Kick-off meeting of UN European coalition on health identifies 4 workstreams for joint action

The UN European coalition on health is a coordination mechanism focusing on the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 – to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages – in the pan-European Region, and of the health-related targets present in other SDGs.

The kick-off meeting of the coalition, which is led by WHO/Europe, took place on 10 November 2016. Participants discussed the added value of joint action and identified a list of actions with the highest potential. After establishing criteria for setting priorities, they agreed on the following 4 workstreams:

  1. health throughout the life-course, with a focus on maternal and child health (contributing to SDG 3, 4, 5, 16);
  2. communicable diseases, with a focus on HIV and tuberculosis (contributing to SDG 3, 1, 6);
  3. universal health coverage, with a focus on medicines (contributing to SDG 3, 1, 5); and
  4. migration, including aspects of emergencies (contributing to SDG 3, 1, 10, 11, 13).

The coalition also considered noncommunicable diseases and environment and health as potential workstreams, but agreed to build on existing cooperation among UN agencies in these areas.

The coalition’s first activity will be the development of a 2-year work plan.

WHO/Europe Regional Director Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab chaired the meeting, which was attended by regional representatives of 7 UN entities: the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Office for Project Services, the United Nations Population Fund, and WHO/Europe.

The coalition was established by, and reports to, the UN Regional Coordination Mechanism for Europe and Central Asia. The next meeting is planned for March 2017.