Media briefing on One health

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World Health Organization (WHO)

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Hello and good day to wherever you are listening to us today it's thursday um 20 may 2021 my name is christian lintman i'm welcoming you to a very special press briefing today on one health high level expert panel thank you very much for joining we have a round of a special guest today and first and foremost let me welcome his Excellency french minister for europe and foreign affairs mr jean-yves bienvenue we have mr niels anand the minister of state at the federal foreign office of germany welcome bill common we also have from the fao the director general dr chu dong yu from oie the director general miss dr monique elwa and from the unep the union environment program executive director miss inger anderson And of course we have here in the room with us wgo director general dr tedros adonam gabriel welcome to you all and i'll hand over to dr tedros for the opening remarks thank you thank you christian your excellency john yves ledrian minister for europe and foreign affairs of france your excellency neils annan minister of state at the federal Foreign office of germany professor wanda marcotte and professor thomas matten later me and my colleagues choo chu dongu inga henderson and monique eliot good morning good afternoon and good evening first of all i would like to thank the governments of france and germany for their leadership and support in establishing the one health high level expert panel Its creation fulfills a commitment made at the paris peace forum last november i also want to give a special thanks to the co-chairs professor marcotte and professor mattel later and the other panelists for lending us their time and expertise the kopit 19 pandemic is a powerful demonstration that human health does not exist in a vacuum and nor can our efforts to protect And promote it the close links between human animal and environmental health demand close collaboration communication and coordination between the relevant sectors one health is not a new concept but the high level expert panel is a much needed initiative to take it to the next level the high level expert panel will advise us on how to bridge the gaps between sectors connecting veterinary and human medicine And environmental issues and to address the challenge of implementation at both the global and country level the work of the panel will help us advocate for bold policy measures and investments to reduce the risk of future pandemics and to change harmful practices that threaten us now and in future generations the four organizations That will participate in the joint secretariat bring world-class expertise in their respective areas we believe that by working together more closely in this way we will be much more than the sum of our parts one of the many lessons of the pandemic is that we can only confront shared threats with shared solutions Thank you once again to france and germany for your support and to my colleagues at fao or ie and unep now let's go to work and again thank you so much to his excellency minister johnny ledrang thank you for your personal leadership and for leadership by by france and you have the floor your excellency thank you very much director general Director generals dear friends the pandemic crisis that we've been facing for more than a year now has recalled the overlap between human animal and environmental health and that's why last november and you recalled this at the tripartite alliance meeting between the whole ie and foul during the paris peace forum france and germany proposed the creation of a one health high level expert panel which is meeting this week for the first Time we hope that the creation of this panel which is a strong decision born of the crisis will be followed by other sweeping measures for example the g20 global health summit which is organized tomorrow by italy and the upcoming world health assembly are occasions where we can debate the reforms to come but the rapid establishment of this Panel shows the commitment of the international community to learn from all lessons of the current health crisis while continuing of course to fight the virus i would thus like to thank the director-general of the who for his mobilization as well as the director-general of fow mr chudongyu the director general of oie dr monique alois And the executive director of unep miss anderson thanks to their support thanks to your support we have been able to make this project a reality in rapid time and i would also of course like to greet the 26 members of the panel who are the best international experts in their respective disciplines thank you very much for your commitment uh and to work side by side with wanda marcotter and Thomas martin lighter the two co-chairs of the panel as we are counting on our colleagues from ipcc for climate issues we're counting on you to help us to understand in real time how the emergence or the resurgence of zoonotic diseases and shifts in ecosystems can affect our human health and this therefore is on the one hand to give more visibility to scientific Research on these issues and also to help us to make the right choices at the right time to prevent future health crises or to respond to them as best possible france has made the decision to launch this initiative with germany and has also mobilized some 3 million euros to support the secretariat of the panel and is now expecting the first analyses and recommendations from the experts Because we believe only multilateralism which is funded on cooperation at an international scale and on science can allow us to face the greatest challenges of the 21st century humanity cannot live on an ailing planet everything is based on health we're talking about health climate and biodiversity our responsibility thus is to work together to preserve our common good And this requires double commitment first of all political and secondly scientific that is the death of this panel this one health panel and also the pre-zod initiative which was launched by the president of the republic president welcome the one planet summit in january done together with the fao to again support integration and reforce reinforce Research working on human animal health and the environment thank you very much for your kind attention thank you thank you again for your leadership uh minister thank your excellency the next speaker will be state minister niels annan minister of state for foreign affairs germany