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Cablegate: (Sbu) Unsic Advances Planning for April 2010

VZCZCXRO3726
RR RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHRN
RUEHSL RUEHTM RUEHTRO
DE RUEHHI #1284/01 3350835
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 010833Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0500
INFO ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0001
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0007
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0213
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE USD FAS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME 0002
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 AMEMBASSY HANOI 001284

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
STATE FOR EAP/MLS AND OES/IHB (DFANTOZZI/ CPATTERSON/CSHAPIRO)
STATE PASS TO USAID GH (GSTEELE, DCARROLL)
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA/AP (STERN)
HHS/OSSI/DSI PASS TO FIC/NIH (RGLASS), OGHA (JMONAHAN/ MABDOO/SCUMMINGS/DMILLER), ASPR (MPERDUE/RROBINSON)
CDC FOR COGH (SBLOUNT), CCID (SREDD) AND DIV-FLU(NCOX/AMOEN)
USDA PASS TO APHIS, FAS (OSTA AND OCRA), FSIS
BANGKOK FOR USAID (MACARTHUR/AATHWIN), APHIS (HHOWARD/RTANAKA)
GENEVA FOR HHS (DHOHMAN)
ROME FOR FAO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO EAID EAGR PREL KFLU VM
SUBJECT: (SBU) UNSIC advances planning for April 2010
Inter-Ministerial Conference for "Animal" and Pandemic Influenza

REF: STATE 82863

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED (SBU)

1. (SBU) Summary: Senior United Nations (UN), European Union (EU),
and USG officials met with government of Vietnam (GVN) officials in
Hanoi on November 25-27 in preparation for the 7th
Inter-Ministerial Conference for Avian and Pandemic Influenza
(IMCAPI) to be held in Hanoi on April 19-21. The highlights of a
November 27 planning meeting were agreement on the dates for
IMCAPI, inclusion of a technical phase, and setting overarching
conference themes. Prime Minister Dung, the UN Secretary General,
and 70-100 ministers are expected to attend, and the UN is pressing
for minister-level attendance from all countries. The principle
issue to resolve between now and the April conference is a process
to develop and reach consensus on a possible joint statement.

2. (SBU) During a meeting with the DCM after the planning session,
Dr. David Nabarro, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Coordination on
Avian and Pandemic Influenza and the Global Food Crisis (UNSIC),
said that to achieve success at the conference attendance by
high-level, senior health, agricultural, and aid/finance officials
was critical. He said USG leadership was similarly critical to the
success of IMCAPI, stating that in addition to HHS Secretary and
Undersecretary for Global Affairs (G), it would be extremely
helpful to have the new USAID Administrator attend. Further,
Nabarro was pleased that Minister Phat said he would ask Prime
Minister Dung to instruct Vietnamese missions overseas to engage
health and agriculture ministries, stressing that the importance of
senior level political participation. He said joint GVN-USG-EU-UN
demarches would be particularly effective. End summary.

3. (SBU) UNSIC's Dr. David Nabarro along with Dr. Alain
Vandersmissen, Avian Influenza External Response Co-coordinator of
the European Commission (EC), met with GVN officials and other
stakeholders on November 26-27 to advance planning for 7th IMCAPI
in Hanoi on April 19-21. The GVN, the USG and the EU are
co-sponsoring the conference, with support from UN agencies.
Growing emphasis on the animal-human nexus (i.e., animals and not
just birds) in the evolution and spread of influenza prompted a
change in the title of the meeting, substituting "Animal" for
"Avian." In light of waning donor support and the challenges
presented by the current pandemic on top of the unresolved endemic
of highly pathogenic avian influenza in several countries,
including Vietnam, it is hoped the conference participants will
commit to a way forward.

4. (SBU) Prior to the multilateral meetings, Embassy's HHS/OS staff
met with EC's Dr. Alain Vandersmissen on November 25 to review U.S.
cooperative efforts to prevent and prepare for avian and severe
pandemic influenza in Vietnam. Vandersmissen noted the EU, which
has pledged USD 200K for travel of delegations from developing
countries outside of Africa, argued that the April 19-21 meeting
should focus on "political issues" and avoid be side-tracked into
"technical ones," especially from UN agencies. While the EC
supports incorporating the broader theme of an animal-human
interface, it does not support the "One World, One Health" labeling
as proposed in some quarters, noting that it is too diffuse and

HANOI 00001284 002 OF 004


already used by the Wildlife Conservation Society, based on an
ecological set of principles, albeit related to an animal-human
interface.

5. (SBU) Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)
Minister Cao Duc Phat told UNSIC, EC, and a U.S. Embassy official
during a separate meeting on November 26 that the GVN hoped the
April conference would also produce a consensus on a broad outlines
for global cooperation tied to concrete action to be carried out by
countries and international agencies. The Minister, who is
Vietnam's lead for its national inter-ministerial steering
committee to address highly pathogenic avian influenza, expressed
concern about waning donor support and highlighted the need to
raise more financial resources.

