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Statement delivered by Estonia on behalf of the European Union under agenda item 2a at the WHO Regional Committee for Europe 67th session in Budapest


WHO Regional Committee for Europe 67th session

EU Statement


Agenda item 2(a): Address of the Regional Director

Budapest, 11 September 2017


I am speaking on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. The Candidate Countries Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia align themselves with this statement.

We thank the Regional Director for her comprehensive report and for her dedicated leadership.


The EU and its member states welcome the work done by Regional Office towards implementing the 2030 agenda, both through internal reforms and the support provided to governments. We are pleased to note that the Regional Office has fully incorporated the SDGs into its country cooperation strategies.

Furthermore, we appreciate the emphasis on reducing the reporting burden and reiterate the importance of avoiding duplication when reporting on regional health processes, as well as on the SDGs. We welcome the ongoing collaboration with the European Commission and the OECD to establish a common set of indicators.


As NCDs continue to be the main cause of preventable death in many parts of the world, including the European Union, we are pleased to note the progress made towards SDG target 3.4. on NCD-related mortality. Maintaining this progress requires a concerted effort to reduce smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity, and to improve management of NCDs in our region. Finally, with regard to NCDs we appreciate the efforts to address mental health and welcome the joint call for action by the Regional Director and the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety to address mental health issues that affect people from all ages.

Antimicrobial resistance continues to be a serious threat to health systems, which is why we applaud the efforts of the Regional Office in driving this agenda forward through enhanced monitoring and improving member state capacity across the objectives of the Global Action Plan on AMR. The EU and its member states reaffirm our commitment to tackling AMR and in June 2017 the new EU One Health Action Plan against AMR was adopted by the European Commission. This plan contains concrete actions to make the EU a best practice region, boosting research, development and innovation, as well as shaping the global agenda on AMR.


We note the work done to address communicable diseases in the Region, though stress the need to upscale efforts in light of the historically high incidence of new HIV cases. The rise in HIV/TB coinfections is a further challenge that requires immediate action.

We acknowledge the continued comprehensive effort by the Regional Office to achieve strong and flexible health systems, which are patient-centred, innovative and cost-effective, and able to react appropriately to health risks as well as national and international outbreaks of disease.

We appreciate the Regional Director’s continuous dedication to this topic and commend her work towards the anniversary celebrations of the Tallinn Charter in 2018. 


Madame Regional Director,

we note with some concern the imbalances within the Regional Office budget, and particularly the pockets of poverty mentioned in the interim report. The EU and its member states would therefore appreciate clarification on whether the current budget adequately addresses the health needs of the region.

Finally, we would like to extend our gratitude to the Regional Director for streamlining the Regional Committee agenda, and leaving more space for discussion, including on progress reports. Though we note that more can be done, we do acknowledge the improvement, and look forward to a constructive meeting.


Thank you!


*Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


© Permanent Mission of the Republic of Estonia to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations in Geneva Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28A, Geneva
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