Global Events, General session

90th General Session of the World Assembly of Delegates

Avian Influenza
9:00am - 6:30pm (GMT+1:00)
Event in place at Maison de la Chimie, Paris, France

The 90th Annual General Session of the World Assembly of Delegates of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) took place on Sunday 21 to Thursday 25 May 2023, face-to-face in Paris.    

During this important institutional event, the World Assembly adopted administrative and technical resolutions as well as proceeded to elections for vacancies in some of the governing bodies of the Organisation. The 90th General Session brought together representatives of 182 WOAH Members, representatives from international organisations that have signed an official agreement with WOAH, other international and regional organisations, observer countries and territories, WOAH key stakeholders and special guests. As part of the 90th General Session, WOAH proposed an Animal Health Forum focused on avian influenza. This innovative Forum provided a unique opportunity for the Delegates and partners of the Organisation to discuss in depth of this disease which has affected many Members over the last years. 

The 90th General Session was conducted with simultaneous interpretation in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian and, except for the administrative session reserved to elections, all daily sessions was webcasted live via this website.  

The Regional Commissions meetings were held in virtual mode between Monday 15 and Wednesday 17 May 2023 and were not webcasted, nor recorded.

WOAH General Session: Building the future of animal health and welfare

Awards and Recognition

The World Organisation for Animal Health recognises the winners of the animal health achievement awards in 2023. The award ceremony took place during the annual General Session held in person. The Organisation’s President Dr Hugo Federico Idoyaga Benítez and Director General, Dr Monique Éloit joined WOAH’s World Assembly of Delegates in officially acknowledging the achievements of the three award recipients and commending the leading role they have played in animal and public health, which has enabled us to work towards a healthier, safer and more sustainable world. 

Gold Medal

This award is granted annually to one person in recognition of their outstanding service in the field of veterinary science and their contribution to the scientific and technological development of the Organisation’s activities.

Dr Thomas C. Mettenleiter


Dr Thomas C. Mettenleiter is a true leader in the field of veterinary science, notably on infectious diseases of livestock and poultry, and his contributions to the World Organisation for Animal Health have been exemplary. He was instrumental in the application and designation of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute as a WOAH Reference Centre for Zoonoses in Europe, as well as of several Reference Laboratories, and has been a member of the WOAH Scientific Commission, various Ad hoc expert groups, such as BSE Risk Assessment and SARS-CoV-2 in animals, the Editorial Board of the WOAH Scientific and Technical Review, and Editor of its Review on avian influenza. Dr Mettenleiter also serves as the co-chair of the One Health High-Level Expert Panel of the Quadripartite. His dedication to veterinary science, the Organisation and its cause is commendable.

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Dr Mettenleiter is an internationally published author of over 490 peer-reviewed publications on virus infections of food-producing animals listed in PubMed and more than 50 books and book chapters.

His professional experiences include:

1997-present: President, Federal Research Centre for Virus Diseases of Animals, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany 

1996-1997: Director, Federal Research Centre for Virus Diseases of Animals, Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany 

1995-1996: Acting Director, Federal Research Centre for Virus Diseases of Animals, Tübingen/Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany 

1994-2019: Head, Institute of Molecular Biology, Federal Research Centre for Virus Diseases of Animals, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany
1988-1993: Principal Investigator, Federal Research Centre for Virus Diseases of Animals, Tübingen/Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany 

1986-1987: Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA 

1982-1985: Junior Researcher, Federal Research Centre for Virus Diseases of Animals, Tübingen, Germany 

His awards and memberships include: 

Honorary Doctorate (Dr. med. vet. h.c.), Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany, 2022 

Honorary professorship for the field of Virology in Livestock, University of Rostock, Germany, 2020 

Robert von Ostertag plaque, Federal Chamber of Veterinarians, 2014 

Greifswald Research Award, Greifswald University Club, 2014

DGHM Lecturer, German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology, 2013

Board Member of the European Society for Virology, 2013-2018 

Board Member of the European Society for Veterinary Virology, 2012-2017
Elected Member of the Royal Academy of Medicine, Belgium, 2011 

Dr Mettenleiter has been instrumental in the application and designation of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute as a WOAH Reference Centre for Zoonoses in Europe.

Dr Dietrich Rassow, Delegate of Germany.

