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Cablegate: Canada to Host Health Ministers Meeting On Avian

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 002976

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES(ROCK), OES/IHA(CRODDY AND FOSTER) AND
WHA/CAN(NELSON)

DHHS FOR BILL STEIGER, STEWART SIMONSON AND ROSE BROWNRIDGE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KSCA EAGR ECON PREL SOCI CA WHO FAO OIE
SUBJECT: CANADA TO HOST HEALTH MINISTERS MEETING ON AVIAN
AND PANDEMIC INFLUENZA, OCTOBER 24/25 IN OTTAWA

1. Summary: As part of the continuing international
response to the threat of avian and pandemic influenza, the
Canadian Government will host a meeting of health ministers
from more than 30 countries and international organizations
in Ottawa, October 24/25. The purpose of the meeting is to
encourage international collaboration and to focus political
level attention on avian and pandemic influenza. GOC health
officials say the response has been encouraging. End
Summary.

2. ESTH Counselor called on Carla Gilders, Director General
of International Affairs, Health Canada for a briefing on
the international health ministers meeting on avian and
pandemic influenza being organized by the Canadian
Government. The meeting will be held in Ottawa, October 24
and 25. Gilders said that the GOC hopes to build on the
discussions and initiatives coming out of the Senior
Officials Meeting (SOM) of the International Partnership on
Avian and Pandemic Influenza (IPAPI) being held this week in
Washington. The focus of the meeting in Ottawa will be to
ensure maximum engagement on avian and pandemic influenza at
the political level and to encourage international
collaboration.

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3. All WHO regions will be represented with a mix of
developed and developing countries, including those affected
by the current avian influenza outbreak. Countries invited
include: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, China,
Egypt, the EU Commission, France, Germany, India, Indonesia,
Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Malaysia,
Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, South
Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United
Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. In addition,
representatives of WHO, FAO, OIE, the World Bank and the
ASEAN Secretariat have been invited. Gilders told ESTH
Counselor that response has been encouraging thus far and
the GOC expects to have strong representation from the
ministers/governments invited.


4. Health Canada has booked a block of hotel rooms at the
Westin Hotel in the downtown area of Ottawa and will handle
reservations for visiting delegations. Ministerial meetings
will be held at the Foreign Affairs Canada building. The
meeting room has limited space for so many delegations, so
the GOC plans to limit delegation size to minister plus
three. Gilder expects the ministerial to begin late
afternoon on October 24, probably around 4:30 pm with an
opening session (WHO presentation), followed by a reception
and dinner. Sessions on October 25 will run from 9 am until
3:30 pm, with presentations on 4 themes, discussion, comment
and a wrap up. The GOC wants to avoid a series of
statements by ministers, believing that their format of
presentations and discussions offers a better model for
productive exchanges.

5. Current thinking is that themes for the discussion will
be:
-- intersectoral collaboration on the animal-human health
interface;
-- risk communication and assessment;
-- development, supply and access to vaccines and
antivirals; and
-- surveillance and capacity building.
6. Gilders said that the GOC expects that the discussion
among ministers will be based on the discussions this week
at the SOM in Washington this week, proposed principles for
the IPAPI, and the WHO Strategic Plan for Pandemic
Preparedness and Response. The GOC plans to issue a
communiqu at the end of the ministerial on October 25.
Senior officials may be invited to review the draft
communiqu on October 24. The document will be aimed at
solidifying political level engagement, commitments to act
collaboratively and transparently within the UN system.

7. Comment: This ministerial meeting is a direct result of
a proposal by Prime Minister Martin. He had originally
suggested a meeting of health and agriculture ministers on
the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York in
September. It is not clear why the GOC dropped their
original plan to invite agriculture ministers, but GOC
C
officials indicate that they still encourage strong
representation by agriculture ministries/departments in
delegations. End Comment.

WILKINS

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