Twenty-fifth meeting of the South-eastern Europe Health Network held in Bulgaria

The 25th Meeting of the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) and 3rd Preparatory Meeting for the 3rd  SEE Health Ministers’ Forum was convened under the Bulgarian Presidency of the SEEHN (January – June 2011) in Sofia, on 16–18 June 2011.

The main focus of the meeting was devoted to preparations for the Forum to be held on 13–14 October 2011 in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This joint meeting was attended by over 40 high-level participants representing all the countries of the SEEHN, representatives of the partner countries, representatives of international organization, as well as national observers from the public health sector.

The meeting:

  • decided on the enlargement of the SEEHN regarding providing openness and further development beyond its historical and geographical boundaries, and on amendments of the Memorandum of Understanding (2009) to provide for this;
  • decided on the State of Israel application for full membership to the SEEHN;
  • agreed on the draft of the Banja Luka Pledge (2011) on “Health in All Policies in the SEE” to be endorsed by the SEE Ministers of Health at the 3rd Ministers’ Forum;
  • discussed the 3rd SEE Health Ministers’ Forum background documents:
    - evaluation of the regional cooperation in public health in the SEE region 2001-2011
    - Health in All Policies in the SEE – current status, challenges and recommendations for the future
    - prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in the SEE
    - human resources for health.
  • agreed and signed the Decision for the establishment of the Regional Health Development Centres (RHDCs) of the SEEHN, including the designation of the RHDC on Human Resources for Health (Moldova) and on Accreditation and Continuous Quality Improvement of Health Care (Serbia), as well as designation and inauguration of the RDHC for Antibiotic Resistance (Bulgaria)

The joint meeting paid considerable attention to current developments and needs of furthering strong regional cooperation in public health in SEE. It built on the achievements of a decade of regional cooperation in SEE (2001-2011) that have been part of continuous efforts towards achieving equity and accountability in health, as well as building on major European resolutions, charters and communications, treaties, frameworks and action plans,  and the new European Policy for Health and Well-being Health 2020.