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Cablegate: Usda Sponsored International Avian Influenza Diagnostic

VZCZCXYZ0024
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1437/01 1760310
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 250310Z JUN 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5778
INFO RUEHPF/AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH 0625
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0181
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 4091
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0093
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 0115
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 3737
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 3342
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 0062
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 0507

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001437

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
FAS FOR OCRA/HIGGISTON; OFSO/BREHM; OSTA/BRANT
STATE FOR EAP/TC
STATE PASS USDA,APHIS FOR DAN SHEESLEY, RUSS CAPLEN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ETRD TW
SUBJECT: USDA SPONSORED INTERNATIONAL AVIAN INFLUENZA DIAGNOSTIC
WORKSHOPS FOR SOUTHEAST ASIA ECONOMIES HELD IN CONJUNCTION WITH
TAIWAN AUTHORITIES.


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

1.(SBU) SUMMARY. From May 07 - 18 and June 04 - 15, 2007, the US
Department of Agriculture (USDA) co-sponsored with Taiwan two
International Avian Influenza Diagnostic Workshops targeting the
lesser developed economies of Southeast Asia (SEA). The two
Workshops increased Taiwan's exposure to the international
community, particularly in Southeast Asia, allowing them to make new
contacts and share common animal health/animal disease experiences.
This is especially important in light of the recent events which
transpired during the last session of the World Organization for
Animal Health (OIE) in Paris, where Taiwan felt its status was
downgraded. The USDA AI Workshops were held in conjunction with
Taiwan's Council of Agriculture (COA), Animal Health Research
Institute (AHRI) at their state of the art facilities. Taiwan
contributed many resources, including free use of lab facilities,
dormitory space, and technical staff, to support the USDA Avian
Influenza effort. Fifty diagnosticians from various SEA economies
received the training. End Summary.


2. (SBU) USDA, through its International Avian Influenza
Coordination Group, supports numerous Avian Influenza capacity
building and infrastructure development initiatives and projects
throughout the lesser developed world. Through USDA's APHIS and FAS
offices at AIT, the Coordination Group was able to identify Taiwan
as an ideal partner to focus delivery of AI laboratory diagnostic
techniques in virology/serology and molecular biology to the lesser
developed economies of Southeast Asia (SEA). Originally, only one
diagnostic course was scheduled in Taiwan, but due to overwhelming
need for AI diagnostics in SEA, a second course was added to meet
demand.


3. (SBU) One important benefit of the Workshop was the
international exposure it brought for Taiwan, allowing Taiwan
officials to make new contacts in the region, and share common
experiences in combating animal diseases and addressing animal
health concerns. This is especially important in light of recently
transpired events at the last session of the World Organization for
Animal Health (OIE), where Taiwan's membership status in this
organization was, in their eyes, downgraded. It also allowed for
Taiwan to make a valuable contribution to the international
community and the region by sharing its expertise and technical
resources with its lesser developed neighbors, while working
alongside the United States.


4. (SBU) A total of fifty diagnosticians from eight SEA economies,
including Taiwan, participated in the two Workshops. Economies which
participated were: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri
Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Two other economies, Myanmar
and Bangladesh, were also invited to attend the Workshops, but
citing adherence to a "one China policy" withdrew their
participation.


5. (SBU) While USDA supplied expert training staff and travel funds
to the selected SEA participants, Taiwan contributed free use of
their state of the art laboratory facilities and lecture hall as a
venue for the Workshops. This included use of dormitory rooms for
the SEA participants at no charge. Additional Taiwan support
included the use of AHRI lab technicians to assist the USDA training
staff during instruction. The APHIS office at AIT provided local and
international/regional coordination and logistical support,
procurement, and local budget management for both Workshops.


6. (SBU) Comment: By all accounts, the Workshops have been deemed
successful, confirmed through written feedback surveys from the
participants, the experiences relayed by the USDA instructors, and
responses from the Taiwan Authorities, including both COA and AHRI
officials. Plans for continued technical collaboration are underway
between USDA, APHIS and COA, through its Bureau of Animal and Plant
Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) and the Animal Technology


Institute of Taiwan (ATIT). Subject matter experts from APHIS'
Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health (CEAH) have agreed to
conduct an Epidemiology Course for Taiwan candidates during October
2007. Additional, future technical cooperation and collaboration
projects are being considered by both USDA and COA for 2008 and
beyond.
End Comment.

YOUNG

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