East Asia Summit Declaration on Avian Influenza Prevention, Control and Response

Kuala Lumpur, 14 December 2005

WE , the Heads of State / Government of the Member Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia, People's Republic of China, Republic of India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand, participating countries of the First East Asia Summit (EAS) held on 14 December 2005 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;

ACKNOWLEDGING that the avian influenza outbreak has spread to a number of countries in the region and that its serious impact is not just confined to the poultry industry but also public health, livestock production, trade, tourism, economic and social development of the region;

AWARE of the potential of the current avian influenza H5N1 virus to transform into a strain capable of causing a pandemic, and the unpredictable nature of when and where a pandemic will occur;

RECOGNISING the active cooperation and various regional initiatives of ASEAN in responding to the challenges posed by avian influenza, inter-alia, through strengthening institutional linkages, developing partnership with all stakeholders, sharing information and coordinating regional initiatives.

WELCOMING the various other initiatives to foster regional and global partnerships on avian influenza prevention and control, and pandemic preparedness and response;

FURTHER RECOGNISING that the prevention and control of avian influenza is a global responsibility that requires close collaboration and coordinated efforts among governments, communities and businesses with the active participation of appropriate regional and international organisations and mechanisms;

DO, HEREBY, DECLARE THAT:

The participating countries of the First EAS will undertake every effort through existing bilateral, regional and multilateral channels, to enhance national, regional and international capacities to deal with the current avian influenza epidemic, inter-alia, to prevent it from transforming into a human influenza pandemic through:

1. Improving national policies for prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases (EID), in general.

2. Controlling and eradicating avian influenza in domestic poultry to reduce the risk of human influenza pandemic, as the disease is primarily an animal disease.

3. Committing to effective containment of all avian influenza outbreaks at the national level, and to extend all possible support and ensure rapid, transparent and accurate risk communications among participating countries of the EAS.

4. Undertaking a well-coordinated multi-sectoral / multi-disciplinary approach at the national and regional level, particularly between the animal health and the human health sectors, in support of regional and global efforts towards pandemic preparedness and response planning.

5. Establishing national and regional avian influenza and pandemic preparedness strategies with clearly defined work plans and resource requirement, supported by the strong political will and commitment of all participating countries of the First EAS as well as requisite national legislation and technical expertise to minimise the impact of any possible pandemic influenza outbreak.

6. Strengthening institutional capacities at national and regional levels to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the national and regional avian influenza prevention and control programmes and pandemic preparedness and response plans, including setting up a network of stockpiles of antiviral drugs with the technical support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other recognised relevant international organisations, to effectively pre-empt a pandemic.

7. Enhancing capacity building in coping with a pandemic influenza, including establishing information sharing protocols among countries and multilateral organisations to ensure effective, timely and meaningful communication before or during a pandemic influenza outbreak.

8. Increasing cooperation among ASEAN Member Countries and the other participating countries of the First EAS, and international organisations, including the WHO, the World Animal Health Organization (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Bank (WB), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the areas of surveillance and capacity building, research and development, risk communications and assessment, supply and access to, as well as, the production of vaccine and antiviral drugs.

The necessary follow-up actions will be undertaken through existing ASEAN mechanisms in close consultation with WHO, OIE, FAO, World Bank, ADB as well as other ASEAN Dialogue Partners and with the ASEAN Secretariat coordinating these common efforts to ensure the effectiveness in stamping out the avian influenza.

ADOPTED by the Heads of State / Government of the participating countries of the First East Asia Summit on 14 December 2005 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.