Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark was in Rome this week to participate in the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe on 17 September 2018. The Crown Princess is a protector of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, and she joined representatives from the 53 member states of the WHO European Region at the conference.
The Crown Princess was greeted upon her arrival at the talks by Regional Director of the WHO, Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab. Opening her speech Crown Princess Mary thanked the Committee’s Italian hosts for their warm hospitality, saying: “I hope the incomparable city of Rome will serve as inspiration for us to join together in further shaping and strengthening Europe’s agenda on health and well-being.
“When we think about Italy and its’ people it is often synonymous with ‘La Dolce Vita’, the sweet life. And it is this zest for life, the passionate wish to ensure that the people of Europe enjoy the happiest, healthiest lives possible, that brings us so fittingly to Rome. The agenda over the coming four days will offer opportunities to make progress on several important issues, issues that concern us all.”
Her speech went on to focus on the importance of vaccinations, which have become a hotly discussed issue in Europe in recent months, the committee’s commitment to the UN’s Global Goals, the over-use and misuse of antibiotics, health developments and the key focus of this year’s talks.
This year’s meeting is focussed on topics such as men’s health, vaccinations, economic hedging, and improvement of the preparedness and response to public health within the region. In addition to the member state representatives, the conference also brings together partners and stakeholders to allow them the opportunity to discuss health issues of significant importance to the European region.
The World Health Organisation (commonly known as “WHO”) is the UN body focused on health and has over 50 years of experience coordinating international efforts to improve health and living standards in each of the United Nations member states.
The WHO is primarily focused on strengthening health systems both at the national and local levels and promoting the health of the populations within the region. This is accomplished through cooperation with governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other assorted partners.
Crown Princess Mary has been the protector of the WHO Regional Office in Europe – one of six regions worldwide – since 2005. She received an award from the WHO for her work to improve global health. This has been primarily focused on working with children and young people’s health and the importance of vaccination.