African OIE Delegates Reach Common Positions on Animal Health Standards for the 85th General Session of OIE

Under the auspices of the Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa (Vet-Gov) project and the Standards and Trade Secretariat (STS), AU-IBAR convened the ninth meeting for OIE delegates, from 3rd to 5th May 2015 in Nairobi to examine the proposed changes in the OIE Terrestrial and Aquatic Codes submitted for adoption during the General Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates which will take place in Paris, France from 21st to 26th May 2017.

In attendance were fifty two (52) Delegates from Africa Union Member States. Representative of FAO (ECTAD Nairobi), OIE sub-regional office for East Africa) and EU also participated in the meeting.

The meeting was officially opened by the Director of AU-IBAR Prof Ahmed El-Sawalhy on behalf of Her Excellency Madam Sacko Josefa Leonel Correa, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture. Prof. El-Sawalhy congratulated and welcomed the OIE Delegates of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Uganda who were recently appointed and were attending this Pan-African CVOs meeting for the first time in that capacity. Prof El-Sawalhy noted that the impact of the participation of Africa in the General Sessions of OIE had increased tremendously and that the African block now plays a major role in the discussions taking place in the OIE. He stressed the need to sustain the momentum and keep working at improving participation in OIE standard-setting process. He acknowledged the importance of OIE standards in public health protection and market access. He therefore encouraged Member States to domesticate these standards in their national veterinary legislations and policies.

During the meeting, the African OIE Delegates and the representatives of RECs agreed on common positions that the 54 African countries members of OIE will present at the 85th General Session of OIE.

During a closed session, the OIE Delegates, under the leadership of the OIE Regional Commission for Africa, also deliberated on the election to fill the African positions at the OIE Council and the Bureau of the OIE Regional Commission for Africa left vacant. The Delegates reached a consensus on the African candidates vying for these positions.

The meeting recommended to African OIE Delegates absent at the meeting in Nairobi to support the common positions in order for Africa to speak with ONE VOICE.

The meeting is being organized jointly by the EU sponsored project “Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa (Vet-Gov)” and the Standards and Trade Secretariat (STS) of AU-IBAR.
VET-GOV Programme aimed at improving the institutional environment at national and regional levels to provide effective and efficient animal health services in Africa.
The Standards and Trade Secretariat is a successor initiative to the PANSPSO Project which ended in 2015. The STS was established to facilitate the effective participation of African countries in the activities of the OIE, IPPC, and Codex Alimentarius Commission during the formulation of international standards on food safety, animal and plant health, and WTO-SPS Committee.