Recent international health emergencies such as COVID-19 pandemic, mpox, Ebola outbreaks, and continued threats of other zoonotic diseases, food safety, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) challenges, as well as ecosystem degradation and climate change clearly demonstrate the need for resilient health systems and accelerated global action. One Health is seen as the main approach for tackling these pressing and complex challenges facing our society.
At their first annual face-to-face meeting today, the heads of the Quadripartite organizations working on One Health issued an unprecedented call for enhanced global action.
The Quadripartite aims to achieve together what no one sector can achieve alone, and it consists of four main agencies: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Health Organization (WHO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).
Call to action
Stressing the need for enhanced collaboration and commitment to translate the One Health approach into policy action in all countries, the Quadripartite leaders urge all countries and key stakeholders to promote and undertake the following priority actions:
- Prioritize One Health in the international political agenda, increase understanding and advocate for the adoption and promotion of the enhanced intersectoral health governance. The One Health approach should notably serve as a guiding principle in global mechanisms; including in the new pandemic instrument and the pandemic fund to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response;
- Strengthen national One Health policies, strategies and plans, costed and prioritized in line with the Quadripartite One Health Joint Plan of Action (OH JPA), to foster wider implementation across relevant sectors and at all levels;
- Accelerate the implementation of One Health plans, including supporting of national One Health governance and multisectoral coordination mechanisms, development of situation analyses, stakeholder mapping, priority setting, and metrics for One Health monitoring and evaluation frameworks;
- Build intersectoral One Health workforces that have the skills, capacities and capabilities to prevent, detect, control, and respond to health threats in a timely and effective way, by strengthening joint pre-service and continuing education for human, animal, and environmental health workforces;
- Strengthen and sustain prevention of pandemics and health threats at source, targeting activities and places that increase the risk of zoonotic spillover between animals to humans;
- Encourage and strengthen One Health scientific knowledge and evidence creation and exchange, research and development, technology transfer and sharing and integrating of information and data and facilitate access to new tools and technologies; and
- Increase investment and financing of One Health strategies and plans ensuring scaled up implementation at all levels, including funding for prevention of health threats at source.
To build one healthier planet we need urgent action to galvanize vital political commitments, greater investment and multisectoral collaboration at every level.
The Quadripartite has been playing a central role in promoting and coordinating a global One Health approach, in line with the OH JPA which was launched in October 2022. To further support countries and governments putting the One Health approach into practice, the Quadripartite partners are developing an OH JPA implementation guide to be released in 2023.
QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO
Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO
Monique Eloit, Director-General, WOAH