South-eastern European countries meet to develop regional action plan

The countries of south‐eastern Europe (SEE) are coming together in Podgorica, Montenegro on 21 February 2018 to develop a regional action plan for the next 2 years with specific strategic objectives and activities to implement the Chisinau Pledge.

The South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) is made up of 9 Member States: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Israel, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In April 2017, they signed the Chisinau Pledge committing to joint action in collaboration with WHO and partners on a range of issues. The objective of the meeting in Podgorica is to discuss how WHO can support the Network in implementing these commitments during the 2018–2019 biennium.

“The Chisinau Pledge is an important instrument to ensure the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the subregion,” says Dr Lucianne Licari, Special Representative of the Regional Director to SEEHN. “WHO as a key partner of the Network continues to provide technical support required to Member States, not only through the Biennial Collaborative Agreements signed with individual countries but also in multicountry collaborations across the Network.”

Chisinau Pledge commitments in focus

National Health Coordinators of the Network and representatives of Regional Health Development Centres in SEE countries will participate in the meeting, along with representatives from WHO/Europe. They will discuss opportunities for achieving the goals and strategic objectives of the Chisinau Pledge in the SEE region and reaching an agreement on the way forward to address common challenges.

“SEEHN is dependent on the support of the partner organizations in implementing the commitments made in the Chisinau Pledge,” says Dr Mira Jovanovski Dasic, Head of the Secretariat of the Network. “We appreciate the long-standing partnership we have with WHO and the support the Network receives from the Organization. We hope other partners of the Network will follow the WHO example in supporting the implementation of the pledge.”

The Chisinau Pledge calls for joint action by the Member States, with partners, on:

  • sustaining and strengthening regional cooperation on public health by taking deliberate action to influence governance in other policy arenas to promote and protect health;
  • achieving the SDGs by taking advantage of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to renew countries’ commitments to health and to seek intersectoral action to advance the priorities of the European Health 2020 policy framework.