your excellency you have the floor minister thank you very much Tedros and thank you minister ludwig for inviting me it is thanks to your outstanding commitment and thanks to the commitment of the heads of fi aoi and unip that we are today able to officially present the one health high level expert panel the covet 19 pandemic was a wake up call for multilateralism and it shows how important global solidarity and international cooperation Are the united nations are on the front are at the front lines when it comes to the global response to the difficult impact of the crisis and to coordinating our response germany and france are supporting the united nations to set the course in order for the world to be better prepared for the next pandemic Because international cooperation is key for a better prevention and management of the pandemics of the future that is why we want to commit ourselves to multilateral solutions like the platform act a initiated by the who and the kovacs initiative the alliance for multilateralism initiated by germany and france has become an important forum for Strengthening multilateral cooperation that is why i am delighted also to be able to officially present the one health high level expert panel together with france we initiated this panel at the event of the alliance for multilateralism in november 2020 during the paris peace forum the fact that this new panel met For its constituting session a little bit more than five months after the first formal launch is a sign of the fact of how important this multilateral is and of how it actually works and this is really a great success congratulations to the co-chairs and the to the 24 scientists for their nomination they reflect the regional and the interdisciplinary Diversity which is also part of the one health approach the close connection between health of humans animals and the environment is something that we have had to learn painfully during this pandemic and the new panel will make an important contribution for the one health approach to be integrated even more into international cooperation and For raising awareness for this approach then one thing one thing is clear there will be outbreaks of novel pathogens in the future and we need to prepare for this the strengthening of the one health approach must be at the center of the recommendations of the who it is already the case and that is why we are committed also for one health to become a central component of A possible international agreement on pandemics it is an important step this new panel an important step of our multilateral response to the pandemic and that is why we wish great success to the experts of the panel during their work for their work and also we we i can say we will support the collaboration of w h o f i o o ie and unep and all the expert thank you very much Thank you thank your excellency thank you for your leadership and thank you to germany then next i will invite my colleague dr chu donghu director general of the food and agriculture organization of the united states of the united nations dr chu you have the floor good morning uh uh my dear colleagues tenderest and dear friends and And the ministers and the and the professors i am very pleased to be here to launch the one house high-level expertise with my colleagues from who oie and the unit we brought together one of the world's best one health expert teams to have our organizations better navigate one health and to ensure that Our collective responses are driven by the best valuable science the panel's broad range of expertise and the diversity regional background will support us in shaping the one health future that we are all as per one health is overarching value for our mandate as a food linkage human animal plant and environment transformed agrofood systems can provide Safe and nutritious foods to our dinner table farmers with a good bios security can provide the spread of zoonotic disease that could lay spill off to the humans and prudent use of antimicrobials and culture can provide the spread of super bugs food and health are interlinked for a productive healthy and happy life we need a Nutritious food such as that in traditional and local desks their styles promote local food production and consumption patents they encourage a sustainable culture and safeguard landscapes we need to make sure that this indigenous knowledge is available for younger generations if a new strategy framework focuses on the transformation to more Efficient more inclusive more resilient and more sustainable agrofood system for better production better nutrition a better environment a better life leaving no one behind with this nexus effort is working closely with our partners the chief patent organization and the uaep and the iae aea And others to effectively implement integrated one health approach the one health high-level expertise partner will support our organizations and members to make the right decisions and prevent long-term public health crisis i would like to encourage the curiosity of a journalist presented here with us and they are interested to know more about the one house to shaping The narrative to promote one house for all i thank you mr caderes thank you thank you my colleague dr chu donggu and now i will proceed to dr our colleague dr monique elwa please uh you have the floor yes thank you very much deteros excellencies minister benjamin muniz guten morgan uh minister uh del sir general of wh Show nfl dieter davos and deardong you dear executive director of unep er inger um ladies and gentlemen easily with a great pleasure that i participate today in this virtual press conference on one health only a couple of days after the inaugural meeting of the newly high established expert panel this panel you need some of the best international experts from a broad range of Disciplines will work together to support us in building bridges between animal health human health and environmental health and today i also would like to publicly acknowledge in front of the minister of france and germany the excellent spirit of cooperation that exists between the teams of our four organizations which work together that this panel could be established in So very short period in fact the intention to establish this panel was only announced last november in the emerging of the paris peace forum and now in may its works has begun and in this context enlarging the separatist show fo and oie collaboration to include unep was definitely a wise decision last year provide us with a dramatic Reminder of how automatic