To consolidate efforts towards the adoption of a new resolution on animal welfare, AU-IBAR participated in the African Union Diplomatic Corps Meeting from 23-27 October 2021. The meeting was jointly convened by His Excellency Honourable Damptey Bediako Asare, the High Commissioner for Ghana to Kenya, and the African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR). Other delegates in attendance included H.E Beyene Russom, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the State of Eritrea; Amb. Nehemiah Rotich, Board Member of the Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) Board and the World Federation for Animals Representatives of the African Diplomatic Corps to UNEP and Animal Welfare Experts from various organizations.
The resolution aims to tighten the close interlinkages that exist between improving animal welfare, protecting the environment and socio-economic development, and will be tabled at the upcoming session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in February 2022.
Officiating during the official launch of the meeting, AU-IBAR’s Acting Director, Dr. Nick called upon the delegates to strategize on how they could use their prowess in diplomacy to mobilize the 55 African Union Member States and their global networks to join hands to rally UNEA to adopt the proposed resolution on Animal Welfare-Environment-Sustainable Development Nexus. He noted: ”That way, you will have supported the AUC’s efforts to promote Africa’s posterity and that of the global community, as envisaged in the SDGs and the African Agenda 2063.’’
In recent years, animal welfare has also become an issue of increasing concern globally and indeed in Africa. At the same time, compliance with animal welfare standards is more and more often included in livestock trade agreements. The resolution and current activities supporting animal welfare on the continent are therefore contributing towards the implementation of the Animal Welfare Strategy for Africa which recognises the role of animal welfare in the sustainable animal resources industry and indeed the development of the continent. The strategy is further informed by animal welfare international standards of the World Organization for Animal Health. The development and implementation of the strategy carefully ensures that the context of the AWSA aligns to the African context.
AU-IBAR has been closely involved in the preparation of and drafting of the animal welfare resolution through the support from the governments of Ghana, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Senegal and South Sudan.