SEEHN Secretariat Inauguration

Background

Background, cornerstone events

The Stability Pact for South-east Europe was launched in 1999 as the first comprehensive conflict prevention strategy of the international community, aimed at strengthening the efforts of the countries of South-east Europe in fostering peace, democracy, respect for human rights and economic prosperity. Health was consequently added to the agenda of the Stability Pact Social Cohesion Initiative in May 2001 (Working Table 2: Economic reconstruction, Cooperation, and Development).

The Stability Pact has transformed into its successor organization, the Regional Co-operation Council. This new structure was designed around priorities defined by the region itself and was officially launched at the joint session of the final Stability Pact Regional Table and inaugural meeting of the Regional Co-operation Council in Sofia, 27 February 2008 with the full commitment and support from South-east European countries, donor countries and other international actors, such as the European Commission.

The Regional Co-operation Council inherited the mandate of the Stability Pact to oversee co-operation processes in South-east Europe and to support European and Euro-Atlantic integration of the region.

The First Ministerial Forum of the South Eastern Europe was organized in cooperation with the World Health Organization, the European Union, and the Council of Europe, the Stability Pact for SEE in Dubrovnik, in 2001. The Second Ministerial Forum ,in Skopje in 2005 and The Third Ministerial Forum in Banja Luka, in 2011 that present three chapters of a decade of regional cooperation in public health in the SEE serving as health diplomacy tool to obtain and sustain peace and stability, further economic development and an agora for public health acting to achieve the overarching goal: all of a government action for health and through health contributing to economic development and strengthening European integration processes of the SEE countries.

About the Founding documents

The Dubrovnik Pledge (2001): Rebuilding peace and stability

First Ministerial Forum of the South Eastern Europe in Dubrovnik, in 2001 has endorsed The Dubrovnik Pledge. It was a commitment to meeting the health needs of vulnerable populations, especially important on the offset of political unrests in SEE. The health ministers stressed: “accept the challenge to play a key role in strengthening the fundamental human rights of our societies and our vulnerable populations and individuals within them to effective healthcare, social well-being and human development, in line with the principles of the World Health Organization and the Council of Europe” (the Dubrovnik pledge, 2001). A new mechanism was created to ensure implementation of the pledge and regional projects within its framework: the SEEHN. The member states took the first steps towards setting up regional health agenda in SEE. Overall, the Dubrovnik Pledge and the creation of the SEEHN constituted the region’s first-ever cross-border political alliance in health and is recognized as a huge political victory for peace and cooperation and made health the cornerstone of the Stability Pact’s Social Cohesion Initiative. This chapter of the sub-regional development was deducted to post-conflict healing and rebuilding trust, thus the most prominent and the first project that the SEEHN begun with was the project on strengthening mental health in the (post crises) community.

The Skopje Pledge (2005): Public health as a tool for economic development

The aspirations and goals of the Dubrovnik pledge were subsequently reaffirmed by the Second Health Ministers’ Forum on Health and Economic Development in South-eastern Europe in the 21st-century (2005). The Forum culminated in the issuing of the Skopje Pledge, which confirmed the commitment of the governments of the nine member states to demonstrate the economic potential of health as a means to increase productivity and decrease public expenditure on illness and to assume full responsibility for regional cooperation through further work in technical areas to serve this goal (food safety, blood safety, accreditation of healthcare facilities, human resources for health, strengthening public health services).
In between the two Forums (2005 and 2011) the process of establishing regional ownership made a series of important steps towards developing regional health governance structures:

  • Signing of the major political document of the SEEHN in 2008: Memorandum of Understanding on the Future of the South-eastern Europe Health Network in the framework of the South East European Co-operation Process (2008 and beyond)
  • Establishing of the regional secretariat and of the Regional Health Development Centers that has marked the transfer of ownership process. Those are permanent legacy of the projects conducted under the SEEHN during the past years, as they complete the transformation of the technical projects into long-term programs of regional cooperation in public health.
  • The first legally binding document has been signed in 2010, the Host Agreement on the Arrangements on the Seat of the Secretariat of the SEEHN.

The Banja Luka Pledge (2011): The way forward

Banja Luka Ministerial Forum 2011 has endorsed Banja Luka Pledge that aims to fostering a decade of stable cooperation process in SEE, focusing SEEHN further action on all of a government action for health and through health towards full European integration and further expanding partnerships in public health. The SEEHN Strategy for 2011-2015 has been set up. 
SEEHN has continued to create s a strong alliance for strengthening public health, signing the Memorandum of Understandings with the mayor partners. 
SEEHN has decided to open the process for enlargement beyond the political, historical and geographical boundaries of its establishment, and thus, amended its political and legal documents and accepted Israeli application for full membership and Israel as its tenth member state at the Forum.

