His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, today inaugurated the 15th Conference of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Regional Commission for the Middle East in Abu Dhabi.
Hosted by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) in collaboration with OIE and Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), the conference runs until November 14, and convenes animal health and livestock experts, representatives of OIE’s Middle East offices, and stakeholders from the agricultural and animal husbandry sectors, including members of the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD).
The conference features a series of closed informative workshops and presentations on OIE’s role in supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the state of animal health and welfare in OIE member countries, as well as their most successful experiences in the field. The experts will also examine the laws regulating the handling of flora and fauna, particularly endangered species, within the framework of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The outcomes and recommendations emerging from the conference will be presented at the 88th OIE General Session in Paris in May 2020.
Day one of the conference saw His Excellency Saeed Al Bahari Salem Al Ameri, Director General of ADAFSA, and Monique Eloit, OIE Director General, sign a letter of intent to establish OIE’s Sub-Regional Representation (SRR) in Abu Dhabi that will serve the countries of the GCC region and Yemen.
His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: In line with its commitment to realizing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the UAE pays close attention to animal health and welfare. As part of this priority, the country has the right legislations in place to protect and ensure the safety of all species. It has also established top-notch research and lab facilities to mitigate health risks resulting from common and infectious animal diseases.
He added that the selection of the UAE capital to host this edition of the conference and to become the home of the OIE’s Sub-Regional Representation underscores the country’s prominent position as an animal welfare advocate.
For her part, Monique Eloit said: Animal health is undoubtedly a topic of interest in the Middle East region. Given its geographical location at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, the region is a potential conduit for animal diseases and therefore, has a key role to play in their global control. The new OIE Sub Regional Representation for Middle East in Abu Dhabi will facilitate the implementation of OIE international standards to ensure a safe trade in animals and animal products through addressing the challenges faced by the member countries of the region.
Following the signing of the letter, His Excellency Saeed Al Bahari Salem Al Ameri said: Hosting the OIE SRR office in the UAE is a milestone in ADAFSA’s efforts to achieve its strategy and objectives, and will expand the scope of cooperation between OIE and countries in the GCC region to boost animal health and welfare.
He added that through the OIE office in Abu Dhabi, ADAFSA will facilitate the implementation of OIE’s initiatives, promote its guidelines and standards to ensure transparency in reporting animal diseases globally, as well as boost the capacities of local and regional labs in countering animal diseases.
Source: Ministry of Climate Change and Environment