1. The objective of these recommendations is to facilitate the contacts between the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the military health services of the Members of the International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM), to include their participation with WHO's Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN).

2. This initiative falls under the Agreement between WHO and ICMM signed in 1952 and updated in 2004 that, notably, provides for cooperation and consultation in matters of assistance to the victims of conflicts and disasters, in accordance in accordance with International Humanitarian Rights and Norms. This cooperation and these consultations aim, inter alia, to permit the military health services to contribute, accordingly to their own means and priorities, to responses to international public health emergencies, mutual training, joint participation in humanitarian exercises and other public health interventions, in agreement with recognized international procedures, norms, and regulations.

3. The domain of WHO includes the public health risk from the use of biological weapons and its actions are specific to the organizations and services in matters of public health. WHO does not intervene in matters relating to the threat of biological weapons that fall under police and law-enforcement services.

4. In accordance with the statutory missions of ICMM (articles 2 and 3 of the statues approved by the General Assembly in Beijing in 1996), the present recommendations submitted for approval by the General Assembly of ICMM proposes that the competent authorities of each ICMM Members agree to welcome bilateral contacts with WHO. The present recommendations do not prejudge the final response of these authorities who will decide in all sovereignty, after each of these bilateral discussions, the type and level of cooperation that they will be ready to accept between their military health service and WHO for assisting the international community to rapidly and accurately detect epidemics and organize an appropriate response to contain and stop them.

5. If the competent authority of each Members agrees to bilateral contacts with WHO as discussed above in paragraph 4, the military health services of interested countries can cooperate with WHO. In accordance with the statues of ICMM, a general report will be prepared for each General Assembly to regularly inform the representatives of the military health services of the Members the development and results of these recommendations.

15 September 2004