WHO/Europe and the Turkic Council begin putting memorandum of understanding into action

WHO Regional Director for Europe Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge and Secretary General of the Turkic Council Mr Baghdad Amreyev met this week as the organizations work towards establishing a united action plan for health and collaboration.

The 2-day consultation focused on operationalizing the memorandum of understanding between WHO/Europe and the Turkic Council signed on 11 September 2020. Topics included the European Programme of Work “United Action for Better Health in Europe”, and pragmatic steps to ensure that both organizations bring maximum value to their cooperation.

This includes potential capacity-building activities for protection during health emergencies as well as progress towards universal health coverage, such as strengthening data and regulation and ensuring healthy lives for all through vaccination, digital health and mental health. Antimicrobial resistance and noncommunicable diseases in Member States were also discussed.

Day 2 of the consultation included a briefing with the ambassadors to Denmark and the missions in Geneva of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Hungary, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Presentations were also given by the WHO representatives in all Turkic Council Member States and by observers to identify further ways of working together at the country level.

During the meeting, the Regional Director referred to WHO/Europe’s excellent relations with the Member States of the Turkic Council. He noted that the memorandum of understanding builds on the already robust alliance with them and with coordinating stakeholders in and across countries.

A strong emphasis was also placed on the need to establish further WHO collaborating centres across Turkic Council Member States to assist with the implementation of health priorities.

Both organizations agreed to advocate for health jointly and to further facilitate the exchange of information and experience among Member States. An action plan will be finalized in the coming weeks, and activities are scheduled to begin immediately.

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