6. (SBU) The UN's Nabarro replied that raising additional financial
commitments before or during the April 19-21 conference was
unlikely. Rather, he argued that Cambodia, China, Egypt,
Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam needed to come to the
conference with "a powerful set of ideas" to sustain and move
beyond the current global H5N1 and H1N1 response to set a
"political position around the future," which would be necessary
for donor countries to respond. Part of the challenge, according
to Nabarro, is to explain what is meant by the call for an
increased emphasis on the "animal-human interface" in the context
of a longer-term approach that will inspire the international
community to respond. Nabarro suggested that Vietnam use its
upcoming ASEAN chairmanship to promote minister-level attendance at
the April 19-21 conference and nurture a strong political
commitment among ASEAN countries. Minister Phat identified climate
change as an important issue for Vietnam and suggested it might be
linked to conference themes. Nabarro and Phat agreed that the
conference must not become entangled with the contentious issues
around sharing of human samples, which is being addressed on a
separate track. Because of the importance of involving health and
agriculture sectors in influenza control, the Dr. Nabarro also met
with Minister of Health, Professor Nguyen Quoc Trieu, covering
similar ground as with Minister Phat and stressed the global
importance of the conference.

7. (U) As for the IMCAPI planning meeting itself, MARD's Vice
Minister Bui Ba Bong chaired the third in-country working group
meeting on IMCAPI preparations on November 27. The working group
is based on Vietnam's Partnership for Avian and Human Influenza
(PAHI) and brings together various ministries, international
agencies, donor countries, and other stakeholders. The group
provides recommendations to the GVN's organizing committee for
IMCAPI; Post's input has been guided by reftel. Discussion at the
meeting centered on the name of the conference, dates, venue,
scope, inclusion of a technical phase for the conference, and
processes related to issuing invitations, finalizing the agenda,
and developing a possible joint statement. The chair listed
commitments to date to support the conference: USD 500K from USAID,
200K from EU, and roughly 170K to date from the GVN. Lesser and
in-kind support has been provided by the Hanoi offices of the World
Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, and UN Development
Program.

HANOI 00001284 003 OF 004


April 19-21 Meeting: Donor Support and Logistics

--------------------------------------------

8. (SBU) The GVN expects 500 to 700 attendees, including Vietnam's
Prime Minister, UN Secretary General, 70 to 100 ministers, heads of
regional and international organizations, development banks,
foundations, and research bodies. When ministers cannot attend,
they should be replaced by the highest-level officials possible.
According to GVN officials, day one of the conference will be more
technical; days two-three will be more political and geared toward
Ministers. Based on earlier conferences, the GVN expects up to 100
ministers of health, agriculture, and finance are expected, with
participation by Vietnam's Prime Minister. The in-country IMCAPI
planning group agreed that conference success will be judged by the
strength of commitment to a way forward for

--a) eradication of H5N1/A highly pathogenic avian influenza,

--b) ensuring readiness to respond to future influenza pandemics,
and,

--c) protection from emerging health threats of animal origin
through efficient, sustainable, and integrated systems.

Participants in the planning meeting voiced various cautionary
notes about the April 19-21 conference:

--planning must achieve the right balance between animal and human
elements in the agenda, joint statement, and participation;

--discussion on 2009 H1N1 influenza A should be forward looking;

--Articulation of resource needs should assist with future
mobilization;

--Discussions should not be dominated by debates on virus and
benefits sharing; and

--the conference statement must look forward, and be firm and
clear.

9. (SBU) Dr. Nabarro along with Dr. Julie Hall, World Health
Organization expert on influenza and emerging infectious diseases,
called on the DCM on November 27. Nabarro noted the USG has been
the fundamental source of energy driving progress over the last
years in combating H5N1 and currently 2009 H1N1. Vietnam was the
optimal choice of nations to host IMCAPI given it is the global
crucible of challenges and significant success. Nabarro reiterated
that the April meeting should be political in nature. He requested
Post's support in securing high-level USG attendance, offering that
many countries based their level of attendance on the level of USG
participation, specifically naming HHS Secretary and G, adding it
would be extremely helpful to also have the new USAID Administrator
attend.

HANOI 00001284 004 OF 004


10. (SBU) Further, Nabarro noted that there is valid skepticism
that the parties will develop a joint conference statement, given
the historic failures to do so. Yet he was very optimistic but
listed four potential risks for failure: the statement could be
hijacked by the sample sharing controversy, some countries could
try to make direct calls for increased donor support, occurrence of
a new 2009 H1N1-related emergency or other emerging plague with
pandemic potential, and a statement of insufficient weight in the
eyes of Washington or Brussels.
Michalak

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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