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Balkans: CEI summit endorses WHO roadmap for health

Summit in Budva, a joint statement of action

03 December, 17:37
(ANSA) - UDINE, 03 DIC - Today, prime ministers or their representatives of the CEI Member States of the Western Balkans, the CEI Secretary-General, and the Regional Director of WHO Europe participated in a forum focusing on the endorsement of the WHO "Roadmap for Health and Well-being in the Western Balkans (2021-2025)", on the sidelines of the CEI Summit organized by the Montenegrin CEI Presidency and the CEI-Executive Secretariat. Zdravko Krivokapić, Prime Minister of Montenegro, opened the event, underlining the importance of shared principles and values, such as unity and solidarity, to ensure that health can be a universal right through a shared Road Map.

While opening the event, CEI Secretary-General Roberto Antonione underlined "our joint efforts to truly put people at the center of health and care." "It is especially in times of economic and social turmoil - he added - that countries should adopt a shared vision striving to strengthen regional cooperation as an added value for recovery and development." Hans Henri Kluge, Regional Director of WHO Regional Office for Europe, further emphasized that the current pandemic represented the "most acute health crisis in a century." Nevertheless, he added, "the envisaged broader economic recovery plan will foster cohesion and strengthen the countries' resilience to potential shocks." While endorsing the Roadmap, participants highlighted the importance of multilateralism and regional cooperation with solidarity and partnerships as the only way towards a healthier, more resilient, and fully integrated region.

The event ended with a joint statement of action to further underline the need "to keep health high at the top of the political agendas of all governments and partners." The statement reads that developing and building a community of strategic partners is essential to fill the health gap between the Western Balkans and the European Union. (ANSA).

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