The European Respiratory Society (ERS) was invited to share an official statement as part of a special session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, to clarify the Society’s position on the war in Ukraine and highlight the consequences to respiratory health as the conflict continues.
The Regional Committee typically meets once a year and is the highest decision-making body of the 53 Member States of the WHO Europe region. The special session, which took place virtually on 10 May, was added specifically to consider the health situation in Ukraine.
As the WHO highlighted its commitment to the Ukrainian people, the ERS statement, alongside statements submitted from Member States and other invited non-members, offered important points for consideration.
A draft resolution was proposed by 38 Members States and a roll-call vote was taken. 43 of 48 voted in favour of adopting the resolution, which had three key requests:
- for the Regional Director to explore options to safeguard the work of the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD Office), including through its relocation to an area outside the Russian Federation;
- for the Regional Director to consider temporarily suspending all regional meetings in the Russian Federation; and
- for the WHO Director-General to prepare a dedicated report for consideration at the upcoming Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly, assessing the health emergency in Ukraine and related international health risks as well as proposed responses.
Read the ERS statement issued as a contribution to this session
Read all statements on the WHO website