APAR hosted a nearly 4 hour virtual planning workshop on February 25th 2021, which was attended by experts from across 13 time zones. The workshop was truly global, with a balanced presence of subject experts, thought leaders, policymakers and partners across the global South and North. The workshop included representation from UN organizations such as the World Health Organization, OIE-World Organization for Animal Health, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), UN Health Innovation Exchange, philanthropic organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, relevant national ministries/ departments of the United States, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, highly acclaimed academia and laboratories of the US, India, UK, Sri Lanka and expert organizations and networks, including the U.S. Coalition for Epi Response, Engagement and Science (CERES), Network of Southern Think-Tanks (NeST), Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks (EPIC), Institute of Global Health.
The workshop hosted seven specific sessions that were followed after opening remarks. The goal of this workshop was to identify programmatic priorities for a Global One Health Veterinary Biosafety and Security Summit, to be convened in the second half of 2021. During this workshop participants shared their experiences on different facets of One Health, veterinary BS&S concerning global, national, and regional needs and way forward. Cross sectoral issues like pathogen spillover, translational technology innovation, bioeconomy and burden of disease, social and behavioral intervention strategies, as well as policy and regulatory issues were discussed. The participants had identified priority areas in the Veterinary BS&S space that are relevant in national, regional and global contexts. It has given a broader scope towards the identification of programmatic priorities in veterinary BS&S for inclusion in the agenda of the larger summit proposed in fall 2021.