Mission

“To promote the sustainable development of the SEEHN member states by improving the health of their populations through better and more intense cooperation, collaboration, integration, capacity building, and coordination in public health at regional level. This includes supporting reform of their national health systems and contributing to economic and social development.”


From “A Decade of regional cooperation in public health in South-eastern Europe – A story of successful partnership”

Governance structures

Sub-regional cooperation in public health in SEE operates on political and technical level. Ministerial Forums and the SEEHN Plenary sessions, the latter constituted by the National Health Coordinators, one per member state, represent the political level. While Ministerial forums have the role of shaping/deciding on overall 4 years sub-regional collaboration policy in public health in SEE, the SEEHN operates as a standing committee to the forums and implement those 4 years policies (from one forum to another).

Executive Committee of the SEEHN runs the SEEHN work between the SEEHN Plenary sessions that are held twice a year, by the country at Presidency (each of six months term). Presidency sets up a SEEHN Road Map for its term and implements it supported by the Executive Committee and the Secretariat of the SEEHN. Presidencies change in alphabetical order.

Technical cooperation is organized through establishing Regional Health Development Centers, each for specific technical area of work decided by the member states.

Strategy: Three main avenues of action

1. Sustaining and strengthening regional cooperation in public health

The SEEHN revolves around connecting and working together

The SEEHN has become a regional forum for the development of a modern approach to public health

The SEEHN is a mechanism for participation in European health sector processes

The SEEHN has become the primary vehicle for major regional public health initiatives in South-eastern Europe

2. Achieving equity and accountability in health through HiAP

3. Strengthening public health capacities and services for control and prevention of the NDCs (aligning European with the SEEHN Action plan on NCDs

Activities

1. Sustaining and strengthening regional cooperation in public health

  • Continuing cooperation and coordination in public health beyond 2011
  • Further capacity building of existing institutional, human and knowledge resources in the SEE
  • Further consolidating the SEEHN alliance in public health followed with promotion and provision of new membership and partnership and by fully implementation of the obligations prescribed in the signed documents of the SEEHN

2. Achieving equity and accountability in health through HiAP

  • Broader policy frameworks and legislation for HiAP
  • Studies and research on HiAP experiences to have evidence for debate and advocacy
  • Design of indicators and methodologies for HiAP development of monitoring and assessment
  • HiAP training for public health teams and decision makers
  • Exchange opportunities among countries on current experiences
  • Advocacy and information to decision makers, to provide them with sufficient evidence about the benefits of the intersectoral actions for the health of the population
  • Strong partnership and alliances among sectors – to develop specific and convincing arguments for other sectors

3. Strengthening public health capacities and services for control and prevention of the NDCs

  • Capacity building of health and public health professionals
  • Changing perceptions of public health in other sectors (agriculture, food industry, environment, and others), politicians and civil society, and their involvement
  • Set up the information system for monitoring trends in NCDs and the impact of different measures, including equity in delivering of public health services
  • Increase the monitoring, analytic and evaluation capacities of health situation, public health policies and activities
  • Incorporation of behaviour change sciences into public health
  • Developing sustainable funding sources
  • Better cooperation, collaboration and communication within SEEHN

Photo Gallery

Inauguration Event
Round Table
RD meetings with country officials

Press Clipping

SEEHN Secretariat Inauguration - Download

President of the Republic of Macedonia

Secretariat of the SEE Health Network with seat in Skopje – meeting with the Regional Director of WHO Europe

Information about meeting of the President of Macedonia with the Regional Director of WHO Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab. President had greeted the decision the Seat of the SEEHN Secretariat to be located in Skopje. In his view, this step confirms that Macedonia is not only participating but is also active actor in the regional initiatives. President has expressed his hope that this regional initiative will give opportunity for improvement of the healthcare systems in all ten member-countries.

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Ministry of Health of the Republic of Macedonia

The Secretariat of the SEE Health Network with seat in Skopje

Upon the inauguration of the seat of the SEEHN Secretariat, the Minister Todorov has explained that this is an initiative that will greatly assist the cooperation between the ten countries, and that Macedonia and himself as Minister have high expectations from the cooperation within the Network, in the public health, joint projects and development of healthcare systems overall. The Regional Director of WHO Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab has greeted this step, expressing her strong belief in the further operation of the network, especially in the field of public health, and prevention in particular.

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Sitel TV

The Secretariat of the SEE Health Network with seat in Skopje

Upon the inauguration of the seat of the SEEHN Secretariat, the Minister Todorov has explained that this is an initiative that will greatly assist the cooperation between the ten countries, and that Macedonia and himself as Minister have high expectations from the cooperation within the Network, in the public health, joint projects and development of healthcare systems overall. The Regional Director of WHO Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab has greeted this step, expressing her strong belief in the further operation of the network, especially in the field of public health, and prevention in particular. The Regional Director has expressed the continuing support of WHO to the SEEHN, stating that at times when all resources are important, it is essential to invest in health prevention. The Assistant-Minister of Health of B&H, Goran Cherkez, in the function of Chair of the SEEHN, stated that the Network is already operating for 10 years, and it has been very helpful in regaining the confidence between the countries after all conflicts, economic crises and other events that have stricken in the region. The decision the SEEHN Seat to be in Skopje, has been made by all 10 member-countries, upon a candidacy received from Macedonia.