approach limits our ability to address complex issues and that a more holistic approach to health policy should allow us for developing more systematic action that we could incorporate that in her agenda preparedness resilience have become keyword and that has been reminded by mr chu that is really no Common words but let me also add the word prevention that is a very crucial concept when dealing with the control of risks at animal source indeed the issue of risk related to the emergence of pathogens from the animal sector and more particularly from wild life needs to be considered in the more central way And today the lessons first lessons learned from the kobe 19 crisis encourage us to urgently deal with these issues to identify relevant work programs to address these issues and above all to act so that we are more and better prepared for the next time political awareness of pandemic and minister are with us today and social expectation regarding how they Are deal with are higher than ever now we must deliver more efficiently and more quickly but to achieve that we need well-designed strategies and that is at least raised on that of the high level expat panel which will help us by providing robust scientific analyses that will connect the dots and by compiling science and Evidence-based recommendations on policy approach with long-term relevance that will reduce the risk of emergence of zoonosis with pandemic potential of course those experts are encouraged firstly to break boundaries between their respective domains of expertise as well as to build bridges with other international initiatives and platform related to one health The panel has already begun its work under the leadership of professor thomas mittenlighter and dr juan da marcotte whom i currently congratulate and warmly congratulate and we look forward to receiving its first set of recommendations in conclusion ministers ladies and gentlemen let me reiterate the full commitment of zawaii to support Uh the work and the engagement of the co-chair and the full uh high-level panel and implementing and implementing the one else approach and i'm quite sure that together we'll meet the expectation of our memberships and more generally the expectation of the public thank you very much thank you thank you very much my colleague Dr mini monik elwa director general of the world organization for animal health and the next speaker will be our colleague miss inge anderson executive director of unep you have the floor inga thank you so much and dr teddrus and uh to excellency uh mr jean-yves blitz minister for europe and foreign affairs and of course to his excellency mr nelson state Minister for the ministry of foreign affairs germany to my colleagues at uh mr uh you don't you to monique and to you dear tetris it is a pleasure to be here uh also greetings to the two professors whose tireless work we know and we look very much forward to seeing it in the context of the panel deep thanks to the governments of germany and france for leadership in this regard Because as we know to end the three planetary crisis of climate change of biodiversity loss and pollution which threaten our peace and prosperity we have to understand that human and animal and planetary health are one and the same you have just said dr tedra's human health does not exist in a vacuum and that is indeed the issue illnesses that jump from Animals to humans as a result of degraded environments and unsustainable use of animal resources drive this message home and covet 19 being a very devastating example here so we need that one health approach but let's be honest the weakest link in terms of our attention as a global community in terms of our research and our Investment in the animal human environmental communica continuum is environmental health and together we can fix that that means ending over exploitation of wildlife and natural resources that means having a conversation about global dietary patterns that means farming that is nature positive this means finance that doesn't destroy nature And it means investing in the science and the partnerships across disciplines and capacities so that we are able to prepare and prevent the next pandemic it's precisely for this reason that we at unit welcome this one health high level expert panel as we tackle complex and multi-disciplinary issues that at that interface of human animal and environmental health we need the disciplines Of sil skill sets of knowledge of experiences of geographies and solutions this panel breaks silence between these disciplines and in doing so represents a fundamentally new approach to tackling the planetary challenges that we face we at unh count on your invaluable scientific advice in exploring the role of ecosystem health in the well-being of people and Animals i also welcome and we at unip stand ready to join as a member the tripartite alliance of w-h-o-o-i-e and fao to deepen and also of course to deepen our bilateral partnership with our friends at oie unip can bring to the table our networks and assets data and science networks with the ministries of environments and Of course the 17 multilateral environmental agreements that we host as well as youth groups and so much more so we together we can secure human animal and environmental health but only if we address them together and do the work together and the mission could not be more important because right now we are in the middle of epidemic and kobe 19 has taught us if you distort us anything it is that we Cannot be caught off guard again there's simply too much at stake so to all my deep thanks for this and we stand ready to work and put our shoulder to the wheel thank you thank you thank you inga with that i think um i'm really glad very good uh time time keeping but finally i would like to recognize The presence of the director general of iaea the international atomic energy agency mr rafael mariano grossi is in attendance online and with that to receive questions from from the media christian back to you bye thank you very much dr tedros and thanks to all the speakers yes with this we come to the um questions from the media to get into the queue to ask questions You need to raise your hand on the and using the raise your hand icon on your screen let me also mention that as uh une executive director ms inger anderson just briefly uh indicated we have the two panel co-chairs of the one health high level expert panel online with us and that's professor thomas mittenlighter from the german federal research institute for animal health and Ms wonder marcotte from