Animal health: a substantive input to the transformation of food systems through the One Health approach

World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)

Time: Friday, 20. January 2023, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Room: M8

Languages: English, German


A high-level round table bringing together experts from diverse perspectives on the topic: national, industry, scienfic/research, international organisation.
After a quick introduction of the participants, a facilitator will animate a dialogue by posing critical questions and fostering interactions. The questions/interventions will follow a logical sequence:
1. Key issues and challenges
2. Highlight actions underway
3. Identify ideas, scope solutions or innovative courses of action.
The facilitator will close the session by identifying key recommendations or takeaway messages.

Panel Guests

President of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) since June 2022, Arnold Puech d’Alissac is a passionate family farmer in the Normandy region in northern France. He farms free-range poultry, beef cattle, and various crops in Pissy-Pôville. Mr. Puech d’Alissac has always dedicated his life to advocating for farmers at the national, regional, and global levels.
Bureau member of the Fédération national des syndicats d’exploitant agricoles (FNSEA), he represented the European Constituency on the WFO Board from 2017 to 2022, also serving as the Treasurer and Vice President of the Organisation.
He also held the position of President of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) from 1999 to 2001.
His motto is “Tout seul, on va plus vite, ensemble, on va plus loin”.

Dieter Schillinger has been the Deputy Director General of Biosciences at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) since 2016. He is responsible for ILRI’s animal and human health research program across Africa and Asia. In addition, Dieter leads ILRI’s One Health research, focusing on zoonotic diseases, food safety, and antimicrobial resistance. Dieter studied mechanical engineering in Regensburg, Germany, and veterinary medicine in Munich, Germany, where he graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Dieter also holds an MBA from Brunel University, UK. He is a veterinarian with 30 years of experience in animal health, including applied animal science, tropical veterinary medicine, and the development and marketing of animal health products.

Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, is an economist and politician from Cape Verde. A leading expert in global development issues, she has worked in public service for over thirty years. Over the last decade, FAO has helped shape a new global narrative where agriculture is prominently recognized as a solution in addressing increasingly complex emerging issues – from climate change and biodiversity loss to ecosystem degradation to overfishing. Leading to deliver with impact, Semedo promotes an integrated approach, resulting in greater crosssectoral engagement and stronger strategic partnerships, better positioning FAO in its role to promote the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems. A key player on the FAO Core Leadership Team, Semedo heads flagship initiatives such as the FAO Green Cities Action Programme, the corporate Climate Change Strategy and strengthening the global One Health approach. She fosters high-level multi-stakeholder dialogues that optimize the Organization’s 75+ years of technical expertise and experience, its global reach and innovative advances, all contributing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Semedo is a firm advocate for women’s empowerment and is well-known for her work promoting gender equity and social parity. Since October 2019 she has chaired the FAO Women’s Committee and helped spearhead the Organization’s Mentorship Programme, looking to build a more equitable and transparent workplace. Before taking up her current duties in 2013, Ms Semedo gained valuable experience and insight in Africa, first as FAO Representative in Niger (2003-2008), then as Deputy Regional Representative for Africa and Sub-regional Coordinator for West Africa (2008-2009) and Regional Representative for Africa (2009-2013). Prior to her international career, she worked as an economist for the Cabo Verde Ministry of Planning and Cooperation before becoming Secretary of State for Fisheries, then in 1993 Minister for Fisheries, Agriculture and Rural Affairs – the first-ever woman Minister in her country. After serving as Minister for Tourism, Transportation and Marine Affairs from 1995-1998, she became Member of Parliament, a position she held until 2003.