Meritorious Award  

This award is granted annually to personalities in recognition of their scientific, technical and administrative contribution to the control of animal disease, animal welfare and/or to veterinary public health. 

Dr David E. Swayne

United States of America

Dr Swayne is an international expert on avian influenza and has played an important role in veterinary poultry science worldwide. During his time at WOAH, he was instrumental in conducting a global evaluation of high pathogenicity avian influenza control and surveillance, in revising the avian influenza chapters in the Organisation’s international standards (Terrestrial Code and Manual) and in providing his expert advice to several Member Countries. He served as Director of the WOAH Collaborating Centre for Research on Emerging Avian Diseases and as Scientific Officer for the global influenza network OFFLU. 

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Dr Swayne is a widely published author (Google ScholarScopus).

His professional experiences include:

2023-present: Director, Birdflu Veterinarian LLC, Watkinsville, GA, USA

2007-2022: Director, Reference Centre for Avian Influenza Viruses and their Ecology, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

2007-2022: Director, Collaborating Centre for Research on Emerging Avian Diseases, World Organisation for Animal Health

2015 (Aug.-Nov.) and 2019 (Jun.-Aug.): Acting Centre Director, U.S. National Poultry Research Center (USNPRC), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Athens, GA, USA 

2010-2011: OFFLU Scientific Officer, World Organisation for Animal Health, Paris, France 

2005-2022: Laboratory Director and Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer, USNPRC, USDA, ARS, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory (SEPRL), Athens, GA, USA 

1998-2004: GS-15, Research Leader and Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer, USDA, ARS, SEPRL, Athens, GA, USA 

1994-1998: GS-14, Research Leader and Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer, USDA, ARS, SEPRL, Athens, GA, USA 

1992-1994: Associate Professor with tenure, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology (now Veterinary Biosciences) and Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Poultry Science (now Animal Sciences), The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA 

1987-1992: Assistant Professor with tenure, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Poultry Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA 

1984-1987: Research Associate, Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA 

His awards include: 
USDA Agricultural Research Service Science Hall of Fame, 2020. 

XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize, American Veterinary Medical Association, Denver, CO, USA, for recognition of outstanding service by a member of the Association who has contributed to international understanding of veterinary medicine, 2018. 

10th International Symposium on Avian Influenza dedicated to David E. Swayne, in recognition of outstanding veterinary science contributions to knowledge on avian influenza for prevention and control, whilst providing advice and leadership to government institutions and animal health organisations, Brighton, UK, 2018. 

Hall of Honour, Induction in 2017 by the World Veterinary Poultry Association (WVPA) at the 20th WVPA Congress, Edinburgh, Scotland for poultry veterinarians and health scientists who made an outstanding contribution in the furtherance of poultry veterinary science. 

Hall of Honour, Inaugural Inductee in 2016 by the American Association of Avian Pathologists, for distinguished contributions to poultry health.

It has been over 20 years since WOAH first recognised Dr Swayne with a Certificate of Appreciation for his work… to develop internationally recognised standards for low pathogenic avian influenza.

Dr Rosemary B. Sifford, Delegate of the United States of America.

Meritorious Award  

In recognition of the scientific, technical and administrative contribution to the control of animal disease, animal welfare and/or to veterinary public health. 

Dr Jakob Zinsstag 


Dr Zinsstag is one of the leading designers of One Health, and has worked to implement integrated approaches to human, animal and environmental health and well-being. He helped to develop this concept by demonstrating the benefits of joint human and animal health services for mobile pastoralists in Chad, the social benefits of vaccination of livestock against brucellosis for public health in Mongolia and the advantages of mass canine vaccination to help eliminate human rabies – work that has been essential for the Organisation.

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Dr Zinsstag is the author of more than 350 publications in peer-reviewed journals and over 60 books and book chapters (PubMed). 

