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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2006 > December
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 5, 2006


Global Conference to Focus on Avian and Pandemic Influenza December 6-8

Countries from around the globe as well as senior representatives of the United Nations and other international and regional organizations will come together in Africa December 6-8 to assess programs to counter the threat of avian and pandemic influenza and to boost financial support for preparedness and response efforts worldwide.

The conference, held in Bamako, Mali, will increase help for countries faced by the potential severe social and economic consequences of this human and animal health threat. It will be hosted by the African Union and the Government of Mali in conjunction with the European Union.

This conference will provide an update on outbreaks of the virus across the world and the risks of transmission it poses. It will also review preparedness and response efforts and achievements since the last pledging conference in Beijing in January 2006 and the June 2006 Vienna Senior Officials Meeting of the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza, an initiative launched by President George W. Bush in September 2005. The first meeting of the International Partnership was held in Washington, D.C. in October 2005.

Health ministers, agriculture ministers, other officials, and technical experts will discuss vaccination and communication strategies, as well as means of compensating losses of poultry raisers who destroyed their flocks to contain the spread of the virus. The status of assistance pledges will be assessed, new pledges outlined, and strategies and priorities for the future presented.

The U.S. delegation will be headed by Ambassador John E. Lange, Special Representative on Avian and Pandemic Influenza, U.S. Department of State. The U.S. delegation will include Dr. Kent Hill, Assistant Administrator for Global Health, U.S. Agency for International Development; Dr. Ron DeHaven, Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Department of Agriculture; and Dr. David Bell, Coordinator of the International Influenza Unit, Department of Health and Human Services. All of these departments and agencies have significant roles in the U.S. international engagement against the disease.

For further information on the U.S. international engagement on avian influenza, see www.state.gov/g/avianflu/ and www.pandemicflu.gov.

2006/1090

Released on December 5, 2006

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