WONCA Europe at the 73 session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe. Astana, 24-26/11/2023 #RC73Astana.  

Prof. Zalika Klemenc Ketiš, WONCA Europe Honorary Treasurer, represented WONCA Europe (WE) and WONCA World (WW) at the three-day meeting of the WHO regional committee for Europe, held in Astana (Kazakhstan) on October 24-26, 2023.  WE and WW attended as a non-state actor (NSA) associated with WHO. It was the day after WHO/Europe, together with UNICEF and the Government of Kazakhstan, co-hosted as an official side event an international conference "Primary health care policy and practice: implementing for better results" to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Alma-Ata and 5th anniversary of Astana declarations on primary health care. 

The first day was a political day, the second a governance day, and the third a technical day. 

Dr. Hans Kluge, a regional director of WHO Europe, delivered an introductory speech, focusing on the resilience of health care. He suggested three key areas that need to be addresses to ensure resilience:

  • Resilient governance (participatory governments, aligns with global process, towards a resilient WHO)

  • Resilient health systems (people, digital solutions, primary health care, leadership)

  • Resilient people (peace, equity, social participation)

On the second day, a meeting of all NSAs was organised. They all introduced ourselves and were given an opportunity to suggest improvements for a more efficient cooperation with WHO. Currently, there are 39 NSAs accredited and future 8 recommended. NSAs are a part of all major WHO Europe initiatives. 

On the third, technical day, Dra Klemenc Ketiš delivered live a statement “Shortage of European primary care workforce”, co-signed by the:

  • The European Diabetes Forum

  • The European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN)

  • The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC)

  • International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA)

  • The European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD)

  • The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN)

  • The Hungarian Society for the Study of Obesity

  • The Romanian Society of Pneumology

  • International Diabetes Federation European Region

  • The European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention


At the end of this session, WHO Europe adopted a Framework for action on the health and care workforce in the WHO European Region 2023-2030.

Within the other sessions of the third day, the following documents were adopted:

  • Roadmap on antimicrobial resistance for the WHO European Region 2023–2030

  • Action plan for refugee and migrant health in the WHO European Region 2023–2030

  • Health emergency preparedness, response, and resilience in the WHO European Region 2024–2029