south africa the director of the central for viral sonosis and department of medical virology at the university of pretoria and both would be happy to answer any questions if if they come the first question goes to lauren cierro from the swiss news agency laurent please unmute yourself yeah thank you christian for taking my question this is a question to mr Ledrion so i assume i'm going to ask it in in french muscular luminist distinguished minister in your statement earlier you expressed the hope that this would be followed quickly by other initiatives for example the report of the independent panel on the pandemic last week there were two measures that were mentioned that could perhaps Echo the launch of this panel first of all the launch of a mechanism for evaluating each member state by its partner states peer review if you will on human rights and then the second was pushing the wh show to carry out investigations so going beyond the expert panel that you're launching today are those two proposals something that you think would improve the preparation of the world for future Zoonotic diseases and improve animal human health and the environment thank you lauren merci and yes we'll hand over to your excellency mr jean-yves yes thank you for your comments setting up i beg your pardon says the minister i've got a frog in my throat my apologies setting up a review mechanism for the By for peer review by organization by countries of one another is something that uh france sees uh as very much doable and the fact that there will be an implementation of an enquiry mechanism in the field in the case of crisis and in particular in terms terms of strengthening the international health regulations we think that's useful that's not the role of the expert group that we have just established but It's certainly something that will be discussed at the world health assembly in a few days thank you merci bean thank you very much for this next question goes to vera cherbachova from the tas vera please admit yourself yes please do you hear me yes please go ahead um yes hello i would like to ask what impact had or has covered the pandemic on farming And what is the role of veterinary in in case of a pandemic like this thank you thank you very much vera we'll hand over to the fao um either director general or the chief veterinary officer keith assumption who would like to answer please thank you i thank you that veterinary it's look at the house of animal that's that's The basic professional function of course veterinary also they look they their their disease and they are also the production safety it's an industrial value chain you have to look at all the elements surrounding the veterinary because animal is also you know they they have several functions Not only for food and also for biodiversity and also for the environment and so we have to look at holistically what is a veterinary uh and all this uh science-based solution and then also you have to develop them more healthy elements to keep animal health as best because animal health is interlinked with that human being has interlinked With the environment so we i think one has to approach it it's not new but we that's why we need more people understanding from an accurate food system and from environment experts and from the policymak and the investment i think all the education in the university already well educated but now it's time to take action like some countries That's why i mentioned not only with our colleagues here we need more partners because there are really complex issues if we wanted to solve the problem build the one half's approach effective and efficient that's why also the world bank they already have a big project a 300 milli uh project in china with a high number province So it's just take the action on the ground it's more than just talking so i think i strongly encourage all of my colleagues and all the partners rolling your sleeve go to the work thank you thank you very much director general and i'm looking at the oie director general dr monique illuet merci thank you i'll reply in french since we have our minister mr ledryong Here veterinarians have been very active during this pandemic right from the very beginning specifically by making available to the medical sector all their laboratories for analysis the veterinary laboratories were able to cover samples for human health and since april we published recommendations and guidelines for these Veterinary laboratories so that they can respond in the best way possible to the needs of human health and in particular for our profession as vets it was important to have surveillance of domestic herds to ensure that covet 19 could not be transmitted through domestic animals and create an extra reservoir for the virus and so many scientists have worked uh professor Ahmed lagner is with us and they carried out a great deal of studies to ensure that covid could not be transmitted to other animal species and you will know that in some countries the mink farms in particular were affected and it was veterinarians who worked with these farms to ensure that there was not an extra reservoir for the virus also studies were carried out to ensure That there was not any transmission through food products because there could be a risk in terms of international trade with the spreading of the infection and another point i'd like to highlight is the work that's carried out in terms of the surveillance of new outbreaks and this is something that is difficult to manage it's a point we're going to be Looking at reviewing the modes of surveillance for the circulation of pathogens at ris of risk within wildlife this is something that's very important and that's why it's very useful to have unep working with us it's going to be part of our work in the coming months and it's part of the strategic proposals that the experts have developed so the expert panel will no doubt help Us to carry out and finalize these projects and how we can coordinate with the platforms for scientific studies thank you thank you very much director general next question i see is from albert otti from the german press agency dpa i bet please send me to yourself hello can you hear me very well yes hello Uh german press agencies thanks for taking my question i have a question for the chairman of the panel i think his name is president leitner sorry if i didn't hear the name correctly and my question is by what time do you expect the panel to produce its first recommendations make sure what mechanisms are there in place to make sure that these