South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN)

SEEHN is a political and institutional forum set up by the governments of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to promote peace, reconciliation and health in the region. In 2011, Israel became a 10th member of the Network. WHO/Europe lends technical support to SEEHN’s various health projects, after having supplied its secretariat, along with the Council of Europe, from 2001 to 2009.

On 1 January 2010, SEEHN took over ownership of the regional cooperation for health and development under the auspices of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the SEE Regional Cooperation Process. RCC’s main purpose is to provide leadership, sustain ownership by the member countries and maintain the concerted health development action launched with the Dubrovnik Pledge (2001), and maintained through the Skopje Pledge (2005) and the Memorandum of Understanding (2008).

Background

In 1999, the international community established the Stability Pact for south-eastern Europe (SEE) as a conflict-prevention and reconstruction process in the region. In 2001, a health component was added to the Pact’s social cohesion initiative, to bring people together across borders to improve health in the whole region. SEEHN has received political, technical and financial support from 10 partner countries and 5 international organizations.

For over a decade, SEEHN has been the undisputed vehicle of health development in the areas of mental health, communicable diseases, food safety and nutrition, blood safety, tobacco control, information systems, maternal and neonatal health, public health services and health systems.

Banja Luka Pledge signed

The Third Health Ministers’ Forum - Health in All Policies in South-eastern Europe: a Shared Goal and Responsibility (13-14 October 2011, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina), is where SEE governments made a political commitment to extend subregional cooperation and enhance partnerships towards achieving equity and accountability in health through implementing a whole government approach and a focus on noncommunicable diseases. The Banja Luka Pledge (2011) was signed to that effect.