On May 14-15, 2015 the National Health Coordinators, Executive Committee members and technical experts of the SEE Health Network got together with the WHO Regional Office for Europe technical experts in the Preparatory Meeting of the SEE Health Network, met in Jahorina, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina to finalize preparations towards the Ad-hoc meeting of the Ministers of Health of the Members States of the SEE Health Network, and the 35th SEEHN Plenary session, to be held back to back between 21-25 June, 2015 in Belgrade, Serbia. The Ministerial meeting of the SEEHN Member States is jointly called and organized by the Minister of Health of the Republic of Serbia and current President of the Network, Dr. Zlatibor Lonchar, and WHO Regional Director for Europe, Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab.

The Preparatory meeting was kindly organized and financed by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) in cooperation with the SEEHN Executive Committee. WHO Regional Office for Europe provided substantial political and technical support to the meeting.

Preparatory meeting scoped panel and group work over all the issues that will be taken aboard the SEEHN Belgrade event, and among others: discussing the implementation of WHO Europe Health2020, the Health dimension objectives and measures of the SEE 2020 Strategy, developing project proposals and revising the implementation report 2014; 4th SEE Health Ministers Forum, to be held in 2016; strengthened governance of the SEE Health Network; follow-up on the Ministers’ decisions from the Skopje Ministerial meeting in November, 2014; follow-up to the EC TAIEX and WHO Europe technical multi-country workshops in 2015, and many others.

Years 2014 and 2015 have been and will be extremely intensive years for the regional collaboration for health, particularly with regards to the implementation of the Banja Luka Pledge (2011), the SEE 2020 Growth Strategy recently endorsed (22 November 2013) by the SEE Ministers of Economy, and embedding health as separate dimension contributing to the economic development and growth; the EU 2020 Strategy and the WHO Europe Health 2020 Policy Framework (2012) as well as the European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services (2012).
Because of the above and in view of the current political, economic, social and health changes that have taken place in the region since the endorsement of the SEE Health Network Memorandum of Understanding in 2008, it is of utmost importance that this Ministerial meeting is conducted accordingly in order to provide for strengthened leadership, managerial and technical opportunities for the Network and the regional cooperation in public health in SEE to develop further.

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