Statements and articles »

Statement delivered by Estonia on behalf of the European Union under agenda item 5g at the WHO Regional Committee for Europe 67th session in Budapest


WHO Regional Committee for Europe 67th session

EU Statement


Agenda item 5(g): Governance in the WHO European Region

Budapest, 13 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 and the SCRC for the continuous leadership on governance related issues and recognize that this work can benefit the entire WHO. Implementation of the decision WHA69(8) on governance reform in the European region remains critically important. We need to keep building on progress made to achieve organizational excellence with tangible results on the ground. In doing this, we must assure that effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and accountability remain at the centre of our action, in order to face emerging challenges and deliver on our global health priorities.


We are pleased to see that the integration of the global policies into regional level is central in our agenda and action. The multi-year rolling and forward-looking agenda planning has been essential for keeping our regional agenda and meetings manageable.

Further, we are pleased to see that the increase in the agenda items has stopped. We can now prepare ourselves better for meaningful and focused discussions, including on the progress reports. We should continue strategic alignment of our work on the regional level with the activities and plans on the global level as closely as possible. We also highly value the web-based consultations of documents, which allows us early input.

Still, there is room for improvement in the regional adaptations of globally agreed strategies, and we reiterate our concern about automatic endorsement of declarations from various high-level meetings. The SCRC should make decisions case by case based on clear criteria as described in the background document (p22-25). We are ready to endorse the proposed modalities for the SCRC involvement on how to include the future conference declarations for the consideration and implementation within the EURO region. However, we would like to get a clarification on what exactly is meant by “officially appointed high-level government representatives” in criteria 23 (c)?

We believe that the WHO country presence report deserves more attention, as it is a valuable tool to understand the programmatic needs for action and resources. We renew our request for a forward looking and transparent discussion on the strategic future of the Country Offices.


Finally, we emphasize that the governance reform is a priority for us, especially now in the context of discussing the thirteenth General Programme of Work. The European Region has made great headway on governance, but there is still more to do and we wish to see the work continue.


Madame Regional Director,

we, the EU and its MSs, assure you of our commitment, guidance and assistance along the process governance reform implementation.


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
tel. (41 22) 9191 980, e-mail: