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Report of the 28th Conference of the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania

28th CONFERENCE OF THE
OIE REGIONAL COMMISSION FOR ASIA,
THE FAR EAST AND OCEANIA


Cebu, Philippines

18-22 November 2013

Report



REPORT OF THE 28th CONFERENCE OF THE
OIE REGIONAL COMMISSION FOR ASIA, THE FAR EAST AND OCEANIA


The Regional Commission of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) or the World Organization for Animal Health conducts a Conference in one of its member countries once every two years. This time, it was the Philippines’ turn to host the 28th Conference of the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East, and Oceania. Amidst the calamities (earthquake and typhoon) that recently battered most of the Central Philippines, the Conference still pushed through and was held in Cebu City on 18 - 22 November 2013.

The Conference brought together the delegates from the OIE Regional Commission Member Countries, the President of the World Assembly of Delegates (Dr. Karin SCHWABENHAUER), the OIE Director General (Dr. Bernard VALLAT), and other important personnel from the OIE Headquarters, the representatives of international and regional organizations, a number of observers, as well as chosen experts to examine animal health, animal welfare, and animal production food safety issues within the region. The event had successfully promoted regional cooperation among its 32 member countries in the control of animal diseases and expounded relevant recommendations and reports, in accordance with the OIE General Rules.

During the Opening Ceremony, which was conducted in the presence of the Philippine local government executives and Under-Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, a Motion of Condolence was read and a brief moment of silence was offered for the victims of super typhoon Haiyan (locally named Yolanda). Both the OIE President and Director General had expressed, on behalf of the OIE Member Countries, their sympathy to the victims as well as its commitment of support and warmly thanked the Philippine Government for accommodating the Conference in spite of the disasters.

The Conference Agenda started off with an overview of the OIE Activities and Visions of the 21st Century followed by the Activities of the Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East, and Oceania and the OIE Regional and Sub-Regional Representation for Asia, the Far East, and Oceania.

A presentation on the animal health situation of Member Countries in the region using the OIE WAHIS/WAHID global system increased the awareness of the participants on the exceptional epidemiological events and diseases. They discussed and made recommendations on the following important technical items:
Technical Item I - The use of cost-benefit analysis in animal disease control, including practical examples from the region
Technical Item II - Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) control in the Region

Other vital issues discussed during the Conference include:
- Animal Welfare – the regional strategy and implementation of the Improved Animal Welfare Programme (IAWP)
- Regional initiatives for rabies control
- Roadmap for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) control
- New global pathway for improving the trans-boundary movement of horses for competition
- Improvement of the participation of all Member Countries of the Region to OIE standard-setting activities in animal disease control and animal welfare
- Establishment of an alliance of countries with pastoralism activities by nomadic populations
- Strengthening of the Veterinary Services
- The OIE Strategic Plan (2016-2020) – Concepts and Perspectives

The recommendations adopted shall be presented for final endorsement during the World Assembly of the 178 National Delegates that is to be held in Paris in May 2014. The Conference was, indeed, a resounding success.

Moreover, as an expression of gratitude and hospitality, the host country invited the participants to see and experience the Filipino culture through the gala nights and a cultural heritage tour in the Southern towns of Cebu prior to the culmination of the Conference.

LTC RUBEMA M CANDELARIO VC
Veterinary Corps Officer, Armed Forces of the Philippines