First meeting of Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network in the WHO European Region

11–13 October 2016, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

The first European meeting of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) will take place in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation on 11–13 October 2016.


GOARN is a network of technical institutions around the world that are prepared to respond to health emergencies. The international outbreak response is led by WHO through GOARN resources, and GOARN ensures that the right technical skills are deployed where and when they are needed.  

As part of the reform of WHO’s work in health emergencies, Member States have requested that GOARN’s risk assessment, management, communications and response capabilities are strengthened through longer-term investments, and that WHO reinforces its partnerships with GOARN, civil society and private-sector stakeholders.

Strengthening Europe’s contribution to international outbreak response

The meeting in St. Petersburg will gather approximately 100 participants from the WHO European Region, including GOARN partners and institutions interested in being part of the network – especially those from Russian-speaking countries. It aims to strengthen the Region’s contribution to the global approach to outbreak response.

WHO/Europe and the GOARN Operational Support Team at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland are organizing the meeting in cooperation with the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing and with support from the Government of the Russian Federation.

Expected specific outcomes of the meeting include:

  • improved expertise, coordination and team deployment from GOARN partners in Europe and globally;
  • a review of European partners’ support to major health events, including the Ebola response in west Africa, and of experiences from GOARN missions;
  • declarations of interest from new partner institutions in the Region to join GOARN;
  • the development of a high-level plan for GOARN activities in the Region in 2016–2017, as well as implementing groups; and
  • the integration of GOARN plans into the context of the new WHO Health Emergencies Programme, with a specific focus on Europe.