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Avian Influenza Ministerial Meeting Concludes with Release of Action Plan


Da Nang, Viet Nam, May 5, 2006, APEC Ministers have adopted an Action Plan that will strengthen the ability of Member Economies to detect and respond to outbreaks of Avian Influenza in the Asia-Pacific.

At the conclusion of the meeting that was attended by Ministers and Senior Officials from Agricultural and Health Departments from around the APEC Region, Ministers endorsed the “APEC Action Plan on the Prevention and Response to Avian and Influenza Pandemics.”

Covering five specific areas, the Action Plan lays down directives and requirements that will now be implemented at a domestic level by APEC Member Economies.

Viet Nam’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development and Co-Chair of the ministerial meeting, Mr. Cao Duc Phat, said Ministers recognize that the only way to defeat the threat posed by an Avian Influenza Pandemic is to work across sectors and across borders.

“The Action plan will enhance the region’s capacity to deal with Avian Influenza outbreaks by increasing cross-border cooperation and sharing information between governments departments,” Mr. Cao said after the conclusion of the meeting.

"The Action Plan also recognizes that reducing the massive economic and social costs associated with Avian Influenza also requires a high level of cooperation between government and business.

“Ministers have agreed to the Action Plan that creates new avenues for each APEC Member to work with colleagues in other economies and at a domestic level to overcome the Avian Influenza threat.”

The five areas covered by the Action Plan are:

* Multi-sectoral cooperation and coordination on avian and pandemic influenza
* Establishing best practices and common approaches to risk communications
* Mitigating negative effects of avian influenza on agriculture and trade
* Working with the private sector to help ensure continuity of business, trade and essential services
* Strengthening regional and international cooperation

The full text of the Action Plan is available for download

Ministers will conclude the Ministerial Meeting tomorrow with a tour of poultry production facilities in Central Viet Nam.


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