the field of animal health, especially for international trade;
- to adopt resolutions on the control of the major animal diseases;
- to elect the members of the governing bodies of the OIE (President and Vice-President of the Assembly, members of the Council and of the Regional Commissions), as well as the members of the Specialist Commissions;
- to appoint the Director General of the OIE;
- to examine and approve the annual report of activities and the financial report of the Director General and the annual budget of the OIE.
In addition, during the General Session, two technical items of general interest are dealt by speakers chosen for their specialist knowledge, and the animal health situation worldwide is presented in summary form with additional information provided by each Member Country.
The work of the World Assembly of Delegates is prepared by the Council, which consists of nine Delegates and meets under the chairmanship of the President of the Assembly each year, at least , in February and May.
During the General Session, Delegates have an opportunity to meet in their respective Regional Commissions to discuss problems of common interest.