Tunis, Tunisia

21th meeting of the REMESA Joint Permanent Committee

The 21th Joint Permanent Committee meeting of the Mediterranean Animal Health Network (REMESA) was organized on 16 December 2020. About 60 participants including the Chief Veterinary Officers of REMESA member countries or their representatives from Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, Portugal and Tunisia attended the meeting.

The meeting had the privilege to host the OIE Director General (Dr Monique Eloit) and the CVO of FAO (Dr Keith Sumption) who both addressed to the audience a welcoming speech.

The representatives from the European Commission (DG SANTE) and the Union Maghreb Arab (UMA) also participated in the meeting. Additional institutions/organizations were invited to participate in the meeting for providing specific inputs such as EuFMD, CNVZ (Centre National de Veille Zoosanitaire – Tunisie) and the “Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia”.

REMESA was confirmed as suitable and unique platform for regular dialogue between Chief of Veterinary Officers of 15 Mediterranean countries as well as the recognition of the significant role of the network in the international architecture for the control of animal diseases.

The meeting offered the opportunity to update each other on major sanitary events occurred in the Mediterranean Region such as FMD, PPR, Avian Influenza, Rabies, LSD, SARS-CoV-2 as well as diseases related to climate change such as vector-borne diseases (Rift Valley fever, Bluetongue and West Nile Fever). Results of the joint FAO-OIE-WHO mission deployed to Mauritania to support the local authorities in assessing the RVF situation so to better preventing and controlling outbreaks in the short, medium and long terms was also presented. A summary of EuFMD activities supporting REMESA countries were also highlighted such as those related to risk mapping, FAST diseases reports and surveillance.

As for training activities, the CNVZ – as new OIE collaborating center for veterinary training – presented its working programme as well as the methodology and tools to be used for continuing training.

Finally, the governance and objectives of the network were discussed and validated including the development of the REMESA Unit in Palermo which is charge of coordinating the scientific and technical support to the network.

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