International cooperation

EC/WHO Senior Officials Meeting (7 June 2013)

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The exchange of letters which established the relations between the Commission and the WHO (December 2000) provide for an annual Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of both sides. The 11th SOM was the first to take place in Geneva and was co-chaired by SANCO DDG M. Seychell and WHO DG Margaret Chan. SANCO, DEVCO, ECHO, RTD, CNECT and the EEAS were represented. On the WHO side, the participants included WHO HQ and representatives from the WHO European, Middle East and Americas regions.

The discussions were organised under distinct agenda items, looking at global issues as well as focussing on specific European issues:

  • Preparedness, surveillance and response, including humanitarian aid and health security (particularly the international health regulations and anti-microbial resistance);
  • Research and Innovation, including also information, priority medicines, big data, new technologies, and e-Health;
  • Non-communicable diseases and health inequalities;
  • Country collaboration and health systems;
  • MDGs and the post-2015 agenda;
  • WHO Reform.

The SOM took note of the updated six roadmaps detailing for Commission-WHO Regional Office Cooperation following the Moscow Declaration in 2010. It also agreed to create a new roadmap on Non-communicable diseases.

The SOM represents a snapshot of ongoing collaboration that continues throughout the year across a wide variety of issues between the Commission Services and the WHO Secretariat. The next SOM will be hosted by the Commission in Brussels.