recommendations actually have an Influence on u.n organizations and national policies yeah thank you very much for the question actually we are the two co-chairs my name's thomas bettenlighter and wanda marcotte as well um i start with the answer answer um indeed these were i mean quite interesting days and the past few days the panel members were notified last week on monday that were actually part of the panel and We already had a first meeting this week on monday and tuesday and in fact one night myself we were asked whether we would share the initial year on friday so i think i mean this is already a rather good sign for this for the speed of work of this panel during this first session we established four working groups these working groups Have specific issues to discuss dealing with one health first of all in a definition and i think there is still room for improvement of definitions or for clarification of definitions and then on one health implementation so what are the obstacles towards implementation of the one health concept which is actually really not you in the in the different areas the second Is an inventory of the programs and projects at a global level that exist um and extract best practices so that we can have blueprints and don't have to indeed reinvent the wheel the third will be surveillance and early warning and surveillance i put it in parentheses in as real time as possible and the fourth is the identification of Spillover factors uh risk assessment procedures following other risk assessment procedures like the hazard analysis and critical control point concept and of course then prevention so uh this is the task that we set up to do we plan to have the next meeting of the full panel before the summer break and we will hope to have the first tangible results by fall this year So um i think you see that we are all set the panel wonder i think is very enthusiastic we had lively discussions um and i'm optimistic that we are uh we'll be successful along the timeline but venda over to you for comments as well thank you thomas i think you you explained it um very well um but i think um an important Point is that it's time for action and i think everybody around this table not just the panel but the partners also really want practical solutions that's going to translate into practical actions um quickly and we can't wait till there's another pandemic on on their eyes and we really need to act and be really all committed to do it as quickly as possible Thank you thank you very much both for this and i think we have time for one last question and that goes to jeremy launch from rfe jeremy please unmute yourself thank you so much i would like to ask my question in french if i may for the french foreign minister minister i'd like to know if you are concerned about the latest concerns of scientists who talk about the Potential of an accident in a laboratory in wuhan and is this going to be raised at the world health assembly mission can you still hear me yes i can says the minister i wanted to know if you were concerned about the subject of the latest scientific suspicions which the french press in particular has raised that they talk about A laboratory accident in wuhan and is france going to raise this at the world health assembly the minister according to the information and the report that was produced by the who china report it's a hypothesis but one of the least plausible about the pandemic but france is of course open to carrying out any necessary further scientific work but we don't think that is the Priority at this stage thank you very much with this we come to the final comments uh um and i'll look also at the state minister and at the french minister for any final comments before i hand back to dr teddrus for the closing remarks mr let me look at stats minister niels anand For any final comments i would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone here i believe the importance of this work has become very clear also through our personal experiences in this pandem pandemic and this new strength and collaboration is very positive and i can only reiterate germany's support for this and we will Do everything we can to work on this to make sure this panel will have a successful work and i thank also my french colleague and everyone involved we are looking forward to the cooperation and i think it is a good thing to hear from the co-chairs of the panel that work has already started and that they have a plan for the future word and this is what we want to achieve thank you very much for this and Greetings from germany thank you very much minister miss you thank you thank you director general i think what we have heard shows the relevance of this initiative and the need to anticipate and work on prevention that the expert panel will help us to work on and to identify i think it's urgent and thanks to the initiative of Germany and france we've been able to very rapidly move this into actions and the bringing together of the four international organizations has been rapid and very relevant so here we are meeting the needs or and requests of the international community to what this and we hope that this will become as important as the ipcc in terms of Climate thank you thank you very much merci monsieur minister before i hand over to dr tedros for closing let me remind everyone and thank the but to see pence but let me remind everyone that there's a press release also accompanying this event which is either already out or just about to be sent out the audiophiles of this Press briefing will be shared right after the press conference and dr terrorist marks as well and the transcript will be available as of tomorrow thank you and dr tedros for closing yeah thank you thank you christian so i'd like to use this opportunity again to thank minister ledrian and also state minister nils annan for For for your leadership i'm also glad to see that the high-level council is moving fast has already made progress since its first meeting as you have heard from both professor thomas mattel later and professor wanda marcotte so thank you so much to both co-chairs for accepting the challenge and as what you suggested look forward to having The product from you by fall this year and finally would like to thank my colleagues also dr chu donggu dr monique elwa and miss inga anderson thank you for your leadership and to the media thank you for joining us today and look forward to seeing you in our upcoming pressers thank you so much thank you

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