Israel to host WHO European regional conference for the first time

During the conference, Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz will sign cooperation agreements in the field of health with Germany, Croatia, Cyprus and Kazakhstan.

A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE/FILE PHOTO)
A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE/FILE PHOTO)

Israel will host the 72nd annual meeting of the European Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the first time, starting Monday.

The three-day conference will be attended by 25 health ministers and more than 50 European health system directors. During the conference, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz is expected to sign cooperation agreements in the field of health with Germany, Croatia, Cyprus and Kazakhstan.

Israel should have been a member of the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the WHO, but it was prevented from joining due to opposition from neighboring Muslim countries.

The event will be held in Tel Aviv, which is hosting it as part of “World City.” Besides Horowitz, several Israelis will attend, including President Isaac Herzog, Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash and other senior health officials. The director of the WHO’s European Region is Dr. Hans Henri Kluge.

A joint work plan to improve health in Europe will be discussed at the conference, along with many sessions dealing with public health in the region, health crises, opportunities to improve regional cooperation, digital health, health promotion in terms of behavior and culture, access to medicines and other topics.

 Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announces circular banning LGBTQ+ conversion therapy, February 14, 2022 (credit: MIRI SHIMONOVICH/GPO) Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announces circular banning LGBTQ+ conversion therapy, February 14, 2022 (credit: MIRI SHIMONOVICH/GPO)

What will be discussed at the WHO European regional conference in Israel?

“The policies we have led in the past year, and the performance of the Israeli health system in the fight against COVID-19 stood out very much on the world stage and aroused great interest,” Horowitz said.

“The conference in Israel is an opportunity to continue to strengthen our ties with the world, the WHO and European countries,” he said. “We will continue the moves that led us to position Israel as a leading factor in global collaborations in the field of health.”

Ash said that, “thanks to our excellent medical teams, we were at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 and were a model for many countries.

“The conference in Israel is an opportunity to continue to strengthen our ties with the world, the WHO and European countries. We will continue the moves that led us to position Israel as a leading factor in global collaborations in the field of health.”

Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz