June 6, 2006


General Assembly of the Organization of American States
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 6, 2006

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

Having seen the Annual Report of the Permanent Council to the General Assembly (AG/doc.4548/06);

RECALLING:

That at the Fourth Summit of the Americas, in November 2005, the Heads of State and Government reiterated their commitment to strengthen cooperation and exchanges of information in the struggle against chronic diseases as well as emerging and re-emerging diseases; and

That member states at the Special Conference on Security, held in Mexico City, Mexico, in October 2003, identified pandemics as a challenge to the stability of many of the states in the Hemisphere and called for cooperative actions to address this challenge;

RECOGNIZING the potential risk a pandemic due to novel influenza viruses, such as the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza, would pose to our societies and citizens, with possible severe consequences for animal and human health, the global economy, and stability;

AWARE of the difficulties public health officials have encountered in the past in facing influenza pandemics;

DEEPLY CONCERNED by the vulnerability of member states and their peoples to a potential influenza pandemic;

CONSIDERING the Hemispheric Conference on the Surveillance and Prevention of Avian Influenza, held on December 2, 2005, in Brasilia, Brazil, which focused attention on this emerging threat and the need to support the political, technical, and financial commitment necessary to prepare, prevent, and respond to avian influenza; as well as the Declaration of South American countries that sought international and donor support for the region, adopted at the donors meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, from November 7 to 9, 2005;

CONSIDERING ALSO the meeting of the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza, held in Washington, D.C., on October 6 and 7, 2005, and the International Meeting of Ministers of Health on Global Pandemic Influenza Readiness, held in Ottawa, Canada, on October 24 and 25, 2005;

RECALLING that the Fifty-ninth World Health Assembly considered that application of the International Health Regulations 2005 is a mechanism that establishes procedures for strengthening pandemic-influenza preparedness and response;

AWARE of the briefing for permanent representatives to the Organization of American States (OAS) given by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) on avian influenza and pandemic influenza, held in Washington, D.C., on March 31, 2006, and the meeting on avian influenza and pandemic influenza held by the OAS Permanent Council on December 15, 2005;

WELCOMING efforts by Canada, Mexico, and the United States to address the threat of avian and pandemic influenza through the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America; and

NOTING resolution XVII, adopted by the Andean Health Organization-Hip�lito Unanue, approving the proposal for an Andean Readiness and Response Plan to an Avian Influenza Pandemic (Bogot�, Colombia, March 2006);

NOTING ALSO the Consensus of Buenos Aires (2005) on the International Health Regulations and the "Joint Strategies for Strengthening Measures to Confront the Risks of an Avian Influenza Pandemic," adopted at the Ministerial Meeting of MERCOSUR and Associate States (Montevideo, Uruguay, November 2005); and

COMMENDING the recent efforts by PAHO and IICA to forge an inter-American response to a potential avian and pandemic influenza,

RESOLVES:

1. To affirm the commitment of member states to work together in combating avian and pandemic influenza and to identify priority areas for further action.

2. To urge member states to respond to the risk of an influenza pandemic by taking the following steps:

a. Supporting international and regional bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), and its regional arm, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in their efforts to coordinate the world and regional response to a potential influenza pandemic;

b. Developing and exercising, according to national capacities, national, subregional, and regional avian and pandemic influenza preparedness and response plans;

c. Supporting member states in addressing challenges regarding animal and public health infrastructure to address a potential influenza pandemic, and considering and strengthening, as appropriate, national capacities for implementing the International Health Regulations; and

d. Promoting technical and financial cooperation among member states to strengthen national and regional avian and pandemic influenza preparedness and response capacities.

3. To express its satisfaction and support for the work conducted by PAHO and IICA to help member states to prepare, prevent, and respond to a potential pandemic influenza, and for the continued support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), FAO, the IOE, and other partners.

4. To instruct the General Secretariat to carry out the activities mentioned in this resolution within resources allocated in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.

5. To request PAHO and IICA to report to the Permanent Council on the implementation of this resolution.

6. To request the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-seventh regular session on the implementation of this resolution.