Highlights of day 2: 23 October 2014


Plenary session

Mayors can make a difference

The plenary session of Thursday, 23 October 2014 consisted of two parts:

Part 1 included a presentation entitled “The role of the Russian Association of Healthy Cities and Rural Settlements”, delivered by Oleg Kuvshinnikov, Governor of Vologda, Russian Federation. Some keynote speeches were also delivered:

  • “The power of city diplomacy”, by Michele Acuto, Director, University College London, City Leadership Initiative, United Kingdom; and
  • “Food for thought: emerging roles of cities in the 21st century”, by Ilona Kickbusch, WHO adviser, Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland.

The members of the political panel were:

  • Pantelis Χyridakis, Mayor, City of Philothei-Psychiko;
  • Olga Kazanskaya, Vice Governor, St Petersburg, Russian Federation;
  • Petteri Paronen, Mayor, City of Kuopio, Finland;
  • Charlotte Marchandise, Health Delegate Rennes, President, French Healthy Cities Network;
  • Sorin Mircea Oprescu, Mayor, Bucharest, Romania; and
  • Fernando Florez, Mayor, Tunja, Colombia.

In Part 2 a panel of politicians from cities and national networks discussed the theme: “The city way: visions and problem-solving”. The focus was on visions and challenges to the delivery of change and how to make a difference in creating healthy cities and tackling inequalities. The debate addressed the reported key problems and aimed to create a common understanding of the key elements for success in political leadership.

Round table 5: City health diplomacy

The purpose of this session was to explore city health diplomacy as an emerging element for city leaders from the point of view of global health and city diplomacy; in particular, to identify issues and areas where city leaders can have an influence on global developments in relation to health and sustainable development.

The table also explored the emerging role of mayors with more direct responsibilities in health and well-being at a local level.

Round table 6: Age-friendly environments: what support can European, regional and subnational initiatives provide?

The number of European, national and subnational initiatives to support age-friendly environments is increasing rapidly. This round table discussed ways of fostering synergies in Europe, as well as the expectations for the role that WHO can play to work towards common approaches, such as in the context of the Health 2020 framework and the Strategy and action plan for healthy ageing in Europe.

Several Organizations participated in this session:

  • Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland;
  • Prolepsis Institute, Greece;
  • Division of Innovation for Health and Consumers, DG for Health and Consumers, European Commission;
  • the Ministry of Health of Greece;
  • WHO representatives from Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities;
  • Urban Health, WHO Centre for Health Development; and
  • the WHO Regional Office for Europe.

Round table 7: Urban policies that mitigate climate change and air pollutants and that have the largest health co-benefits

This round table involved the Healthy Cities Movement and discussed the vision which WHO and the Climate and Clean Coalition (CCAC) are pushing forward for achieving health benefits from city policies to mitigate climate change and air pollution.

This was part of a global scoping analysis of the gaps and opportunities for cities to engage in mitigating short-acting climate pollutants and air pollution. This analysis will feed into a new initiative to support cities to take up sector policies with most health benefits.

The extensive experience in intersectoral work from healthy cities is key to frame this new initiative, which should also look at the role of the health sector in influencing other sector policies, the useful knowledge and tools, the most common barriers and ways to address them.

The session was chaired by Dr Carlos Dora. Members of the panel were Dr Graham Alabaster and Professor Jean Simos.

Round table 8: Healthy cities around the world

In this session the experiences of Healthy Cities around the world were presented by:

  • Jinhee Kim, WHO Kobe, Japan;
  • Sifa Mohammed, Deputy Mayor, Malé City Council, Maldives;
  • Asma Ibrahim, Director, Health Protection Agency, Maldives;
  • Zahir Al-Anqoudi, Ministry of Health, Oman;
  • Mohsen Asadi Lari, Ministry of Health, Tehran, Iran;
  • Alfonso Contreras, Regional Advisor, Health Promotion;
  • Kira Fortune, WHO PAHO, Washington DC;
  • Gina Watson, WHO PAHO, Columbia;
  • Robow Mohamed Hassen, Majority Leader, Mandera County Government, Nairobi, Kenya;
  • Apedoh Koudzo Delava and Massassaba Fousseni, Lomé, Togo;
  • Imonede Kingsley Iyore, Ministry of Environment, Lagos State, Nigeria, and
  • Agis D. Tsouros, WHO/Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Round table 9: Tackling obesity – promoting physical activity and healthy nutrition: the power of local action

The aim of this table was to discuss the following issues in an interactive fashion:

  • cities preventing obesity in children – state of play in the WHO European Region;
  • measuring obesity, physical activity and diet at local level;
  • good practice examples and determinants of success when preventing and tackling obesity at local level; and
  • intersectoral collaboration at local level.