Accelerating implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) and strengthening emergency preparedness and response in the WHO European Region – A high-level meeting

13–15 February 2018, Munich, Germany

On 13–15 February 2018, over 150 senior public health and technical representatives from IHR signatory countries and entities, relevant international organizations and networks in the WHO European Region will meet in Munich, Germany, to define strategic regional approaches to strengthen emergency preparedness and response.

The high-level meeting will establish an interactive platform to accelerate implementation of the IHR (2005) through a lively mix of state-of-the-art presentations and storytelling from countries and partners with the aim of addressing new challenges to keep Europe and the world safe.

The meeting will also provide a unique opportunity to gather input from participants for the development of an IHR action plan tailored to regional needs, taking into account relevant WHO global strategies and plans. To this end, participants will be introduced to the WHO draft 5-year global strategic plan to improve public health preparedness and response (2018–2023) and to the Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The meeting is organized with financial support from the Government of Germany.

Meeting objectives

The meeting adopts a holistic approach to health emergency preparedness and response. This includes looking at linkages between health systems, essential public health functions and IHR core capacities; addressing AMR as a public health hazard under the IHR; developing mechanisms for multisectoral and cross-border collaboration; and strengthening the role of National IHR Focal Points.

Expected outcome

The meeting will serve as a basis for the development of a regional IHR action plan to improve public health preparedness and response, which will be presented at the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in September 2018.

About the IHR

The IHR (2005) provide an international legal framework for countries worldwide to protect people from epidemics and other health emergencies. Since their entry into force, WHO has been actively supporting countries in the WHO European Region to implement and maintain IHR core capacities to prevent, prepare, detect and respond to public health threats. Within the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, the IHR are a crucial tool for the management of health emergencies, including disease outbreaks, disasters and environmental crises.