The 70th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe (RC70), the annual meeting of the governing bodies of the European Region, will be held on 14–15 September 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be held virtually with a reduced 2-day program.
Health ministers and high-level representatives of the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region, as well as partner organizations and civil society, will be connected to discuss issues including:
- the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and lessons learned, both globally and regionally;
- the new European Programme of Work 2020–2025 “United action for better health”;
- transformation in the Region;
- the proposed budget for 2022–2023 and its regional implications; and
- accreditation of regional non-State actors.
The meeting will be webcast live in English and Russian, and proceedings will be covered on WHO/Europe’s social media channels. Engage in the discussions using #RC70Europe.
Highlights on the agenda
Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, will report on the state of health in the Region. He will review the activities of WHO/Europe in support of Member States, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and highlight lessons learned during these past challenging months. Dr. Kluge will also share with delegates his vision for health across Europe, delivering the new European Programme of Work.
This will be Dr. Kluge’s first Regional Committee session as WHO Regional Director for Europe. He was nominated by the European Member States at last year’s session and, following endorsement by WHO’s Executive Board, took up his position at the beginning of February 2020.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will also address the Regional Committee, providing a global perspective and additional reflections on lessons learned so far from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As 2020 has been designated International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, RC70 will provide an opportunity to celebrate the invaluable work of nurses and midwives in making universal health coverage a reality around the world.
This year is also the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, and the virtual meeting of Member States will stand as an example of the importance of international cooperation and solidarity on human rights, peace and security, and development, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Open consultation on the European Programme of Work
The European Programme of Work sets out a vision for how the European Member States can contribute to the three global strategic priorities of moving towards universal health coverage, protecting people better against health emergencies, and ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages.
Its starting point is what citizens in the Region expect their health authorities to do, and how WHO/Europe can help health authorities to rise to the challenge.
Until 18 July 2020, members of the public and organizations with an interest in health are invited to share their thoughts, ideas, and suggestions on how they can support the implementation of the Programme through an open online consultation.