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Macedonian Radio and Television (MRT) MTV1

The Secretariat of the SEE Health Network with seat in Skopje

The Minister of Health Todorov expressed his high expectations from the establishment of the SEEHN Secretariat Seat in Skopje and explained that this is an initiative that will greatly assist the cooperation between the ten countries. The Regional Director of WHO Europe has greeted this step, and expressed the continuing support of WHO to this very active network.

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Telma TV

The Secretariat of the SEE Health Network in Skopje

The inauguration event, as the Minister of Health Todorov said, is an important step and gives further important role to Macedonia in the regional cooperation initiatives. According to him, the cooperation between the 10 member-countries will become even more profound and possible. The Regional Director of WHO Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, has greeted the initiative, reassuring the support form WHO of this Network. She underlined the importance of the use of resources, especially in public health and health prevention.

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Vecher Daily

Skopje became regional center of the health network

Skopje is becoming the center of the public health regional initiative through the seat of SEEHN Secretariat that was inaugurated today. SEEHN members are the Ministers of health of Croatia, Albania, B&H, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, as well as partners, including Council of Europe, WHO Europe, Development Bank of the Council of Europe, particular countries of the European Union, etc. The Regional Director of WHO Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab has greeted this step, and expressed the continuing support of WHO to this very active network. ‘Expectations are high, but the benefits will not be only for Macedonia, but for all members, by which we expect to establish a good example of cooperation not only in the region, but also in Europe’ – stated the Minister of Health Todorov.

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Kurir portal

In Skopje the seat of the Secretariat of the health network of the SEE countries

SEEHN in the past decade has clearly shown that meeting in one place of the nations in the common goal for improvement of health is excellent way for improvement of the peace, stability and economic development. The Network has become a place for exchange and improvement of health policies in SEE, integrated with the European health policy, through partners and friends of the Network. The Secretariat will manage the activities of the SEEHN, including those of the Project offices and Regional Development Centres. The Secretariat will be the basis and the foundation of the sustainability of the SEEHN, and an example of regional cooperation in public health, peace and economic development in the region.

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Makedonija24 portal

Seat of the SEE Health network in Skopje

Video footage

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Republika Online portal

The seat of the secretariat of the SEE Health Network inaugurated

Upon the inauguration of the Seat of the SEEHN Secretariat, Minister of Health, Nikola Todorov has expressed his high expectations, explaining that the Network has become a place for exchange and improvement of health policies in SEE, integrated with the European health policy, through partners and friends of the Network. The Regional Director of WHO Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, the Minister of Health Nikola Todorov, and the Assistant-Minister of Health of B&H Goran Cherkez have given statements to the media, about the importance of the Network, the regional cooperation and investment in the prevention.

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Idividi Portal

In Skopje the seat of the Secretariat of SEE Health Network

‘The Inauguration of the SEEHN Secretariat represents a significant international achievement and confirmation of the efforts and good policies of Macedonia, as one of the most active countries-members of the SEEHN’ statement from the Press Release of the Ministry of Health.

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Macedonian Information Agency (МИА) portal

Secretariat of the SEE Health Network with seat in Skopje

The inauguration event, as the Minister of Health Todorov said, is an important step and gives further important role to Macedonia in the regional cooperation initiatives. According to him, the cooperation between the 10 member-countries will become even more profound and possible. The Regional Director of WHO Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, has greeted the initiative, reassuring the support form WHO of this Network. She underlined the importance of the use of resources, especially in public health and health prevention.

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Inauguration of the seat of the SEE Health Network Secretariat

Announcement with Photo Footage

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GRID Portal

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Daily portal

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RD meetings with country officials - Download

Government of the Republic of Macedonia

The Prime Minister Gruevski met with the Regional Director of WHO Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab

The Prime Minister met with the WHO Europe Regional Director, ZSuzsanna Jakab. The occasion of the meeting was the inauguration of the Seat of the SEEHN Secretariat in Skopje. Prime Minister underlined the importance of the cooperation of Macedonia with the regional initiatives, while pointing out the efforts the Macedonian government is doing to ensure access to healthcare for all. WHO Regional Director Zsuzsanna Jakab expressed the satisfaction of the cooperation with the Government of Macedonia, and underlined the importance of the regional cooperation.