His professional experiences include:

2013-present: Founding member and Vice President, Association of Lecturers, University of Basel (DOZUBA), Switzerland

2011-present: Deputy Department Head, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), Switzerland 

2009-present: Head, Human and Animal Health Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss TPH, Switzerland 

1998-2009: Project Leader, Swiss National Science Foundation PROSPER, Swiss TPH, Switzerland 

1994-1998: Director, Swiss Centre for Scientific Research, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire 

1990-1994: Project Leader, International Trypanotolerance Centre, Banjul, The Gambia 

His awards and memberships include: 

Editor-in-Chief, CABI One Health, since 2022 

Member, WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Zoonoses, since 2010 

Diplomat, European College of Veterinary Public Health, Vienna, Austria, since 2003 

Co-Director, Transdisciplinary Expert Group, OECD Global Science Forum, 2018-2019 

Associate Editor, Public Library of Science Neglected Tropical Diseases (Virology), 2016-2022 

Associate Editor, Tropical Medicine and International Health, 2015-2022 

Editorial Board Member, Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 2010-2022 

President, Network for Transdisciplinary Research (TD-net), Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, 2016-2021 

President, International Association for Ecology and Health, 2012-2016 

Transdisciplinarity Award of the Swiss Academies (with Dr Esther Schelling), 2004 

Dr Jakob Zinsstag is the principal theorist and designer of the integrated method of One Health… a work particularly important for WOAH.

Dr Vessaly Kallo, Delegate of Côte d’Ivoire.

Policy to Action: The case of avian influenza – Reflections for change


The global recurrence and spread of high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) is a worldwide threat to the poultry sector, impacting livelihoods of farmers, stakeholders and having severe consequences in food security and public health pandemic potential. HPAI has also had a significant impact on wild bird populations and is therefore also a threat for wildlife and biodiversity.

HPAI has resulted in the death
and mass slaughter of more than

500 million

poultry worldwide between 2005 and 2022.

Mass culling of poultry incurs huge costs for government and industry, heavy economic losses for farmers generating a long-lasting impact on their livelihoods and raises societal and environmental concerns. 

Despite the efforts of WOAH Members to implement strict preventive and control measures such as movement control, enhanced biosecurity, and stamping out, avian influenza continues to spread. There is a need to discuss the strategic challenges that impede Members’ progress towards global control, explore other control options, and reach a consensus on suitable science-based disease preventive and control alternatives, that can reduce the burden of the disease.

WOAH advanced these discussions in several ways at the 90th General Session of the World Assembly of Delegates (90th GS) which held in Paris, from 21 to 25 May 2023. The Technical item prepared by Dr. David Swayne (USA) on “Strategic Challenges in the Global Control of High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza” was provided in advance. This contains a comprehensive review of the unprecedented shift in the epidemiology and ecology of the HPAI, the challenges, and possible solutions for consideration.

Animal Health Forum on Avian Influenza

During the opening ceremony on May 21, WOAH hosted a high-level panel discussion that included Ministers and high-level officials from the European Commission, FAO and WOAH. The panelists had a facilitated discussion on their perspectives on the global outbreak, major concerns and what actions are needed. This was followed by an Animal Health Forum, a format introduced for the first time at the General Session, to explore the challenges laid out in the technical item in depth. The forum took place on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 May and was divided into four themes during 3 two-hour sessions to discuss issues on surveillance and monitoring for early detection and prevention, disease control strategies for prevention and control, trade aspects and global coordination.

The forum had the Technical Item as common thread and offered an opportunity for Delegates and subject matter experts to have open discussions and agree on how to best tackle HPAI.

This multipronged approach aimed to facilitate a rich discussion and debate around science-based disease control strategies required to assist countries, and options for better global and regional coordination, prioritisation and financing.


Discuss the strategic challenges faced for the effective use and implementation of existing science-based disease control strategies

Explore response strategies, required adaptations and best disease control practices

Agree on the key success factors and further areas for development towards HPAI global control


  • Rapporteur: Dr David Swayne (USA)
  • Selected panelists and speakers: Delegates, subject-matter experts, and representatives from the private sector
  • WOAH Delegates


The Technical Item of the 90th General Session on Strategic Challenges in the Global Control of High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza’ set the scene for the AHF. It included formal presentations, round table discussion, and interviews. The format enabled debate and discussion among the facilitator, rapporteur, panelists and Delegates.

