At a special session held on Tuesday, May 10, the European Regional Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted a resolution proposing to explore the possibility of transferring the European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases located in Moscow outside the Russian Federation. This is reported by RIA Novosti.
A special session of the WHO Committee devoted to the health situation in Ukraine was convened at the request of 43 member States of the organization’s European Bureau. The draft resolution was initiated by more than 35 WHO member countries.
Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Moldova, Israel, and the EU countries voted in its favor. Russia, Belarus, and Tajikistan opposed the resolution, whereas Armenia and Kazakhstan abstained.
The resolution invites Hans Kluge, the WHO Regional Director for Europe, to “explore the ways, in consultation with the member States of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, to provide technical assistance and support from the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, including the possibility of relocating the above office outside the Russian Federation.”
At the same time, the document contains a call to consider the possibility of suspending all regional meetings in Russia, as well as conferences and seminars whose participants are determined by the WHO European Office, until a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
According to Andrei Plutnitsky, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Health of Russia, who spoke via video link, was built to please the political ambitions of some countries in the region and could jeopardize the health of the population of Europe.
“We strongly oppose the adoption of the submitted draft resolution, it is aimed at undermining the work of WHO in the Eurasian space. Its adoption will inevitably lead to the curtailment of programs for the provision of medical care to the countries concerned, the destruction of interaction in the interests of ensuring the health of the population of the WHO European Region and the whole world, which is completely inconsistent with the WHO charter,” the publication quotes Plutnitsky as saying.
The Deputy Head of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation stressed that the suspension of the WHO office will directly endamage all countries of the world.
The WHO’s plan to consider the possibility of closing its European office in Moscow became known last week.