Belfast takes part in World Health Organization (WHO) European Healthy Cities Network
22 Nov 2019
Belfast’s application to be a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Healthy Cities Network Phase 7 project was signed off today by Lord Mayor Cllr John Finucane, at a workshop involving key players in the health sector from across the city and Northern Ireland.
Belfast has been a member of the World Health Organisation for 30 years, and in that time the city has learnt much from participating in the network of European healthy cities which includes cities from 53 countries. The WHO EU network carries out its work in phases which last 5 years, and the priorities for the forthcoming Phase 7 period were agreed at the International Healthy Cities Conference in Belfast in October 2018.
The overriding goals for the Phase 7 work are (i) Fostering health and well-being for all and reducing health inequities and (ii) Leading by example nationally, regionally and globally and (iii) Supporting implementation of WHO strategic priorities. These theses are supported through delivery on 6 themes; People, Paces, Participation, Prosperity, Peace and Planet. As part of its application to be included in the Phase 7 process Belfast has to outline how it will deliver on each of the themes.
Councillor John Finucane, Lord Mayor of Belfast, spoke ahead of the event saying, “I’m delighted to attend the World Health Organization European Healthy Cities Phase VII Workshop today to identify key priorities for Belfast city going forward. It is vital that we all work together to make sure Belfast is not only a successful city but also a healthy one and I look forward to discussing this with key stakeholders.”
Belfast Healthy Cities Chief Executive Joan Devlin said the Phase 7 application is important for Belfast.
“As a city we have achieved much through our 30 year membership of the Healthy Cities Network. People in Northern Ireland have benefited from the learning we have gained from Europe and we have also been able to share our experience of addressing health inequalities with our partners in the Network. Belfast plays a very active role in the Network and together with our local partners we will continue to influence regional and local policy making, ensuring that health remains at the centre of all policy. There is still much to achieve locally in making Belfast and Northern Ireland as healthy a region as we can be and continued membership of the WHO Healthy Citi network will help us to do that.”