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WHO European Healthy Cities Network

The World Health Organization hosted an International Mayors Summit in Copenhagen on 12-13th February 2018 with Derry City & Strabane District Council being represented at the event by the Mayor, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh.

The World Health Organization (WHO) was established in 1948 and is a specialized agency of the United Nations having its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Its purpose is to aid in the attainment of the highest possible level of health by all people. Programs include education for current health issues, proper food supply and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, maternal and child health, immunization against major infectious diseases, and prevention and control of diseases.

WHO is coordinating global strategies to control and prevent acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Its functions include furnishing technical assistance, stimulating and advancing epidemiological investigation of diseases, recommending health regulations, promoting cooperation among scientific and professional health groups, and providing information and counsel relating to health matters.

The Mayors Summit in Copenhagen was the first event of its kind within the WHO European Healthy Cities Network and was attended by some 200 delegates including over 40 Mayors and other political representatives. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the European Health Cities Network making it the longest running WHO network in the world. The WHO Healthy Cities concept was established in 1986 and is a global concept based on six principles:-

  • Reduction of inequalities in health between countries & within them;
  • Emphasis on health promotion to help people make full use of their physical, mental & emotional capacities;
  • Multi-sectoral co-operation to provide conditions conducive to health;
  • Community participation in decisions affecting health;
  • Good quality of primary health care available, close to where people live & work; and
  • International co-operation in solving health problems.

Derry City and Strabane District Council has been a member of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network since 2009 and is a designated European Healthy City & District under Phase VI of the European Healthy Cities Programme (2014 - 2018) which has, as its overarching goals, tackling health inequalities and improving health for all.

 It is one of only 12 places designated within the United Kingdom as a Healthy City and one of five within Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Designation is not an award for being healthy but rather a recognition of the commitment by a region to address ill health and poor well-being through a multi-agency approach process.

Delegates at the Mayors Summit in Copenhagen met to share their experiences and ideas on how to place health and well-being at the heart of urban development. Please click on the link to get information on the various sessions that took place at the event.

At the conclusion of the summit, the Mayors adopted the Copenhagen Consensus of Mayors, committing themselves to working towards a set of aspirations for the future health and well-being of their cities.

The Consensus, which was developed through a comprehensive consultation process over an 18 month period, focuses on six key areas: people, places, participation, prosperity, peace and planet. It presents a transformative approach to creating happier and healthier cities for all. To view the Copenhagen Consensus document please click here

To find out more about Developing Healthy Communities( previously Derry Healthy Cities) please click here.

Contact Details

For further information please contact the Health, Housing and Public Conveniences Team

T:  028 71253253 

E: health&[email protected] 

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