Regional Director meets President of Lithuania

Office of the President of Lithuania

Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, and Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Lithuania

Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, introduced the concepts of Health 2020, the European policy for health and well-being, at the “Creating Health for the Year 2020 Today” Conference, on an official visit to Lithuania on 28–29 November 2012.

During the visit, Ms Jakab also met Ms Dalia Grybauskaitė, the President, Mr Algirdas Butkevičius, the Prime Minister, Mr Raimondas Šukys, the Minister of Health, Mr Vydas Gedvilas, the Speaker of Parliament, and other high-level officials.

Health 2020 on agenda

Ms Jakab introduced the key concepts of Health 2020 at her meeting with President Grybauskaitė. They discussed the health situation and challenges in the country, including health inequalities between the sexes, the rural/urban divide and mental health. The President expressed her appreciation of WHO, and support for intersectoral cooperation on health issues in Lithuania.

Meeting with health ministers of Latvia and Lithuania

At a working lunch hosted by Mr Raimondas Šukys, Minister of Health of Lithuania, and attended by Ms Ingrida Circene, Minister of Health of Latvia, Ms Jakab thanked the ministers for their fruitful cooperation and stressed the importance of regional cooperation, including policy dialogues between WHO and Baltic countries.

Discussions covered placing health on the broad political agenda, the concept of including health in all policies and the importance of cutting alcohol and tobacco consumption.

Lithuania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU)

During a meeting with the Regional Director, Mr Algirdas Butkevičius, the Prime Minister, and Mr Vydas Gedvilas, the Speaker of Parliament, requested WHO’s technical assistance in developing health priorities for Lithuania’s Presidency of the Council of the EU during the second half of 2013.

The Regional Director congratulated the Prime Minister on improving health indicators in Lithuania, but underlined the need to address issues including low levels of physical activity, cardiovascular diseases and the social determinants of health. She pledged that WHO would support evaluation of the new Lithuanian health programme for 2012–2020 and provide further technical assistance.

The Prime Minister and Speaker thanked the Regional Director for the strong, long-standing cooperation between WHO/Europe and their country, particularly through the work of the WHO Country Office, Lithuania.