Hanoi Declaration Sets Global Framework for Avian Influenza, Pandemic Readiness, Proposes National Steps to Detect Animal-Human Transmission, Control Outbreaks

21 April 2010

Hanoi Declaration Sets Global Framework for Avian Influenza, Pandemic Readiness, Proposes National Steps to Detect Animal-Human Transmission, Control Outbreaks

21 April 2010
Press Release
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Hanoi Declaration Sets Global Framework for Avian Influenza, Pandemic Readiness,

Proposes National Steps to Detect Animal-Human Transmission, Control Outbreaks

Drawing on the lessons of responses to H5N1 avian influenza and H1N1 pandemic influenza, ministers and senior officials from more than 70 countries today agreed on the way forward in responding to avian influenza, preparing for pandemics and tackling newly emerging infectious diseases.

The Hanoi Declaration proposes a multisector array of national measures to keep a look out for new diseases that may cross from animals to humans and to deploy public health measures promptly against outbreaks.  It calls for focused action at the interface between human, animal and environmental health systems, as well as continued efforts to reduce the extent of H5N1 and H1N1.

Countries and international agencies are urged to “remain vigilant with respect to emerging threats such as H5N1, pandemic H1N1, and other influenza viruses”. 

The Declaration recognizes the necessity for continuing and strengthening international and regional cooperation against diseases for which there may be no human immunity and which can cross borders in a matter of days.  It emphasizes the need for effective communication between professionals and public, community engagement, and for strengthened public health and veterinary systems.

The Declaration crystallizes results of discussions between delegates in Hanoi at the 20 to 21 April International Ministerial Conference on Animal and Pandemic Influenza, hosted by the Government of Viet Nam, and co-organized with the United States and the European Union, in partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The conference took place despite the physical absence of one fifth of the expected delegates, whose travel had been blocked by clouds of volcanic ash over Europe.  An earthquake in western China similarly limited the participation of the Chinese delegation.  The severity of these natural occurrences, and the suddenness with which they struck, reminded delegates about the swift and unpredictable spread of new hazards that can emerge from the animal world.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the conference, the Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Government of Viet Nam, Bui Ba Bong, summarized the view of conference delegates:  “We must continue to prevent and respond to bird flu (H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza), to tackle the ongoing H1N1 influenza pandemic and to prepare for other diseases that move from animals to humans.  In Viet Nam’s experience, this calls for good human and animal health services, excellent communications, and whole of society responses.”

With an estimated 75 per cent of new infectious diseases in humans coming from animals, and two new animal diseases capable of affecting humans expected to emerge each year, delegates identified the capacities needed by Governments to cope with an ongoing state of uncertainty.  There is a need for strong and predictable delivery systems for animal and human health, including emergency and contingency planning systems that reflect global standards and legal frameworks (e.g. the World Organization for Animal Health veterinary standards, WHO International Health Regulations) as well as new standards developed for pandemic readiness.

David Nabarro, United Nations System Influenza Coordinator, emphasized that “capacities for countries to work together in response to threats of avian and pandemic influenza have advanced in the last five years:  the conference helped to identify areas on which we need to focus to ensure a secure future in the face of emerging diseases”.

To view the Hanoi Declaration, visit the IMCAPI website at www.imcapi-hanoi-2010.org/documents/en/.

For more information, contact Pham Ngoc Mau, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Government of Vietnam, tel.:  +84 (0) 913505727, email:  maupn.htqt@mard.gov.vn; Michelle Delaney, United Nations System Influenza Coordination, Communication Officer, tel.:  Viet Nam +84 (0) 1202011844, Bangkok +66 (0) 886545309, e-mail:  delaneym@un.org; or Tim Wall, United Nations Department of Public Information in New York, tel.:  +1 212 963 5851, +1 213 447 5954 (cell), e-mail:  wallt@un.org; or Richard Nyberg, Development Outreach and Communications Advisor, USAID, tel.:  +84 (0) 904009220, e-mail:  rnyberg@usaid.gov.

Also:  Alain Vandermissen, European Commission, e-mail:  Alain.Vandersmissen@ec.europa.eu; Olga Jonas, Avian and Human Influenza Coordinator, World Bank, tel.:  +1 202 473 4655, e-mail:  ojonas@worldbank.org; Dr. Juan Lubroth, Chief Veterinary Officer, FAO, tel.: +39 657054184, e-mail:  juan.lubroth@fao.org; Jesus Lopez-Macedo, Communication for Development Specialist, UNICEF, tel.: +1 212 326 7053, e-mail: jlopezmacedo@unicef.org;Phung Thi Thu Phuong, Communication Assistant, World Health Organization, tel:  +84 915413814, e-mail:  phungt@wpro.who.int;Dr. Gardner Murray, Special Advisor, World Organization for Animal Health, tel.: +66 844375550, e-mail:  gardner.murray@actewagl.net.au, gardner@seafmd.org.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.