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Macedonian Radio and Television (MRT) MTV1

Minister Poposki had meeting with the Regional Director of WHO Europe

Press Release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states: Minister Poposki expressed his satisfaction from the positive response and cooperation with the WHO Office in Skopje and underlined the importance of the opening of the SEEHN Secretariat in Skopje, and the support form WHO as a specialized UN agency.

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Sitel TV

The Prime Minister Gruevski met with the Regional Director of WHO Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab

The Prime Minister met with the WHO Europe Regional Director, ZSuzsanna Jakab. The occasion of the meeting was the inauguration of the Seat of the SEEHN Secretariat in Skopje. Prime Minister underlined the importance of the cooperation of Macedonia with the regional initiatives, while pointing out the efforts the Macedonian government is doing to ensure access to healthcare for all. WHO Regional Director Zsuzsanna Jakab expressed the satisfaction of the cooperation with the Government of Macedonia, and underlined the importance of the regional cooperation.

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Sitel TV

Minister Poposki met with the Regional Director of WHO Europe

Minister Poposki and Regional Director of WHO Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab have shared the satisfaction from the cooperation insofar, and the inauguration of the Seat of the SEEHN Secretariat, which is expected to contribute to the regional cooperation in the field of public health.

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Sky TV

Minister Poposki had meeting with the Regional Director of WHO Europe

Minister Poposki and Regional Director of WHO Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab have shared the satisfaction from the cooperation insofar, and the inauguration of the Seat of the SEEHN Secretariat, which is expected to contribute to the regional cooperation in the field of public health.

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Dnevnik Daily

Gruevski: Macedonia has deserved the seat of the SEEHN Secretariat

Macedonia was especially praised on the progress made in the field of prevention, and immunization of its citizens, which enables effective and timely healthcare protection. Zsuzsanna Jakab greeted the measures, efforts and reforms of the Government in the healthcare system reforms, which gave results and enabled significant improvement and implementation of high standards, which, as stated by Jakab, should be followed by other countries in the region.

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Kapital Weekly

Poposki met with the Regional Director of the WHO

Minister Poposki and Regional Director of WHO Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab have shared the satisfaction from the cooperation insofar, and the inauguration of the Seat of the SEEHN Secretariat, which is expected to contribute to the regional cooperation in the field of public health.

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NetPress Portal

Gruevski: The aim of the Government is healthcare system accessible to all citizens

From the Press release of the Government of Macedonia

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A1 ON Portal

Gruevski met with the Regional Director of WHO Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab

From the Press release of the Government of Macedonia

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Minister Poposki met with the WHO Europe Regional Director

Minister Poposki has expressed his satisfaction from the cooperation with WHO Office in Skopje insofar, and shared his hopes on even better cooperation in the future, with the inauguration of this regional initaitive in Skopje.

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Tochka Portal

Poposki-Jakab: Positive role of the WHO office in the country

Minister Poposki and Regional Director of WHO Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab have shared the satisfaction from the cooperation insofar, and the inauguration of the Seat of the SEEHN Secretariat, which is expected to contribute to the regional cooperation in the field of public health.

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NetPress Portal

Poposki-Jakab: Positive role of the WHO office in the country

Minister Poposki and Regional Director of WHO Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab have shared the satisfaction from the cooperation insofar, and the inauguration of the Seat of the SEEHN Secretariat, which is expected to contribute to the regional cooperation in the field of public health.

Read more

Kurir Portal

Poposki met with the Regional Director of the WHO Europe

Press Release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states: Minister Poposki expressed his satisfaction from the positive response and cooperation with the WHO Office in Skopje and underlined the importance of the opening of the SEEHN Secretariat in Skopje, and the support form WHO as a specialized UN agency.

Read more

RepublikaOnline Portal

The office of regional cooperation with WHO in Macedonia is an encouragement for cooperation

From the Press Release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Minister Poposki expressed his satisfaction from the positive response and cooperation with the WHO Office in Skopje and underlined the importance of the opening of the SEEHN Secretariat in Skopje, and the support form WHO as a specialized UN agency.

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Maxim Portal

Poposki met with the Regional Director of the WHO Europe

From the Press Release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Minister Poposki expressed his satisfaction from the positive response and cooperation with the WHO Office in Skopje and underlined the importance of the opening of the SEEHN Secretariat in Skopje, and the support form WHO as a specialized UN agency.

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Press24 Portal

Minister Poposki met with the Regional Director of the WHO Europe

From the Press Release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Minister Poposki expressed his satisfaction from the positive response and cooperation with the WHO Office in Skopje and underlined the importance of the opening of the SEEHN Secretariat in Skopje, and the support form WHO as a specialized UN agency.

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WHO Official website

New Seat of the SEE Health Network Secretariat inaugurated in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Ms Jakab also met with President Ivanov Gjorgje, Prime Minister Gruevski, Minister of Health Nikola Todorov and Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, who expressed appreciation for the crucial role played by the WHO Country Office in the national public health reform process.

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