The fifth regular meeting of the executive body of the European process for Health and Environment of the World Health Organization (WHO) was held on 24-25 November 2015 in Skopje, organized by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Macedonia, Institute of Public Health of the RM and European Office of WHO.
The executive body of the process was launched at the fifth Ministerial Conference on Health and Environment in Parma, Italy as the leading international body for implementation and monitoring process of the European health and environment.
The opening speech was held by the Minister of Environment and Physical Planning, Mr. Nurhan Izairi and the Deputy Minister of Health Mr. Jovica Andovski. The meeting was opened and led by prof. Dr. Dragan Gjorgjev, current Chairman of the executive body of the EHTF.
The speakers stressed that the process of health and environment has very high priority on the agenda of the Government. The reason for this is not only the purpose to meet the obligations undertaken at the Ministerial Conference in Parma and monitor the progress of the European process, but the fact that Macedonian citizens are confronted with health risks that come from pollution. Pollution of the environment, especially air pollution have obvious serious health consequences in hundred deaths per year, and million economic costs. Several national and international projects that are taking place in both ministries wimp dominated activities to assess risks from air pollution as a big environmental health problem in the country. In this segment are improved the legislation, infrastructure, monitoring and management of air quality on a national and local level, and the methodology for assessment of health risks from air pollution is countered. Unfortunately, the air pollution represents one of the most pressing environmental health problems in the country.
The two-day meeting was attended by 82 participants, of which 39 members of the executive body of the Process of 32 countries of the WHO European Region, and representatives of civil society, members of delegations, other UN agencies and observers from the host country – the Republic of Macedonia . The meeting reviewed the final draft work plan for the preparatory process for the Sixth Ministerial Conference. The emphasis was placed on several new topics in the guidelines (road-map) of the Conference: Urban green spaces and health, waste and health and environmentally-sustainable health systems, but also current problems – air pollution and climate changes.
In the forthcoming period, the intensive negotiations will be lead between Member States, about a single common list of priorities in this area for all 53 countries of the WHO European Region.