European Regional Consultation on the Draft WHO Code of Practice (2009)



 World Health Assembly resolutions WHA57.19 and WHA58.17 requested the Director-General to develop, in consultation with Member States and all relevant partners, a global code of practice that provides principles and guidelines for international cooperation concerning international recruitment of health personnel. The initial draft Code prepared by the WHO Secretariat in 2008 provided a platform for discussions. The Executive Board at its 124th session (EB124) in January 2009 noted the progress with drafting of the Code and suggested that the Regional Committee sessions in 2009 be used to enhance regional consultations with Member States on the subject, with a view to providing feedback to EB126 (January 2010).

The discussion at the fifty-ninth session of the Regional Committee for Europe in September 2009 highlighted the consequences of the financial crisis on labour markets and the need to mitigate the negative effects of migration on health systems in developing countries and “to ensure equitable access to health care services while minimizing the need to rely on the immigration of health personnel from other countries”. The resolution (EUR/RC59/R4) adopted by the Regional Committee urges Member States “to increase their efforts to develop and implement sustainable health workforce policies, strategies and plans as a critical component of health systems strengthening” and “to advocate the adoption of a global code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel in line with the European values of solidarity, equity and participation, both within the WHO European Region and globally”.

Taking stock of the deliberations, input and resolutions of the six Regional Committees, the WHO Secretariat is revising the draft Code of Practice. It will be submitted to EB126 for further consideration, with a view to submitting a final draft to the Sixty-third World Health Assembly (WHA63) in May 2010 for final consideration and approval.

In compliance with the mandate given by the Regional Committee, the WHO Regional Office for Europe is continuing the consultation process on the draft Code leading up to EB126. This open consultation meeting on the revised draft Global Code of Practice that will be submitted to EB126 is being convened by the Regional Office for the European members of the Executive Board, Permanent Missions to the United Nations Office in Geneva and partners.

Overall objective of the meeting: In preparation for the discussions at EB126 (on agenda item 4.5.), to seek the views of European Member States and relevant partners on the content of the revised draft Global Code of Practice on the international recruitment of health personnel.

Specific objectives:

  • to update Member States on the progress made to date with preparation of the Global Code of Practice (report by the Secretariat for EB126)
  • to review the revised draft Global Code of Practice submitted by the Secretariat to EB126, map out the viewpoints of Member States and relevant stakeholders on the content of the Code, and highlight divergent views (if any)
  • to improve understanding and seek consensus, as appropriate, on the key issues.