Sixth high-level meeting of the small countries – “Equity and sustainable development: keeping people at the centre”

San Marino 2000 scri

San Marino, 31 March–2 April 2019

Fully in resonance with the essence of “Health 2020, the European policy for health and well-being”, the United Nations “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and WHO’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work 2019–2023 , the technical programme of the Sixth high-level meeting of the small countries – “Equity and sustainable development: keeping people at the centre” – is informed by current major events in Europe. It positions the WHO Small Countries Initiative as a unique forum for forward-thinking discussion.

Ministers and other delegates from the 11 Member States in the WHO European Region with populations of less than two million inhabitants will participate in the event.

Opening of the meeting

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, will open the meeting on 31 March.

The meeting will coincide with the Investiture Ceremony of the New Heads of States, a most important recurrence, which has taken place in San Marino every six months since the 13th century.

Participants in the Sixth high-level meeting of the small countries will have the opportunity to attend the Investiture Ceremony at which Dr Tedros will be the guest speaker.

The programme

The technical programme of the meeting will include:

  • the social and economic footprint of health systems;
  • emerging findings of the “Health Equity Status Report” and their relevance for small countries;
  • human resources for health, building on the recommendations of the expert meeting on human resources for health in small countries in the WHO European Region, which took place in Venice, Italy, on 18–19 December 2018;
  • environmental sustainability with a particular focus on urban health and equity;
  • participatory processes and the involvement of civil society as a proactive implementer of the United Nations “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and the “Roadmap to implement the 2030 Agenda, building on Health 2020, the European policy for health and well-being”.

Placing equity at the centre of all policies

Promoting equity is crucial to speeding up progress towards inclusive and sustainable development in the WHO European Region. The meeting will include a presentation on the preliminary results of the first-ever Health Equity Status Report (HESR), the focus of which is on the status of and trends in national equity. HESR was developed under the leadership of the WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development.

Equity will be the theme of the 2019 statement of the small countries and the focus of the major initiatives of the WHO Regional Office for Europe in 2019. The statement will allow the small countries – as ideal settings for policy experimentation and innovation – to continue to act as pioneers in support of WHO’s strategic agenda.