Larnaca, Cyprus

19th meeting of the REMESA Joint Permanent Committee

Under the auspices of the co-presidency of Egypt and Cyprus – the Joint OIE and FAO secretariat (based in Tunis) – organised in collaboration with the Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus the 19th meeting of the REMESA Joint Permanent Committee that was held in Larnaca (Cyprus) on 9-10 December 2019.

The meeting was attended by about 30 people including the Chief Veterinary Officers of REMESA member countries or their representatives from Algeria, Egypt, France, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, Greece, Tunisia, Cyprus, Jordan and Malta.

The representative from the European Commission (Dr Francesco Berlingieri – DG SANTE), the representative of Union Maghreb Arab (Ms Faouzia Chakiri Boulouiz – UMA) also participated in the meeting. Additional institutions/organisations were asked to participate in the meeting for providing specific inputs such as EuFMD (see presentations).

The meeting was co-chaired by Dr Christodoulos Charalambous Pipis (Chief Veterinary Officer of Cyprus and OIE delegate) and Dr Mahmoud Mohamed Ali Abdelhakim (Chief Veterinary Officer of Egypt and OIE delegate).

An overview of the major animal diseases situation in the Mediterranean basin was provided (FMD, PPR….) with the objective of making the state of play of the activities and share the updated epidemiological situation to better target future actions.


Particular attention was dedicated to vector-borne diseases such as Bluetongue, West Nile Disease and RVF in order to discuss potential future activities in the Mediterranean basin to have an increased, harmonised and targeted surveillance for diseases that are circulating (e.g. Bluetongue, WND) or representing a threat for the region (e.g. RVF). The OIE Sub-Regional Representation for North Africa announced for 2020 the organisation of a dedicated workshop for discussing vector-borne diseases in the sub-region.

A session was also devoted to discuss “One Health” topics under the framework of the Tripartite (OIE/FAO/WHO) such as AMR and rabies and tools like PMP (Progressive Management Pathway for AMR), the JRA (Joint Risk Assessment) for Zoonotic Diseases. In this session, Italy also presented their new electronic system for traceability of veterinary drugs (e-prescription).

The meeting was also the opportunity to present the results of a questionnaire finalized to collect information about specific issues concerning animal disease control and trade in live animals and animal products in the Mediterranean area which confirmed a significant trade interactions between REMESA member countries as well as the need of discussing issues related to trade and disease control to respond to the challenges highlighted by the questionnaire.

Updates on regional projects were also shared with the audience. The outcomes of the 2nd ERFAN North Africa meeting held in Tunis in November 2019 were presented as well as the proposal of the OIE twinning project (under elaboration) on Animal Welfare between Italy and Tunisia. In addition, the regional and interagency cooperation project to build resilience against agro-crime and bioterrorism was presented since North Africa and Middle East regions are targeted region for the implementation of the project. The main objective of the project is to strengthen national and international capabilities to rapidly identify, confirm, assess and respond to biological attacks or incidents.

The last part of the agenda was dedicated to continue discussing the governance and the future activities and functioning of REMESA after ten years of its creation. An online questionnaire is being prepared to be submitted to REMESA member countries to better adapt and prepare the governance and strategy of REMESA for the future years. Also, an update from the new regional scientific and technical coordination unit of REMESA based at the “Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia (IZS-SI)” based in Palermo (Italy) – established under the umbrella of the REMESA secretariat – was provided to the audience in view of planning their activities.

The co-presidency for 2020 will be Algeria and Greece.

All pictures (c) A. Ripani (oie) 2019.

Previous REMESA meetings

Cairo, Egypt

18th meeting of the REMESA Joint Permanent Committee

June 27, 2019
Read more
Paris, France

17th meeting of the REMESA Joint Permanent Committee

November 28, 2018
Read more
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