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C. Robino at the WHO meeting in Limassol


C. Robino at the WHO meeting in Limassol

World Health Organization (WHO): Christophe Robino attends the Tenth High-level Meeting of the Small Countries Initiative (SCI), held from 10 to 12 April 2024 in Limassol, Cyprus 

Christophe Robino, Minister of Health and Social Affairs, accompanied by Alexandre Bordero, Director of Health Affairs, and Antoine Antonini, Head of Section of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, took part in the Tenth High-level Meeting of the Small Countries Initiative (WHO Europe) held in Limassol (Cyprus) from 10-12 April 2024.

Established in 2013, the initiative is a platform through which Member States in the WHO European Region with populations of 2 million or less work together to address common issues and share experiences. The countries in the SCI are Andorra, Cyprus, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and Slovenia. They meet annually for a high-level meeting.

Hosted this year by the Government of Cyprus, the meeting was strongly supported by Ministers from all member countries and attended by numerous other high-level delegates and technical experts. Discussions focused on two key areas: the fight against cancer, and the consequences of climate change on health.

Christophe Robino spoke at two ministerial panels during the meeting to address:

- Cancer screening, during which he presented initiatives in Monaco to prevent and detect breast cancer (Pink October), colorectal cancer (Blue March) and cervical cancer (including the recent HPV campaign against papillomaviruses).
- The health/climate connection, during which he spoke of current challenges and solutions implemented by the Government in the event of heatwaves, and the spread of mosquitoes and other pests.

The signing of the Cyprus Statement at the close of the meeting consolidated the commitment of small countries to continue their efforts on key subjects.

On the margins of the meeting, Mr Robino was able to meet bilaterally and multilaterally with several Health Minister counterparts, as well as Dr Hans Kluge, Regional Director of WHO Europe, in a private meeting.

The Minister concluded by stressing that “this meeting was an opportunity to meet many high-level experts and discuss multiple political and technical challenges, and more broadly, to obtain useful international feedback and continue the review process necessary to continue improving public health policy in the Principality”.