A decade of regional cooperation on public health in South-eastern Europe. A story of successful partnership



It has long been recognized that public health initiatives contribute to the reconciliation and stabilization of conflict affected areas. Public health is increasingly regarded as a reliable predictor of economic growth. This report follows the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN), which for 10 years has provided a regional forum for cooperation among health ministries, international organizations (including the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the Council of Europe), nongovernmental organizations and health professionals. SEEHN operated first under the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe and then, since 2008, the Regional Cooperation Council. Its contributions to health, reconciliation, stabilization, and social and economic development are examined in the context of three forums of health ministers from south-eastern Europe, forums that have been held in 2001, 2005 and 2011. The report publication coincides with the third forum, being held in Banja Luka in October 2011 to discuss the application of the “health in all policies” approach in the region.