SINGAPORE, 7 October 2016 — In Southeast Asia, meat consumption has almost doubled since the early 1980s, and the demand for livestock products is projected to grow by at least 3.5 percent annually by the year 2020. While this translates into opportunities for rural income generation, poverty reduction and economic development in the region, the emergence and trans-boundary spread of animal and animal-to-human transmittable (or zoonotic) diseases poses considerable threats to regional public health, food safety and food security, as well as the viability of the livestock sector development.
Recognising the need for concerted efforts and enhanced regional coordination in addressing the challenges, the ASEAN Minsters of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) signed the Agreement on the Establishment of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Animal Health and Zoonoses (ACCAHZ) at their meeting today in Singapore. The Centre aims to provide a platform for cooperation and coordination among ASEAN Member States and with relevant ASEAN Dialogue Partners, Development Partners and other stakeholders in the efforts to enhance prevention, control and eradication of trans-boundary animal and zoonotic diseases in the region. The ACCAHZ establishment is a manifestation of ASEAN’s resolve and commitment to protect their people health and livestock and to ensure quick response to any animal health and zoonotic emergency.
ACCAHZ will be operationalised in 2017, with technical support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Government of Australia, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE), and the EU Highly Pathogenic Emerging Diseases (EU-HPED) Programme. Malaysia will host the Centre in the first four years, followed by Thailand. The Centre’s core operational costs will be supported by ASEAN Member States’ annual contributions.
- Download Joint Press Statement of The Sixteenth Meeting of The ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry and The Ministers of Agriculture of The People’s Republic of China, Japan and The Republic of Korea (16th AMAF Plus Three) here.
- Download Joint Press Statement of Thirty Eighth Meeting of The ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (38th AMAF) here.