The forum explored four major topics:

Session 1 – Avian influenza intelligence – Surveillance and monitoring for early detection and prevention

Session 2 – Response: Disease control strategies for early response and business continuity, including vaccination

Session 3 – Collection, analysing and disseminating veterinary scientific information worldwide

Session 4 – Global coordinated strategy for progressive control of avian influenza


Monday 22 May 2023
9:00 am – 9:50 amTechnical item – Strategic challenges in the global control of high pathogenicity avian influenzaRedi Tlhabi, Facilitator
David Swayne, Technical item rapporteur
9:50 am – 11:00 amSession 1 – Avian influenza intelligence: Surveillance and monitoring for early detection and preventionChristine Middlemiss (UK Delegate)
Roland Dlamini (Delegate Eswatini)
Frank Wong (Chair OFFLU Executive Committee) Thomas Mettenleiter (FLI Germany)
2:30 pm – 3:30 pmSession 2 – Response: Disease control strategies for early response and business continuity, including vaccinationNicolò Cinotti (IPC);
Emmanuelle Soubeyran (France, Delegate)
Joris Vandeputte (IABS)
Baoxu Huang (China, Delegate)
Mbargou Lo (Senegal, Delegate)
Ximena Melón (Argentina, Delegate)
3:30 pm – 4:30 pmSession 3 – Resilience: International standards to facilitate safe international tradeMasatsugu Okita (Japan, Delegate)
Ben Dellaert (IEC)
Eduardo de Azevedo Pedrosa Cunha (Brasil, Delegate)
Bernard Van Goethem (EC)
Rosemary Sifford (USA, Delegate)
Tuesday 23 May 2023
9:00 am – 9:50 amSession 4 – Global coordinated strategy for the progressive control of avian influenzaDavid Swayne
Ian Brown (Chairman OFFLU Steering Committee)
Jack Shere (GF-TADS President Americas)
Thanawat Tiensin (FAO)
Montserrat Arroyo (WOAH)
9:50 am – 11:00 amFinal discussion and conclusionsFacilitator
Selected panelists

Exhibition stands


Side events



Opening Dates: Monday 22 to Thursday 25 May, 2023

The United Against Rabies Forum is an inclusive network, bringing together stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to share knowledge, experience and ideas to implement the objectives outlined in ‘Zero by 30: the Global Strategic Plan to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030’. With the support of the WOAH Vaccine Bank, WOAH Endorsement Process for National Rabies Control Programmes, and the Rabies Reference Laboratory Network, the Forum will help countries and regions to progress towards the elimination of human deaths from canine rabies. Visit the Rabies stand starting 22nd May to learn more.

What WOAH offers when Members wish to self-declare freedom from animal diseases

Opening Dates: Tuesday 23 May, 2023

WOAH Members have the possibility to self-declare their country, or a zone or a compartment within their territory, free from terrestrial and aquatic animal diseases that are not part of the procedure for official recognition of animal health status. Would you like to know more about what WOAH offers to publicise self-declarations of disease freedom by Members? Are you interested to self-declare freedom from an aquatic animal disease? At this stand, you will be able to learn more about the free-of-charge self-declaration service, and how publishing a self-declaration can be useful to you.

World Animal Health Information and Analysis Department and WAHIS Programme

Opening Dates: Monday 22 to Wednesday 24 May, 2023

Find out more about WAHIS, the global animal health reference database of WOAH. Discover its interactive mapping tools and dashboards to support data consultation, visualisation, and extraction of officially validated animal health data.

Empowering Veterinary Services

Opening Dates: Monday 22 to Thursday 25 May, 2023

As the world changes, so do the responsibilities of the Veterinary Services, which are required to address new challenges such as the One Health approach, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), aquatic animal health, wildlife health and biological threat reduction. This is why WOAH’s capacity building activities evolve and improve to accompany Veterinary Services in their new responsibilities. At the capacity building stand, you will be able to:

Discover new initiatives

  • Explore what’s new in the PVS Pathway Programme.
  • Discover new initiatives like the PVS Pathway Information System which provides a modern platform for increased access, use and sharing of PVS Pathway data.

Book a bilateral meeting

  • Bilateral meetings to plan your National PVS Roadmap.
  • Schedule meetings to facilitate activity implementation planning and explore new opportunities offered, including Targeted Support on Public-Private Partnership (PPP), and AMR-relevant legislation.

Explore new training tools and materials

  • Get a taste of WOAH’s growing Training System and its eLearning modules.

Sign up for a discussion group

  • A discussion group set up to listen to your needs and help plan your next steps towards empowering Veterinary Services.