Honors and awards

November 2019:

  • Receives the Crans Montana Forum Prix de la Fondation

December 2018:

  • The Government of Brazil bestows the honorific Order of Rio Branco
  • The Universidade Aberta in Lisbon confers the Honoris Causa doctorate for her work in global sustainable development

March 2018:

  • Named “Woman of the Year” at the commemoration of the 2018 Women Diplomats Day in Portugal

May 2008:

  • Receives the Order of Niger for her distinguished service to the field of agriculture

Martien van Nieuwkoop is the Global Director for the Agriculture and Food Global Practice in the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Practice Group. As Global Director, Martien provides leadership to the formulation and implementation of the Bank’s strategy and knowledge in agriculture and food, oversees the operationalization of the Bank’s vision on agriculture and food in regional and country programs, acts as senior spokesperson for agriculture and food Bank-wide and globally and manages the Agriculture and Food Global Practice. The Agriculture and Food Global Practice has a portfolio of about 160 projects with close to US$ 20 billion in commitments in investment project, program-for-results and development policy lending and about 250 staffs. Martien holds a Final (“Doctoraal”) Examination (Cum Laude), Development Economics from Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands and an MBA (Beta-Gamma-Sigma), International Executive Program from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., USA. He grew up on a family-owned horticulture farm in Gouda, The Netherlands.

Dr. Samuel Thevasagayam leads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s livestock portfolio, overseeing implementation of the strategy for animal health, animal production, and animal systems. Before joining the foundation in 2012, Sam spent most of his career within the pharmaceutical industry, working in clinical development, regulatory affairs, business development, and external research alliances. Sam was responsible for the development and registration of several drugs and vaccines (human and animal) in North American, European, and international markets. Previously, he served as the director of research and development for global alliances for livestock veterinary medicine with GALVmed, a not-for-profit animal health organization. He spent his early career teaching and practicing companion animal internal medicine before spending five years in veterinary virology research at the United Kingdom’s Pirbright Institute. Sam holds a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, a Ph.D. in veterinary virology for his research on foot-and-mouth disease virus at the Pirbright Institute, and an MBA from the Säid Business School at the University of Oxford. Sam is a fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.


Monique Eloit entered the Alfort National Veterinary School (ENVA – France) in 1977. She graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, having presented a thesis on infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, an early indication of her interest in livestock health management. Dr Eloit joined the State civil service in 1982 as a veterinary inspector.
From the very first years of her work, Dr Eloit had to deal with sensitive issues such as the transport and slaughter of livestock, at both the national level and at European Community level, and participated in the first European negotiations on these topics. In 1992, she was placed in charge of the launch of the programme for the oral vaccination of foxes against rabies, which in several years enabled the disease to be eradicated in France.
During the 1990s, she occupied successively the positions of Assistant to the Deputy Director for animal health and protection, in which capacity she participated in setting up the national agency for veterinary products (ANMV), and Deputy Head of the Department for food quality and veterinary and plant health actions. For over six years she also acted as Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the European Convention for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes (T-AP), at the Council of Europe.
At the beginning of the new millennium, Dr Eloit was appointed Director at the French Food Safety Agency (Afssa). In this capacity she helped to reform the expert committees, supervised national veterinary laboratories with regard to their scientific and technical support activities, and represented Afssa on the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Committee of national agencies. She was also in charge of the “bioterrorism” dossier, which involved making some of the Agency’s laboratories available for controls on suspicious products.
In 2005, she returned to the Ministry of Agriculture, holding three appointments simultaneously, as Deputy Director General for Food, Chief Veterinary officer (CVO) of France and Delegate to the OIE. During the four years that followed, she had to deal with many sanitary crises, including managing the avian influenza crisis, the foot and mouth disease and bluetongue epizootics and various food safety emergencies. Her duties as CVO and Delegate to the OIE involved working at a national level but also at a regional and international level.
After these years of experience, she joined the OIE in 2009, as Deputy Director General in charge of administration, management, human resources and regional actions. In addition to playing a leading role in institutional relations with Member Countries and with international organisations having an agreement with the OIE, she also supervises the activities of the OIE Regional and Sub-Regional Representations. During these past six years, she has also overseen the reform of the OIE’s accounting and financial procedures and made a significant contribution to the preparation of the OIE’s Sixth Strategic Plan for the period 2016-2020.
Dr Eloit was born in 1958 and is the mother of two children. Her husband is an eminent professor of virology at Alfort national Veterinary School and a researcher at the Pasteur Institute. Dr Eloit’s thirty years of solid professional experience have given her an invaluable knowledge of all aspects of animal health and welfare. She took over as Director General of the OIE on 1 January 2016. By so doing she became the 7th Director General of the OIE, and the first woman to hold the position.

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