Small countries at the forefront of a whole-of-government approach to health

2–3 July 2015, Soldeu, Andorra

The institutional flexibility and social cohesion characterized by small countries can serve as a model for better policy-making for health. Representatives of eight countries in the WHO European Region with a population of less than 1 million will meet in Soldeu, Andorra, on 2–3 July 2015 for the Second High-level Meeting of Small Countries. 

The aim of the meeting is to review progress and the outstanding challenges in aligning the policies of small countries with the Health 2020 policy framework and to ensure that the life-course approach is a priority in decision- and policy-making. The meeting will build on the agreements made at the First High-level Meeting of Small Countries, held in San Marino in July 2014. 

Coordinated by WHO/Europe, the agenda will include technical briefings, panel discussions and presentations.

Meeting outcomes

The expected outcomes of this year's meeting include: 

  • producing an overview of Health 2020 implementation in the WHO European Region and the uptake of the recommendations of the "Review of social determinants and the health divide in the WHO European Region";
  • producing an overview of health-care reforms and health financing in participating countries and suggestions for a plan of action;
  • addressing health information and data collection challenges in countries with a small population through concrete action, including Health2020 indicator monitoring;
  • drafting and finalizing the Andorran Statement on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention throughout the Life-course for presentation at the Minsk ministerial conference;
  • building a critical mass of media professionals in small countries that deals with the social determinants of health and health inequities; and
  • introducing topics for the Third High-level Meeting of Small Countries, to be hosted by the Principality of Monaco in 2016.

The eight countries with a population of less than 1 million are: Andorra, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Iceland, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro and San Marino.