sure countries and institutions can respond adequately to the risks those systems identify.
Alejandro Thiermann of OIE also focused on the sustainability of surveillance systems. He noted that OIE was founded in the 1920s to collect and share information on animal health in order to prevent disease dissemination and to promote trade. That goal remains the mission of the organization’s 172 member nations, but Thiermann reminded the group that each nation has unique circumstances and pressures, as well as different veterinary infrastructures. Moreover, many of the problems under discussion are perhaps likeliest to develop in areas of the world with the weakest veterinary infrastructures. Thus the immediate challenge is for the world to support disease monitoring in those areas that need it, while the longer term challenge is to develop greater political will to support a truly global approach to surveillance. Many of these issues were raised again in subsequent discussions.