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IAPO member representative Neda Milevska Kostov shares her experience of the Regional Committee for EURO
by IAPO at 3:55PM Saturday 28 September 2013 (News)

In September, IAPO facilitated the attendance of Neda Milevska Kostov from the Center for Regional Policy Research & Cooperation 'Studiorum' at the WHO Regional Committee for Europe held in Izmir, Turkey on 16-19 September 2013. IAPO was also represented by IAPO Governing Board Member, Jolanta Bilinska.

Here, Neda shares what it was like to attend the Regional Committee:

"The 63rd Regional Committee was attended by delegates from 51 Member States, representatives of United Nations (UN) agencies, NGOs in official relations with WHO, as well as other experts and observers. Progress on the Health 2020 Policy Framework was presented, accompanied by the presentation and adoption of the 20 Core Indicators for Health 2020 implementation, which opens up the possibility for more active involvement of civil society in monitoring of the progress in the health and wellbeing of the patients and citizens in general.

IAPO has also presented the views of its member organizations through two written statements on non-communicable diseases and universal health coverage.

In her address, the Regional Director, Zsuzsanna Jakab, stated that significant progress has been made in addressing health inequities and that further efforts are needed to enable the involvement and engagement of the whole of society.

On the third day of the Regional Committee, the Regional Director held a meeting with NGO representatives in official relations with WHO, in which the modalities for increasing the cooperation with civil society were discussed. Jolanta Bilinska expressed satisfaction with the increased cooperation with NGOs over the past few years, but it was agreed that further efforts to facilitate cooperation are needed. Some of the proposed ways of increasing NGOs participation in the work of the Regional Committee were: submitting joint statements by civil society organizations, establishing mailing lists and having side-events in which NGOs would be able to exchange views and establish partnerships towards common goals. In the light of that, the first NGO joint statement was prepared and presented at the final day of 63rd Regional Committee, stating that NGOs look forward to closer collaboration with WHO EURO Regional Office and the Member States both at regional and national levels, as the increased collaboration will result in better health outcomes in Europe.

This exciting opportunity to attend the WHO Europe Regional Committee has provided me with a chance to meet experts in health, policy and decision-makers from different countries and exchange views and opinions with other NGO representatives, and to find out new ways of our involvement as civil society towards reaching our goals in improvement of patients involvement, treatment and better health in the future."

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