The China-ASEAN Special Meeting on HPAI Control was held in Beijing, China on 2 March 2004. The Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, the Minister of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries of Myanmar, Vice-Ministers and senior officials for agriculture and health, and experts from China and 10 ASEAN countries, as well as officials from ASEAN Secretariat, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization and World Organization for Animal Health participated in the Meeting. Representatives from Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions of China attended the meeting as members of the Chinese delegation.

Acknowledging that the outbreak of HPAI in many countries in Asia since last December has caused negative impact on the region’s agriculture, poultry industry and foreign trade, as well as on human health, and has become a major concern to the region and the international community;

Recognizing the trans-boundary nature of the disease, its threat to public health, and the need for China and ASEAN to cooperate on HPAI prevention and control so as to minimize losses;

Stressing that the disease must be tackled under strong leadership, with political commitment, and through inter-agency cooperation and partnership at both national and regional levels;

After a review of the current situation of HPAI and in-depth discussions on the preventive and control measures, the meeting agreed that collective efforts be made in the region to effectively address the challenge of HPAI through the following measures:

1. Provide access to and exchange of information and experience on HPAI status, prevention and control between China and ASEAN through the ASEAN disease surveillance network, the ASEAN plus three SARS focal point network and the proposed regional veterinary network in order to work towards creating an early warning system for epidemic recognition and control;

2. Enhance cooperation among inspection and quarantine agencies for border management in China and ASEAN countries to prevent the spread of the disease and minimize its impact on health and trade;

3. Propose the establishment of a China-ASEAN cooperation mechanism for public health, through regular meetings of agriculture or health ministers and their senior officials, and the convening of joint meetings of the health and agriculture ministers as appropriate;

4. Operationalize the “China-ASEAN Fund for Public Health” to finance relevant cooperation between China and ASEAN in addressing regional public health crisis;

5. Strengthen extensive cooperation and exchanges with other countries, regional and international organizations, such as WHO, FAO, OIE on HPAI prevention and control;

6. Exchange HPAI expert teams and organize joint technical training courses on HPAI-related technologies and methodologies to include among others laboratory management, diagnosis and testing,emergency response measures and quality of vaccines in compliance with OIE international standards; and

7. China and ASEAN will mutually provide, within their respective capacity, bilateral financial, material and technical assistance to countries in the region hit and at risk to be infected by HPAI. In this regard, National Reference Laboratory of China will share experience and offer technical cooperation with diagnostic laboratories of ASEAN countries in terms of diagnostic technology.