Due to the extraordinary circumstances linked to the COVID‑19 pandemic, the 88th General Session of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has been postponed to May 2021. The adoption of new OIE Resolutions has been limited to essential administrative business and specific technical Resolutions by virtue of the establishment of an adapted procedure. In this context, no new or amended texts for the OIE standards were adopted in 2020. However, key achievements made since May 2019 regarding the work of the four Specialist Commissions were presented by their Presidents.
Since May 2019, the OIE Specialist Commissions have worked on the development and revision of several OIE international standards. These included, for instance, the revision of disease-specific standards and the development of new ones, notably on the official control programmes for listed and emerging diseases. Numerous amendments have also been made to various chapters of the Terrestrial and Aquatic Manuals and Codes.
It was agreed that all chapters that were to be proposed for adoption this year would be circulated for one more round of comments prior to being proposed for adoption at the 2021 OIE General Session.
Implementation of global strategies on animal diseases
Updates on the implementation of global strategies and initiatives on different diseases by OIE Members have also been presented.
The numerous planning and capacity-building activities carried out in the framework of the global strategy for the control and eradication of peste des petits ruminants have been highlighted in the presentation.
African swine fever is still a threat to pigs and the pig industry in several regions. Following Resolution no. 33 of May 2019, a global initiative has been developed in the structure of the OIE/FAO Global Framework for the progressive control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF‑TADs).
The coming launch of the first OIE strategy for aquatic animal health has also been announced. It will allow the OIE Community to identify and coordinate actions to address high-priority needs in managing aquatic animal health and welfare, and to focus resources on activities that will provide lasting impacts.
A larger global network of scientific expertise
The OIE has access to leading knowledge and skills thanks to its global network of Reference Centres composed of Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres. The sharing of information among these various institutes has proved vital to the achievements in animal health and disease control throughout the world. In 2020, 15 new institutions have been designated as OIE Reference Centres by the World Assembly of Delegates. This brings the total number of official OIE centres of scientific excellence to 326 in 46 countries.