Monday 11 September 2006

Mary attends WHO conference

Crown Princess Mary has spoken at the opening of the fifty-sixth session of the World Health Organisation Regional Committee for Europe conference for 2006. Top of the agenda is a new regional strategy to fight the growing burden of chronic diseases and action on key health security issues including averting a possible influenza pandemic. Mary accepted this patronage in May 2005. We have already noted a number of times in our royal roundups that Mary has attended numerous meetings to establish her relationships and knowledge for this patronage, which has ramifications outside of Denmark. This is Mary's first address as patron of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Crown Princess Mary has recently pledged to support WHO in its campaign to improve maternal and child health and mental health, and to promote healthy lifestyles. The WHO Regional Office for Europe is based in Copenhagen, so Mary's involvement as patron is a good match for the benefit of the important work of WHO. "The World Health Organization is the UN agency with a specific mandate for health. The 192 WHO Member States are grouped into six regions. The WHO Regional Office for Europe works with 52 countries in western and eastern Europe and central Asia and is based in Copenhagen. Its mission is to strengthen national and local health systems and improve the health of the people in the Region, in collaboration with governments, NGOs and other partners."

Delegates from the 52 European Member States of WHO will discuss the European strategy on non-communicable diseases, the proposed program budget for 2008-2009, the medium-term strategic plan for 2008-2013, the future of the WHO Regional Office for Europe and health security. There will also be discussion of other internal WHO Regional Office for Europe matters (see link). Also, for an insight into the breadth of the progams and projects WHO Europe is involved in check here. From Marc Danzon (he greeted Mary on arrival in grey suit), WHO Regional Director for Europe: "Despite the remarkable achievements of the past, the new century sees more than 165 million people in the 53 countries that make up the WHO European Region living below the poverty line. These people live under conditions of economic instability and social exclusion that prevent them from realizing their right to a healthy life – a basic human right of all citizens of the world."
You can read the biennial report of the WHO regional director for 2004-2005 here in pdf format.

Photos by Tariq Mikkel Khan of POLFOTO:

Crown Princess Mary's speech (in English)

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