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


WHO Regional Committee for Europe 67th session

EU Statement


Agenda item 5(j): General Programme of Work

Budapest, 11 September 2017


Director General, Regional Director, Your Royal Highness, Excellencies, Distinguished colleagues,

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 would like to commend the Secretariat for this draft concept note. We see the next GPW as the beginning of a new chapter for WHO and for global health and we are committed to continue working together in the coming years with WHO to make progress on global public health.

We particularly appreciate that this draft is produced so early during the tenure of the new DG - and we welcome the inclusive process involving all the Regional Committees. We would appreciate some feedback from the discussions that took place in the AFRO and SEARO discussions.

This is a strategic document for the whole organisation as well as its Member States and we owe it to ourselves to take the time to get it right. Having only seen the draft document recently we are not yet in a position to go into details of substance but we are ready to share our first impressions on it. I am sure that individual Member States will be expanding on what I have to say in this regard.

We remain convinced that the world needs WHO as the leader in global public health and a WHO that is effective, efficient and fit-for-purpose. We see the GPW, implemented by a strong DG in a reformed organisation as the way to achieve this.

We welcome the suggested focus on outcomes and impact but remain curious about the methodology to assess the contribution of WHO in achieving concrete health outcomes. When will the announced scorecard be available?

We strongly support the alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals – not just Goal number three, and encourage full implementation in that regard.

We welcome the focus on priorities. During the election campaign, we noticed an understandable reluctance of all candidates to identify negative priorities – now is also the time to identify what workstreams can be deprioritised.

The need to operationalize is key! Implementation of the lessons learned from Ebola are more relevant than ever before. Rapid, efficient and transparent responses have to be at the core of WHO response to people in need.

We support the need to show results at country level and consider that this should play a key part in aligning the three levels of the organisation.

And yes, strong leadership is important. But leadership is not inherited – it needs to be earned and we see the track record of the new DG as a very positive force for this in WHO.


Taking into account the importance of the process ahead of the adoption of the GPW 13, we support the call for a special session on this, ahead of the January EB. The EU as a whole assures you of our willingness to engage constructively in the upcoming discussions.


Thank you.


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



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