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Posted by: 22.11.2013 г.


Joint Statement of the Heads of Sanitary and Epidemiological Control Services of the SCO Member Countries,Saint-Petersburg


Joint Statement of the Heads of Sanitary and Epidemiological

Control Services of the SCO Member Countries

Saint-Petersburg, November 22, 2013.

In order to discuss progress in cooperation and prospects for joint work on prevention of spread of epidemics in the territory of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the third meeting of Heads of SCO Sanitary and Epidemiological Control Services was held in St. Petersburg on November 22, 2013.

Heads and senior officials of the SCO Sanitary and Epidemiological Control Services participated in this meeting.

The participants of the meeting noted that since the adoption of the Joint Statement on fighting against infectious diseases by the Council of Heads of Governments of the SCO Member States on October 14, 2009, the SCO member states on a bilateral and multilateral basis implemented a number of measures in order to achieve the goals indicated by the Heads of Governments, including improvement of the legal basis of interstate and interdepartmental cooperation for prevention of infectious diseases, implementation of joint research projects and advanced training of employees.

In general, participants of the meeting positively assessed the results of the efforts on development of cooperation among the relevant departments of the SCO member countries in fighting against infectious diseases, thereby improving the collective potential of the SCO in ensuring sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population and preventing mass spread of infectious diseases.

After the discussion of the current threats to public health in the SCO region connected with infectious diseases and mechanisms of interaction within the organization aimed at countering these threats and reducing the negative impact of infections on the economic, social and humanitarian situation in the region, the participants of the Meeting declare the following:

1.​ Problems associated with spread of already known and emergence of new infectious diseases have a cross-border nature and therefore securing sanitary and epidemiological welfare in the SCO region remains one of the priorities of cooperation between the member countries.

2.​ Threats to sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population are being diversified, their range is expanding and the potential impact on the economic and social spheres of life is increasing. Growth of these threats is promoted by irreversible changes such as population growth and overpopulation of cities and suburbs, people living in immediate vicinity to farm animals, industrialization of food production, increase of turnover in international trade and transportation, improper use of antimicrobials and the invasion to the previously uninhabited areas in order to conduct work, develop tourism or food production.

3.​ Since the Second Meeting of the Heads of SCO Sanitary and Epidemiological Control Services, members of the organization have witnessed the emergence of serious challenges posed by new infectious diseases such as highly pathogenic H7N9 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

4.​ Due to development of economic and social processes and high mobility of labor in the region it is required to pay attention to the problems of countering the spread of HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis, “forgotten” tropical diseases as well as diseases that are managed by means of specific immunization, including measles and polio.

5.​ The SCO member states continue to strengthen national potential in ensuring sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population and develop multilateral cooperation within the Organization in such areas as exchange, including in accordance with the International Health Regulations, WHO (IHR 2005), of reliable information about outbreaks of infectious diseases, their causes and measures taken in order to eliminate them, scientific cooperation is expanding, efforts within the technical assistance programs are progressively increasing, laboratory network strengthens, potential of networks on prevention and elimination of emergency situations in public health increases.

6.​ Technical assistance programs implemented by the SCO member states on a bilateral basis provide significant contributions to the development of such cooperation.

7.​ Joint potential of the of SCO Sanitary and Epidemiological Control Services allows to take adequate measures in order to prevent, detect and respond promptly to emergencies of sanitary and epidemiological nature having international importance.

8.​ At the same time, in order to achieve common goals of reducing the adverse social and economic impact of infectious diseases and improving public health protection from the threats of sanitary and epidemiological nature in the SCO region, it is necessary to give a new impetus to cooperation in fighting against infectious diseases.

9.​ In the medium-term perspective the SCO member states should achieve tangible results in cooperation in such priority areas of countering threats of sanitary and epidemiological nature as:

·​ Strengthening regional potential in prevention and responding to newly emerging diseases;

·​ Sanitary protection of territories and biological safety securing;

·​ Countering HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, measles elimination and polio eradication, immunization programs expansion;

·​ Ensuring the safety of food products.

10.​ In order to implement this task, participants of the meeting considered it necessary to:

-​ develop cooperation in forecasting and modeling of emergency situations in the field of public health;

-​ intensively use scientific potential of the SCO member states in order to explore the feral herd infections jointly;

-​ strengthen measures on countering the emergence of causative agents’ antibiotic resistance as a factor of emergence of the new infections;

-​ continue work on improving the system of epidemiological surveillance and monitoring of infectious diseases in the SCO region, including by provision on a bilateral basis of organizational, technical and other assistance to Member States of the SCO, in strengthening laboratory networks, and implementing the IHR (2005 )

-​ develop and strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations between national laboratories and reference centers located in the SCO member states;

-​ at competent authorities level facilitate the implementation of technical assistance programs on fighting against infectious diseases, giving priority to HIV/AIDS, elimination of measles, polio eradication, fighting against infections controlled by means of specific immunization;

-​ develop cooperation in the field of foodborne diseases monitoring, including exchange of information on outbreaks of foodborne diseases and food contamination cases and exchange of such information, including through the INFOSAN;

-​ develop cooperation in the field of investigating safety of new food technologies, including products produced when using biotechnologies and development of risk assessment methods for new food products;

-​ develop a mechanism of forming a unified position of the SCO Member States on relevant current questions of ensuring sanitary and epidemiological welfare for its representation at meetings of relevant international organizations.

11.​ Participants of the Meeting considered and approved a draft of the Program of informing about epidemiological situation caused by infectious diseases for the purpose of further approval of this document during the upcoming meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of the SCO Member States which will be held on November 28-29, 2013 in Tashkent.

12.​ Participants also support the efforts of the UN on drafting an agenda in the field of development for the period after the year of 2015 and believe that an integrated action program in the field of development for the period after the year of 2015 should proceed with the ideas of the Millennium Development Goals and ensure fulfillment of the objectives in fighting against infectious diseases.

13.​ Participants of the Meeting underlined the need of holding regular meetings at the Heads of SCO Sanitary and Epidemiological Control Services level as an effective mechanism of developing cooperation in this field and recommended to present the main results of this meeting at the next meeting of the Council of Heads of Governments of the SCO Member States which will be held on November 29, 2013 in Tashkent.