Report on the work of the Alliance for Multilateralism

Presentation of the work of the Alliance for Multilateralism

The One Health High-Level Expert Council and the Fight against Infodemics

Paris Peace Forum

12 November 2020

For the Third Paris Peace Forum, a meeting to present the work of the Alliance for Multilateralism was held on 12 November 2020 by Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Mr Heiko Maas, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The meeting took stock of the efforts undertaken by the international community and regularly discussed in the framework of the Alliance for the multilateralism to strengthen the multilateral health architecture, particularly the creation of a One Health High-Level Expert Council and the fight against infodemics.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Monique Eloit, Director-General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Mr Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and Ms Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), all participated in the presentation.

The Foreign Ministers of South Africa, Ms Naledi Pandor, Australia, Ms Marise Payne, Mexico, Mr Marcelo Ebrard, and Singapore, Mr Vivian Balakrishnan, also spoke.

Mr Christophe Deloire, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders and Chair of the Forum on Information and Democracy, and Ms Sarah Olson, Associate Director of Epidemiology at the Wildlife Conservation Society Health Program, also participated to the debate.

The two following topics were discussed during the meeting:

-The One Health approach and the creation of a One Health High-Level Expert Council

The COVID-19 health crisis has highlighted the close links between human, animal and environmental health, in a context of increased human-livestock-wildlife contacts and ecosystems degradation. In order to better understand pandemics such as COVID-19 and to reduce the risk of zoonotic diseases, determined actions are needed.

The “One Health” approach is a cross-cutting and systemic approach to health based on the fact that human health and animal health are interdependent and linked to the health of the ecosystems in which they co-exist, as stated by the “Berlin Principles”, which were developed at the “One Planet, One Health, One Future” conference and presented during the ministerial meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism of 25 September 2020.

The heads of WHO, OIE, FAO and UNEP agreed to strengthen their work together, building upon the existing FAO, OIE and WHO Tripartite cooperation, to address risks at the human-animal-environment interface and have a joint secretariat.

To do so, they agreed to create a One Health High-Level Expert Council involving all four agencies and other key international experts on human, animal, environment and social sciences. The Council will collect, distribute and publicize reliable scientific information on the links between human, animal and environmental health in order to assist public officials make appropriate decisions to address future crises and to inform citizens.

-The Fight against infodemics

As announced at the Alliance for Multilateralism ministerial meeting on 26 June 2020, the report of the working group on infodemics created by the Forum on Information and Democracy was presented by Mr Christophe Deloire, Chair of the Forum.

Mr Deloire highlighted the four structural issues which would benefit from stronger regulations: the transparency of platforms, meta-regulation of content moderation, promoting the reliability of information, and the blurred distinction between public and private spaces online, when private messaging systems become de facto new unregulated public spaces.

He also announced the launch of a second working group of the Forum on Information and Democracy on the sustainability of journalism. The report of this working group will be presented at an upcoming meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism.

Last updated on: 12 November 2020