In collaboration with partners and Member States, WHO develops comprehensive strategies and guidelines, both at global and regional levels, to tackle the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). A primary aim is to monitor and address the causes of preventable illness, including the environmental, behavioural and socioeconomic factors leading to chronic respiratory problems. The strong commitment of Member States to implement these strategies has been expressed in various international agreements. For example, at the European level, strategies to protect public health through improved air quality were endorsed in the Warsaw Declaration for a Tobacco-free Europe and the Parma Declaration on Environment and Health.
Specific actions to address respiratory diseases and other priority NCDs as well as strategies to empower people living with these conditions to manage their own health are incorporated in a European Action Plan 2012 – 2015 for implementation of the European Strategy for the Prevention and Control of NCDs (launched in 2006). Together these documents are contributing to the development of a comprehensive European Health Policy entitled ‘Health 2020’.
Parma Declaration on Environment and Health
Preventing disease through improved outdoor and indoor air is a priority goal for the European Region, as highlighted by the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, held in Parma, Italy, in 2010. In the Parma Declaration, all Member States in the WHO European Region agreed to step up action to improve air quality in accordance with WHO’s Air Quality Guidelines and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Warsaw Declaration for a Tobacco-free Europe
At the 2002 Ministerial Conference in Warsaw, Poland, Member States of the WHO European Region embraced the European Strategy for Tobacco control, agreeing to make tobacco control a public health priority. This Declaration contributed to preparation of the global Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which came into force in 2005.