Coordinated strategy on human, animal and ecosystem health with UNEP membership of FAO, HEO and WHO

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New Delhi, March 19 (IANS): The One Health tripartite partnership, bringing together the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), is officially became quadripartite by signing a Memorandum of Understanding Agreement with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

The One Health approach aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals, ecosystems and the wider environment. It mobilizes multiple sectors, disciplines and communities to work together to promote well-being and address threats to health and ecosystems.

It also responds to the collective need for clean water, energy and air, healthy and nutritious food, action against climate change and contribution to sustainable development.

India has also adopted the OHE approach.

The Memorandum of Understanding with UNEP was signed this week at the annual executive meeting of the first three organisations.

“We are stronger with UNEP’s adherence to the Tripartite,” FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said, adding, “UNEP is already active in relevant areas of tripartite work,” a statement from the FAO said. the OHE.

Work to address human, animal and ecosystem health challenges using a more integrated approach has seen significant progress over the past year, leaders of three international organizations cooperating in these sectors said, as ‘they were expanding to include the fourth organism.

The work of the newly expanded alliance will be centered on a joint One Health action plan, which includes six main lines of action: strengthening the capacity of countries to strengthen health systems within the framework of a One Health approach; reduce the risks of emerging or re-emerging zoonotic epidemics and pandemics; controlling and eliminating endemic zoonoses, neglected tropical diseases or vector-borne diseases; strengthen food safety risk assessment, management and communication; curb the silent antimicrobial resistance (AMR) pandemic and better integrate the environment into the One Health approach, the statement added.

OIE Director General Monique Eloit acknowledged the milestone of the Memorandum of Understanding with UNEP and said: “UNEP’s mandate, expertise and networks will make an important contribution to advancing the ‘One Health. This new chapter in our partnership will make us stronger and better prepared to serve our members and meet global health challenges. »

UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen said: “What is clear to everyone involved in One Health is that no single sector can solve the many problems we face on its own. To ensure human, animal and environmental health – to ensure the very future of this planet – we need more collaboration and partnerships. We must stand together and work together if we are to prosper together. UNEP, as a new full member of the Alliance, stands ready to do its part as an equal partner.

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