One Health approach and intensified collaboration needed to prevent and respond to pandemics – World

Speaking as the current Chairman of the Tripartite (FAO, OIE and WHO) For One Health, QU Dongyu calls on G20 countries to step up their coordinated action against COVID-19 at the meeting of health ministers in Rome

September 5, 2021, Rome – The world has the opportunity to strengthen collective and collaborative methods to prevent future pandemics through a universal and inclusive approach One Health, QU Dongyu, Director-General of the United Nations for the Food and Agriculture (FAO), said today at the meeting of G20 health ministers held in Rome.

A viable coordinated response to COVID-19 involves intensified collaboration across borders, sectors and disciplines, Qu said at the opening of the two-day meeting.

He praised the efforts of the G20 Presidency – currently held by Italy – “to ensure that we provide new, realistic and pragmatic solutions in the areas of health and agrifood systems, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) and achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. “

The Director-General spoke on behalf of FAO and also in his capacity as Chairman of the Tripartite for One Health, a consortium also comprising the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health ( OIE) which advocates solutions that recognize that human health is linked to animal and environmental health – the One Health approach.

The Tripartite considers universality, legitimacy, inclusiveness, coherence and accountability as the five cardinal principles for stronger and more sustainable governance and investment in pandemic preparedness and response, he noted. .

“We are at a historic turning point to implement the measures necessary to prevent future pandemics,” Qu said, highlighting the growing consensus and support of the G20 – whose members represent two-thirds of the world’s population and 85% of the world’s population. value – added economic activity (GDP) – and also the urgent need for more investment, especially at the national level. The Tripartite has proposals on how to quickly fund One Health goals that can contribute to a joint ministerial meeting of G20 finance and health ministers in October 2021, he added.

A coherent approach

The Director-General highlighted the links between agrifood systems and health systems, and noted that the pandemic has disrupted global agrifood systems, which are central to human health and life, in a way that will have serious consequences. long-term impacts.

FAO has responded by designing the COVID-19 response and recovery program and accelerating the implementation of the flagship Hand in Hand initiative, which focuses on Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and landlocked developing countries, all of which have faced challenges over the past year and a half.

The Tripartite helped the G20 develop a call to action for one health, as part of its ongoing development of a global plan of action for one health with advice from its new panel of senior experts. One Health level (OHHLEP).

“Let’s talk the talk,” Qu said in his call to speed up the shift from discussion to practical implementation on the ground.

In the context of One Health, FAO continuously strives to help Members prevent, detect and control diseases and threats to health, wherever they occur. This includes monitoring the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, as well as active animal and zoonotic disease control and eradication programs.

The One Health approach, taking into account the interconnectivity of humans, animals and the environment, is relevant to tackle any threat to agrifood systems and livelihoods. This emphasis is particularly important in rural farming communities where animals provide transportation, fuel and clothing as well as food. Better nutrition, for example, clearly contributes to human health and can be linked to land management and agricultural practices.

“The link between agrifood systems and environmental health, the climate crisis, degradation of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity should also be highlighted,” Qu said.

The G20 meeting

The G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting will feature numerous sessions featuring experts ranging from Peter Doherty, 1996 Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine for his work explaining how the immune system recognizes cells infected with viruses, to the CEO of World Trade Organization (WTO) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

It should, with the participation of the Tripartite, lead to a call to action by the G20 on health to strengthen the resilience of a single health, which will build on the commitments made in terms of equitable access to vaccines and efforts to contain antimicrobial resistance (AMR) taken in the Rome Declaration by G20 health ministers when they meet in May 2021.


FAO Media Relations Office (+39) 06 570 53625 [email protected]

Christopher Emsden FAO Media Relations (Rome) (+39) 06 570 53291 [email protected]

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