Documentation and Publications

Opening Dates: Sunday 21 to Thursday 25 May, 2023

Our resources cover the full spectrum of global animal health issues and provide valuable information to the international scientific community to which we all belong.

Global Burden of Animal Disease (GBADs) – Supporting Investments in Animal Health

Opening Dates: Sunday 21, Monday 22, Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 May, 2023

The Global Burden of Animal Diseases programme, co-led by WOAH and the University of Liverpool, is developing a systematic approach for the assessment of the economic burden of animal diseases; to provide estimates of net loss of production, expenditure, and trade impacts; and to identify where the burdens occur, to whom and by causes and risk factors. Estimates will enable WOAH Members, animal health providers and livestock owners to make informed decisions on animal health investments. 

The GBADs stand provides:

  • A description of the methods being developed by the programme along with information on what makes GBADs innovative.
  • The programme’s approaches to country case studies and insights into GBADs data management system.
  • An introduction to the programme team consisting of a consortium of organizations and universities across the globe.

The AMR Corner – progress and actions on antimicrobial resistance

Opening Dates: Monday 22 to Thursday 25 May, 2023

Since 1952, WOAH has been working to prevent the development of resistance to the drugs we use to fight bacteria, viruses and parasites. Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR, has become one of the most pressing health issues of our time. The good news is that solutions exist and everyone has a role to play in the fight against this global threat. Come and discover the concrete actions, initiatives, and progress we have made together – all thanks to your engagement and hard work.

Visit any of the five stands at the AMR Corner to discover how we can keep the fight.

Collective Progress & Actions against AMR

To curb AMR we need to collaborate, across sectors, at global, regional and national levels, private and public entities, all together. Quadripartite partners (UNEP, FAO, WHO and WOAH) have created the AMR Multi-Stakeholders Partnership Platform, a global, inclusive forum that aims to engage and empower stakeholders across the One Health spectrum. Visit the AMR Corner -Collective Progress & Actions against AMR to learn more.

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WOAH’s AMR Strategy actions are deployed at all levels. Empowered by international funds (i.e., Multi-Partner Trust Fund, European Union Foreign Policy Instruments, etc.) we promote and implement coordinated cross-sectoral actions at the national and regional level. WOAH’s Regional and Sub-Regional Representation teams also support these actions in the field. Visit the AMR Corner to get inspired on how to curb AMR in your own country.


ANIMUSE (ANImal antiMicrobial USE), a global online database is characterized by interactive dashboards which allow Members explore and analyse their own data while enhancing data availability and transparency in line with WOAH’s aggregation and analysis. ANIMUSE enables national Veterinary Services to report data more accurately, visualise, analyse and use data for surveillance purposes. Visit the stand, Antimicrobial Use to discover the benefits ANIMUSE has to offer.

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Since 2015, WOAH has taken the lead to build a global database on antimicrobial agents intended for use in animals (AMU). Since then, the collection and accumulation of the data regarding AMU, and related supports for the Members for their technical capacity building under the umbrella of the Strategy on Antimicrobial Resistance and the Prudent use of Antimicrobials (launched by WOAH in November 2016), have been key areas of WOAH’s initiatives in the fight against AMR. In 2022, WOAH transformed this previously Microsoft Excel based data collection, to a customised interactive online system: ANIMUSE Global Database (ANImal antiMicrobial USE).  

AMR in Aquaculture

In 2020, WOAH developed a workplan on AMR in aquaculture to enhance WOAH’s support to Members by creating awareness on prudent and responsible anti-microbial use and effectively controlling AMR in aquaculture. Visit the AMR in Aquaculture stand to discover the various activities of the workplan and recent outputs.

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Aquatic foods are increasingly recognized for their key role in food security and nutrition. Globally, aquatic foods in average provide about 17% of animal protein. More than half of this amount (87.5 million tonnes equivalent to 56% of the total aquatic food production in 2020) correspond to aquaculture. Increased aquaculture production is reached by intensification of farming methods and, as a consequence, more frequent disease outbreaks occur. This has led to an increased antimicrobial use (AMU) in aquaculture with a trend that would continue for the next years. Since the generation and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the aquatic environment has been influenced by AMU in aquaculture, this is an issue that need to be promptly addressed. 

