The OIE Global Conference on Biological Threat Reduction, held in Ottawa, Canada, from 31 October to 2 November 2017, hosted professionals from relevant international organisations, as well as official National Delegates of OIE Member Countries, leading scientific experts, and donors and stakeholders from animal production and trade, animal health and welfare, public health, law enforcement and security communities from 70 countries.
Enhancing health and security for all
The Conference motto – ‘Enhancing health and security for all’ – set the stage for the main themes:
a) Current developments in non-proliferation instruments and global security initiatives
b) Global conversations on the use of technologies
c) Assessing systems and investing in collaborations to foster preparedness
d) The future of biological threat reduction.
The Conference was interactive, and – instead of a keynote presentation – began with a keynote panel discussion. Four high-level representatives: Monique Éloit, Director General of the OIE; Patrick Stevens, Director of Counter-Terrorism at INTERPOL; Lance Brooks, Acting Director, Cooperative Threat Reduction, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, USA; and Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada; answered questions and discussed the roles and responsibilities of their various agencies in the context of biological threat reduction (video). Participants submitted questions electronically and each session ended with a facilitated discussion involving all speakers. This more interactive approach was very successful, as indicated by the positive feedback from the participants. Although there was not enough time to address all the questions submitted during the panel discussions, the OIE is now aware of these points, and will use them as food for thought in the coming months.
More than 300 participants discussed biological threat reduction and adopted 12 recommendations on principal areas. These recommendations can be found on the Conference website and will become the focus to continue work with our partners to enhance health and security.
Most of the presentations, as well as photos and videos, can be found at: www.oie.int/eng/BIOTHREAT2017/introduction.htm
This Conference took place with the generous support of the Government of Canada; the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; the European Union; and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the United States of America.