South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN)
WHO/Europe contributes to international reconstruction efforts in the south-eastern countries in the WHO European Region through its work with the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN). SEEHN is a political and institutional forum set up by the governments of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to promote peace, reconciliation and health in the region. WHO/Europe lends technical support to SEEHN’s various health projects, after having supplied its secretariat, along with the Council of Europe, from 2001 to 2009.
On 1 January 2010 SEEHN took over ownership of the regional cooperation for health and development under the auspices of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the SEE Regional Cooperation Process. RCC’s main purpose is to provide leadership and to sustain ownership by the nine countries of regional cooperation and the concerted health development action launched in 2001 with the Dubrovnik Pledge (2001) and maintained through the Skopje Pledge (2005) and the Memorandum of Understanding (2009).
In 1999, the international community established the Stability Pact for South East Europe as a conflict-prevention and reconstruction process in the region. In 2001, a health component (SEEHN) was added to the Pact’s social cohesion initiative, to bring people together across borders to improve health in the whole region. Today SEEHN comprises representatives of the health ministries of its nine member countries, five partner western European countries and five intergovernmental organizations. For the past nine years, SEEHN has been the undisputed vehicle of health development in the areas of mental health, communicable diseases, food safety and nutrition, blood safety, tobacco control, information systems, maternal and neonatal health, public health services and health systems.
SEEHN has received continuous political, technical and financial support from 10 partner countries (Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) and five international organizations.