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G20: Animal Health Important for Global Food Security

by 5m Editor
30 June 2011, at 2:23pm

GLOBAL - G20 Agriculture Ministers have recognised the role of animal health and OIE standards in global food security.

The G20 meeting of the agriculture ministers ended with an 'Action plan on food price volatility and agriculture' to be submitted to world leaders in November this year.

The meeting concluded that global food security and sustainable agriculture production must be the ultimate goal of any effective agriculture policy, at global and national level. It clearly identified animal health as a critical component of this goal and stressed the 'importance of strengthening international and regional networks, international standard setting taking into account national and regional differences, information, surveillance and traceability systems, good governance and official services, since they ensure an early detection and a rapid response to biological threats, facilitate trade flows and contribute to global food security'.

The declaration also strongly encourages OIE, FAO, WHO, Codex Alimentarius and IPPC to continue their efforts towards enhancing interagency cooperation as far as public health, animal health and plant health are concerned.

International trade was also recognised as being key for improving food security as markets are essential to allow more investment in agriculture and to increase agricultural production. Fair and open implementation of international trade 'requires further cooperation in strengthening international governance of agricultural trade in favour of open, rules-based and well-functioning global markets for agricultural products, through the WTO and its agreements, such as the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures, and its rules based on scientific standards and recommendations developed by the relevant international standard setting bodies (Codex, OIE and IPPC)'.

OIE's Director General, Dr Bernard Vallat, commented: "The OIE very much welcomes the outcome of this G20. It is an encouraging sign from G20 governments that the implementation of OIE animal health standards can indeed play an important role in improving the world food security."

The complete Ministerial Declaration 'Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture' can be viewed online [click here].

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