Under the auspice of the co-presidency of Jordan and Italy – the Joint OIE and FAO secretariat (based in Tunis) – organised in collaboration with the Jordanian Authority the 15th meeting of the REMESA Joint Permanent Committee that was held in Jordan (Dead Sea) from 20 to 22 November 2017.
The meeting was co-chaired by Dr Sami Al-Edwan (General Secretary, Assistant of Livestock of MoA of Jordan) and Dr Silvio Borrello (CVO of Italy) who welcomed the participants by highlighting the importance of the REMESA network. The Deputy Director General of the OIE, Dr Jean- Philippe Dop, and the representative of the FAO, Dr Ahmed El Idrissi (Senior Animal Health Officer) also addressed the opening messages to the audience. OIE and FAO staff from Regional and Sub-Regional representations of Middle East and North Africa was also present.
The meeting was attended by about 35 people including the Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of REMESA member countries or their representatives from Egypt, France, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Mauritania, Spain and Tunisia) as well as the representatives from the European Union, Dr Moritz Klemm (DG SANTE) and from EuFMD, Dr Fabrizio Rosso and Dr Dinara Imanbayeva. Italian Experts from the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise (IZSAM) and Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna (IZSLER) also participated in the meeting by providing specific expertise. Experts from the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) attended the meeting as well.
It was acknowledged the effective participation of the newly appointed CVO of Libya – who was accompanied by Libyan experts – who provided very useful sanitary information about the epidemiogical situation of FMD and PPR in their country as well as further activities being planned in light of the difficult political situation experiencing by the country and its sanitary impact in the region.
In the context of “One Health”, Dr Jean-Philippe Dop provided an update on the current situation on avian influenza as well as the future challenges and the OIE commitments related to the revisions of the relevant chapters. Dr. Ahmed El Idrissi also made a presentation on rabies by recalling the global perspective of eradicating human rabies cases and pertinent international initiatives.
The meeting was therefore an opportunity to update the epidemiological situation in the Mediterranean for some specific diseases considered to be priority for the network such as foot-and-mouth disease, PPR, rabies and avian influenza. Additional information was provided on bluetongue, lumpy skin disease and MERS-CoV.
A session was devoted to present information systems and, in this context, the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) and Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) systems of the European Union were presented to improve collaboration with non-EU member countries. In the same session it was also presented the National Veterinary Information System of Italy.
Among the issues of increasing interest, a working session was held on disaster management and risk reduction in relation to Animal Health and Welfare and Veterinary Public Health in order to encourage the confrontation and stimulate exchanges of experiences between countries and to bring this issue into the REMESA platform for further discussion and follow-up. Owing to its interest, the issue of antimicrobial resistance is a regular part of the REMESA agenda to be in line with international goals.
REMESA remains an official platform of considerable importance to allow Mediterranean countries to share and plan activities in the field of animal health and public health veterinary in order to control trans-national diseases and to increase mutual trust among the various countries.
The next co-presidency for 2018 will be held by Morocco and France.
All pictures © A. Ripani (oie) 2017.