Thursday, November 11, 2010

Statement of ASEAN Agriculture Ministers


The ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry have issued here on October 23 a joint statement on “ASEAN Cooperation on Animal Health and Zoonoses: Avian Influenza and Beyond”.
Following is the full text of the statement:

1- We, the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, during the 32nd AMAF Meeting on 24 October 2010, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, under the Chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Chan Sarun, agreed to declare our support and commitment in advancing the ASEAN Cooperation on Animal Health and Zoonoses;
2- Recognising the significant importance of the ASEAN Cooperation on Animal Health and Zoonoses in the sustainable economic development of the region and in the realisation of the shared vision of an ASEAN Community, where its peoples are outward-looking and living in peace, stability and prosperity;
3- Recognising the expansive and devastating impact brought about by the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) since the first outbreaks in 2003 on the livelihoods of farmers, food security and safety, and public health, as well as the significant progress and achievements made in its prevention, control and eradication through the collective efforts by all stakeholders;
4- Concerned however that HPAI being persistent in some countries, it remains a major threat to ASEAN and requires continued political support and commitment for its effective control and eradication. We therefore fully support the adoption and implementation of the “Roadmap Towards an HPAI-Free ASEAN Community by 2020” to serve as our long-term strategic framework in addressing avian influenza and other transboundary and zoonotic diseases of signification priority to the region;
5- In particular, we recognize the achievements and continuing efforts in addressing the threats and challenges in the effective control and eradication of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) through the expended South-East Asia China Foot and Mouth Disease (SEACFMD) Programme, and fully support the implementation of its Roadmap for FMD Freedom with Vaccination by 2020 in South-East Asia”;
6- We also recognise the significant socio-economic impacts of Classical Swine Fever (CSF), Newcastle Disease (ND), Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), and other emerging/re-emerging diseases, and in full support for the development and implementation of strategic frameworks and mechanisms at national and regional levels;
7- Recognising further that the backbone of an effective and sustainable disease prevention and control strategy is a strong animal health system particularly veterinary services, we support the need for the ASEAN Member States (AMS) to allocate appropriate resources to build-up our respective veterinary services and infrastructure to the level required by international standard setting bodies. We are therefore in full support of the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE) Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) pathway to help AMSs evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their national veterinary services and identify weaknesses and could form the basis for improving deficiencies and building effective veterinary infrastructures and in enhancing private sector engagement;
8- We also take note and support the ongoing initiative of the Programme for Strengthening Veterinary Services (PSVS), in South-East Asia by OIE and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and particularly recognize the need for a comprehensive animal health legislation and governance as a key element for veterinary authorities to enforce disease control programmes;
9- Considering the complex nature of transboundary and zoonotic diseases as well as the need for a comprehensive, integrated and concerted approach in effectively addressing them, we affirm our support on the ongoing initiative to establish a “Regional Coordination Mechanism on Animal Health and Zoonoses” that will provide a unified and broader mechanism for regional coordination to address current priority diseases as well as provide for effective response to new, emerging or re-emerging transboundary and zoonotic disease threats in ASEAN. We further re-affirm our support to the strengthening of existing regional initiatives supporting animal health such as the ASEAN Animal Health Trust Fund (AAHTF) and the ASEAN Regional Animal Health Information System (ARAHIS);
10- Recognising that 75% of recent emerging human diseases originated from animals, we declare our commitment to advance the One Heath Approach and support existing collaborative frameworks on animal and public health governance at global, regional and national levels to address vulnerabilities associated with zoonotic diseases. In particular, we encourage the operationalisation of the “ASEAN Plus Three Joint Recommendations and Work Plan on Animal and Human Health Collaboration”, and the “Call for Action towards the Elimination of Rabies in the AMSs and Plus Three Countries”, endorsed by the SOM-AMAF;
11- We further recognize the increasing challenges posed by animal and public health-related issue due to closer integration and globalization, necessitates strategic partnerships and cooperation with relevant development partners and donor agencies such as the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), World Health Organisation (WHO), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), European Commission (EC), Plus Three Countries, etc. This is for us maximise our synergies and complementarities in facing squarely the challenges posed by transboundary and zoonotic diseases and laying the foundations for sustainable animal health systems in the region; and
12- Finally, we, the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry, hereby pledge our commitment to fully support these initiatives and now task the SOM-AMAF and ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Livestock (ASWGL) to implement necessary actions and report progress in the advancement of the ASEAN Cooperation on Animal Health and Zoonoses that contribute to a prosperous, stable, peaceful and safe ASEAN Community.

List of Ministers:

-H.E. Pehin Dato Yahya, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam
-H.E. Dr. Chan Sarun, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia
-H.E. Dr. Suswono, Minister of Agriculture, Indonesia
-H.E. Dr. Ty Phommasack Vice Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao PDR
-H.E. Datuk Seri Noh Bin Omar, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Malaysia
-H.E. Mr. Ohn Myint, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Myanmar
-H.E. Mr. Segfredo R. Serrano, Undersecretary of Department of Agriculture, Philippines
-H.E. Dr. Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Parliamentary Secretary for National Development, Singapore
-H.E. Mr. Theera Wongsamut, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand
-H.E. Mr. Ho Xuan Hung, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam
-H.E. Mr. S. Pushpanathan, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community.

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