Substandard & Falsified Veterinary Products (SFVPs)

In line with the 6th recommendation of the 2nd WOAH Global Conference on AMR and Prudent Use of Antimicrobial Agents in 2018, WOAH is working on the development of a global information and alert system of Substandard & Falsified Veterinary Products (SFVPs). It aims to receive notifications of SFVPs from its network and to subsequently inform all Members through alerts to facilitate their identification and eventual removal from circulation. Discover more about this fascinating project at the SFVPs stand.

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In 2022, WOAH conducted an initial pilot experience among fourteen voluntary WOAH Members, representing all geographical regions. Since January 2023 the project has evolved to a new refined pilot phase (Pilot Phase 2) among more Members in order to better understand Member’s needs and develop the specifications such system will require. 
The main changes include the development of a SharePoint portal, accessible to Member participants, for the reporting though online forms of the in-country situation for the management of SFVPs, and for the notification of alerts to Member participants in line with Member’s consent. The final goal is to create a fit-for-purpose digital platform for the veterinary domain, similar to the one successfully used by World Health Organisation (WHO) for SF medical products in human health following a “One Health” approach.


WOAH closely collaborates with the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), a global community of 200,000 veterinarians and 114 member associations involved in the development of global guidelines and setting of best practices for veterinarians including responsible AMU, vaccination programs which are key for the control of AMR. Visit the WSAVA stand to discover more.

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WSAVA has also developed the Essential Medicines List for cats and dogs that includes antimicrobials to help countries to address accessibility issues to veterinary products and it is also addressing Substandard and Falsified Veterinary Products. It is also involved in the development and provision of continuing education materials with a focus in regions where veterinary care of companion animals is lacking and in raising awareness of the role and relevance of companion animals from a One Health perspective.

The WOAH Observatory 

Opening Dates: Sunday 21 May, Tuesday 23 May and Thursday 25 May 

How do we know if WOAH standards have been put into practice once they have been adopted by the World Assembly of Delegates? 

The Observatory is a programme designed to analyse the implementation of our international standards and obtain insights about the barriers that prevent their full uptake by WOAH Members. Visit the Observatory stand to learn about the objectives and purpose of the Observatory, the main deliverables of the programme, including the publication of the first Observatory Annual Report in January 2023 and next steps in the Observatory roadmap. The Observatory stand offers a good opportunity to meet the Observatory team, discuss the recommendations presented in the Annual Report and share feedback about the programme. 

Rendez-vous with a wildlife expert

Opening Dates: Monday 22 and Wednesday 24 May 

WOAH recognizes the importance of wildlife health surveillance and the need for collaboration through Veterinary Services-led efficient and sustainable networks. Understanding disease processes in the wild is essential to protecting biological diversity, identifying and mitigating potential emerging health concerns. Visit the wildlife stand to book a rendez-vous with a wildlife expert and discover Veterinary Services’ place in the management of wild animal health. Come join the conversation on how to advance the field of wildlife health and protect our planet’s biodiversity and global health.

Side events

Global Coordination Committee for ASF 

Date: Monday 22 May, 11h30 – 13h00 
Venue: Room 262

World Café – Gender Task Force 

Date: Monday 22 May, 17h – 18h30 
Venue: Room: 233 

Gender intersects with several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of relevance to WOAH and has been an important topic in global policy discussions and within international organizations, governments, the private sector, and civil society/NGOs. Given its importance, in October 2021 WOAH launched its Gender Task Force, composed of 25 staff working across departments at Headquarters and Regional/Sub-Regional offices, to inform how WOAH understands gender across its mandate, programmes, and policies. 
This interactive session explored ideas on how gender intersects with work and reflected on how WOAH can support Veterinary Services.  Read the report

GF-TADs 10th Regional Steering Committee meeting for Middle East

Date: Monday 22 May, 17h – 18h30
Venue: Room 232

The 10th Global Framework for the progressive control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs) regional steering committee for the Middle East will be held on the 22nd of May.

This meeting provided an opportunity to renew membership of the steering committee, elect a new chair, review the progress on transboundary animal diseases (TADs) related activities update the list of priority TADs for the region and discuss possibly approaches to strengthen engagement, partnership and resource mobilisation for TADs prevention and control activities. Participation is limited to registered invited Members or Observers of the regional steering committee. 

Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs) – Outcome of estimating economic impacts in pilot countries

Date: Tuesday 23 May, 11h30 – 12h30
Venue: Room 201

The Global Burden of Animal Diseases programme, co-led by WOAH and the University of Liverpool, is developing a systematic approach for the assessment of the economic burden of animal diseases; to provide estimates of net loss of production, expenditure, and trade impacts; and to identify where the burdens occur, to whom and by causes and risk factors. Estimates will benefit WOAH Members and a range of other animal health providers and livestock owners in their ability to make informed decisions on animal health investments.  

This side event showcased the utility of the GBADs approach to WOAH Members using the outcome of current case studies as an example and highlighted the Ethiopia country case study. 

Animal welfare is not only important, it is crucial.

Date: Tuesday 23 May, 11h30 – 12h30
Room 233

Come and help us build the future of WOAH Platform for Europe.

WOAH has always held a high regard for animal welfare. But how?  Since its creation in 2013, the Platform on Animal Welfare for Europe has identified 5 priority topics for animal welfare: management of dog population, transport, disaster management, working equids and slaughter. In each of these areas, the animals might be at risk regarding their mental and physical state and thus impacting their welfare. Considering welfare as part of animal’s health, all WOAH members have a key role to play: every contribution towards assuring the welfare of animals will contribute to ensure animal’s health.  

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WOAH has started developing the Platform action plan for the period 2024-2026. Through this side event on animal welfare, WOAH is offering its Members the opportunity to share their needs and help building of the action plan. At present, the concept One Health is taking more and more importance in international cooperation interventions considering that health challenges not only links human and animal health, but also the health of the environment. One Health is about finding the right balance between these three axes, by seeing how an action in one can truly impact the others.

This approach is also reflected in the activities of WOAH Global Animal Welfare Strategy adopted by the General Assembly of Delegates in 2017. By enhancing animal welfare, we enhance animal health, human health and the health of the environment. Animal welfare has an impact on the whole ecosystem. 

Final Report

Final Resolutions

Working Documents

Administrative Reports

Financial Reports

Technical Reports

Other documents

The 90th Annual General Session took place in Paris from Sunday 21 to Thursday 25 May 2023. The event brought together over 1,000 participants, including representatives from 183 WOAH Members, as well as representatives from international and regional organisations, observer countries and territories, key stakeholders and several Ministers.

During five days, participants from all over the world participated in the discussions of the first entirely face-to-face General Session, after the onset of COVID-19 pandemic. National Delegates have adopted new Resolutions and made commitments to strengthen the global control of avian influenza, an animal disease that has impacted all regions of the world over the past years. A dedicated Animal Health Forum was organised for the first time to explore risk management options for this disease, while providing a space to discuss strategies adapted to its current evolving situation.  


Over 1,000 participants from 144 countries and territories

joined the event in person – including representatives of Members as well as scientists and observers from partner organisations.

5 Ministers

addressed the Assembly during the Opening Ceremony 

+ 600 people

connected to the livestreamed event 


over 1800 people engaged in the discussion on social media

Main achievements


adopted by Delegates to improve animal health and welfare globally 

International Standards 

adopted or revised in the field of terrestrial and aquatic animal disease prevention and control, animal welfare, diagnostic methods and vaccine quality 

Terrestrial Code


new chapters


revised chapters

Terrestrial Manual


revised chapters

Aquatic Code


new chapter


revised chapters

Aquatic Manual


revised chapters

4 new animal health status and 1 disease control
programme were recognised and endorsed

A strengthened network


New centres of scientific excellence  
for a total of 342 Reference Centres located in 47 countries to provide scientific and technical support 

New cooperation agreement  
to respond more effectively to glonal health challenges (view all our cooperation agreements)


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90 WOAH General Session - High-level Panel of discussion

Interview requests

Interviews with participants may be arranged, subject to availability, throughout and after the General Session, by appointment only and with at least 48 hours’ notice. 

Do not hesitate to contact us with your list of questions to facilitate the planning and allow us to better meet your expectations: [email protected].

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Kindly complete this online form before Thursday 18 May 2023. 

No access will be permitted without prior accreditation. Some sessions will not be open to the press (kindly refer to the programme). 

For any questions please contact

General Session Secretariat

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