Annual meeting of ministers to set health priorities in Europe


On 17 September 2018 in Rome, Italy, health ministers and high-level representatives of the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region, along with partner organizations and civil society, will gather for the annual WHO Regional Committee for Europe. The Regional Committee provides an opportunity to discuss and make decisions related to key health priorities in the Region, as well as to report back on progress made towards implementing previously agreed policies and resolutions. At this year’s 68th session, participants will consider topics including a new strategy on men’s health, financial protection in the Region and an action plan to improve public health preparedness and response. The European health report 2018 will also be officially launched during the Regional Committee, giving a snapshot on progress being made to improve health and well-being in the Region, as well as remaining challenges.

Making collective commitments to support implementation of SDGs and Health 2020

Participants will discuss taking action on a roadmap, adopted at last year’s Regional Committee, which provides direction for countries to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, building on the work that countries have already done to implement the Region’s Health 2020 policy framework. The Regional Committee agenda will also offer an opportunity to report back to Member States on key events, including the WHO high-level meetings Health Systems Respond to NCDs: Experience in the European Region and Health Systems for Prosperity and Solidarity: Leaving No One Behind.

All topics on the agenda support and strengthen efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Health 2020. These include:

  • new evidence on financial protection in Europe;
  • realizing the full potential of the European Vaccine Action Plan 2015–2020;
  • a strategy on the health and well-being of men in the WHO European Region;
  • an action plan to improve public health preparedness and response in the WHO European Region;
  • advancing public health in the WHO European Region for sustainable development;
  • implementation of the Regional Framework for Surveillance and Control of Invasive Mosquito Vectors and  Re-emerging Vector-Borne Diseases 2014–2020; and
  • the strategic role of country offices in the Region.

Side meetings and technical briefings will offer a venue to discuss the latest issues regarding migration and health in the Region, health literacy measurement, innovations in health information systems, healthy people through environmentally sustainable urban transport, the impact of health systems on global sustainability and work being done on the European Health Equity Status Report. The Regional Committee delegates will also discuss the impact of WHO reform on WHO/Europe’s work.

The decisions taken and policies adopted at the Regional Committee will serve as collective commitments for countries of the Region, ensuring cohesive and coordinated approaches to the most pressing health issues facing Europe. They will also determine WHO/Europe’s workplan and priorities for the coming year.

To follow the 68th session of the Regional Committee for Europe, watch the live webcast 17−20 September or join the social media conversation and follow real-time coverage on Twitter using the hashtag #RC68Rome.