Tunis, Tunisia

UMA regional seminar veterinary legislation (Tunis)

From the 8th to the 12th of June, Tunis was host to a Regional seminar of the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), organised in collaboration with the OIE. The seminar brought together the five Member States of the Arab Maghreb Union (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) to critically reflect on their national veterinary legislation on the control of animal diseases in view of embarking on a process of regional harmonisation.

The seminar was officially opened by the Director of Veterinary Services of Tunisia, Dr Malek Zrelli, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture. He welcomed the participants and thanked them for their commitment to a regional approach.

The representative of UMA, Mr. Abuagila G. R. Shadi, thanked AU-IBAR for its relentless support to UMA. He explained the work of the UMA Permanent Veterinary Committee and informed the participants of a plan to establish an emergency fund for the control of animal diseases. Dr Riadh Mansouri, representing FAO, thanked AU-IBAR for inviting FAO to the seminar and reiterated their commitment to support the process.

Dr Rachid Bouguedour, the Sub-Regional Representative of the OIE for North Africa, thanked AU-IBAR for the laudable initiative and presented the various regional instruments with emphasis on the Permanent Veterinary Committee and its sub-committees.

Finally, Dr Bruce Mukanda, representing the Director of AU-IBAR, thanked the Government of the Republic of Tunisia through its Ministry responsible for animal husbandry, for hosting this important seminar. He also thanked all participants for responding to AU-IBAR’s invitation to the seminar, stressing the demonstration of their commitment to sharing knowledge and experiences on review, formulation and harmonization of veterinary legislation.

Dr Mukanda quoted Chapter 3.4 of the OIE Terrestrial Code, which states that “…good governance is a recognized global public good which is of crucial importance for Member Countries. Legislation is a key element in achieving good governance”. He added that the issue is addressed by AU-IBAR through a specific contribution agreement with the European Commission, as part of the VET-GOV programme. Two more contribution agreements were signed between the European Commission, FAO, and OIE, to complement the work of AU-IBAR.

A total of 35 veterinarians and legal experts attended the seminar which was facilitated by experts from OIE, AU-IBAR, FAO and UMA.

The next regional seminar will take place in Maseru, Lesotho, for the Member States of SADC (July 6 – 10, 2015).

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