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Belfast Healthy Cities

Our vision is to be a leader in creating
a healthy, equitable and sustainable city

Healthy Cities 21st Century

Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health

The Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health was recently held in Ostrava, Czech Republic, 13-15 June.  Organized by the World Health Organization for Europe in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the United Nations Environment Programme, the 3 day event saw 500 representatives from the 53 countries of the European Region, international and nongovernmental organisations meet to track progress and prioritise future action on environmental risks to health which culminated in the signing of the Ostrava Declaration.  Almost 1.5million deaths per year in the WHO European Region are caused by environmental risks that could be avoided and/or eliminated.  This is equivalent to 16% of all deaths and of the total burden of diseases in the region.

The Belfast Healthy Cities Chair, Dr David Stewart and the Health Development Manager, Jonna Monaghan, attended the conference representing the UK Healthy Cities Network, and were invited to participate in one of the conference side events - “Cities and regions: building environmental and social resilience in the context of the global environmental changes” which was organized in partnership with the Lord Mayor of the City of Ostrava; the Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region; the Czech Healthy Cities Network; the European Committee of the Regions, and the WHO Regions for Health Network.   

During this side event a joint statement of the WHO Healthy Cities Network and the Regions for Health Network was presented. The statement affirmed the pledge of the networks to bring global environment and health agendas to the subnational level through decisive, transformative joint action, best practice exchange and peer learning, multi-level and multisectoral collaboration, and the co-creation of solutions.

The networks also confirmed their commitment to take the vision, impetus and agenda from the side event and the Sixth Ministerial Conference forward, moving on with the conversation about joint challenges in environment and health. Regions and cities are very often on the front line in terms of the first response to citizens, which represents a very good reason why their alliance must be strengthened.

For further information, visit the conference website