The senior management of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – or the Tripartite Alliance – has been meeting on an annual basis for almost thirty years. On 17–18 February 2021, the Tripartite Annual Executive Meeting was held for the 27th time.
The three organisations have been collaborating for many decades and advocating for a One Health approach to the prevention, detection and control of diseases and to issues such as antimicrobial resistance. This year’s meeting was notable, not only because it was held virtually, but because colleagues of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) were invited to participate. It was at the Paris Peace Forum in November 2020 that the heads of all four organisations agreed to work together. Inviting Ms Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, and members of her staff to the Executive Meeting was the logical next step in starting the process of expanding the Tripartite collaboration.
In the lead up to the Executive Meeting, the four organisations collaborated on the terms of reference for the One Health High-Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP – also an outcome of the Paris Peace Forum). They subsequently issued a call for experts and agreed on a process for establishing a Secretariat for the Panel.
Furthermore, to expand their collaboration on One Health activities, the Executives agreed to renew the One Health concept and, with that, to develop a joint vision for intersectoral collaboration, implementation of work plans, and the establishment of a task force for resource mobilisation.
The OIE is pleased to welcome UNEP to the table and looks forward to working with UNEP in the implementation of activities that will meet Members’ needs and expectations.