The Fourth High-level Meeting of Small Countries: building resilient and healthy communities

Valletta, Malta, 26–27 June 2017

On 26 and 27 June 2017, Malta will host the Fourth High-level Meeting of Small Countries, comprising the 8 Member States of the WHO European Region with a population of less than 1 million. The meeting will focus on resilience, one of 4 cross-cutting priority areas of Health 2020 and one of the pillars underpinning the implementation of the goals and targets set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will provide a unique opportunity to share knowledge and best practices on how to strengthen individual, community and system resilience, and demonstrate that resilience is a fundamental component of health systems and a powerful enabler of processes proposed by Health 2020, such as participatory (whole-of society and whole-of-government) and life-course approaches.

Building on work carried out in the past year with the small countries, collecting case studies on intersectoral action and on implementation of the life-course approach, and acknowledging that childhood obesity is a serious concern for small countries, an outcome statement on childhood obesity will be endorsed by the ministers of health at the end of the Fourth High-level Meeting of Small Countries. The statement will be action oriented and will offer innovative solutions proven to be highly effective in the context of small countries.

The main objectives of the meeting are to:

  • analyse the role of small countries in promoting effective practices to tackle childhood obesity and build consensus around the outcome statement;
  • discuss best practices to enhance access to affordable medicines in small countries;
  • review the progress of the work of the Small Countries Health Information Network and its direct relevance for small countries in the WHO European Region;
  • provide an update on regional European health information that can benefit small countries;
  • engage the media as a partner for health and development by building capacity within a critical mass of media professionals in participating countries.