On 14th July 2020, the secretariat for the Asia Pacific Tripartite moved to the OIE. The secretariat rotates every two years between the organisations of FAO, the OIE RR-AP/SRR-SEA, WHO WPRO and WHO SEARO. It has been held since 2018 by FAO but has now been handed over to the OIE until 2022.
The role will be shared by staff in both the Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific (RR-AP) office in Tokyo and the Sub-Regional Representation for South-East Asia office (SRR-SEA) in Bangkok.
One of the biggest tasks for the secretariat is to lead organisation of the biennial Asia-Pacific Workshop on Multisectoral Collaboration. This workshop brings together participants from many sectors to collaborate on tackling health risks at the animal-human-ecosystems interface. The 8th workshop was held in Bangkok in 2019 and the 9th will be in late 2021. The OIE will also coordinate activities between partner organisations on One Health issues within the region.
At the handover ceremony, key members of staff from the regional Tripartite organisations met virtually using the Zoom platform. Dr David Sutherland (WHO Technical Officer, Tripartite One Health Coordination Group for Asia and the Pacific) gave a summary of milestones over the past two years, including many successful regional Tripartite activities such as workshops and webinars on rabies and videos on AMR. Dr Katinka DeBalogh (Senior Animal Health and Production Officer, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific) said that openness between partners was key for multi-sectoral collaboration, and this trust-building has happened over the years in the region. Dr Hirofumi Kugita (OIE Regional Representative, Asia and the Pacific Region) also spoke of the development and strengthening of One Health collaboration over the past ten years. Dr Ronello Abila (OIE Sub-regional Representative, South-East Asia) outlined some challenges we now face, for example with the COVID-19 pandemic we have an even greater need to reactivate engagement of the environmental health sector in our Tripartite work in the region.
Many participants thanked the outgoing secretariat for their hard work and wished the new secretariat every success during their tenure.