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2nd May 2024

Written Statement: World Health Organisation Event: Reimagining an Economy for Resilient and Healthier Societies that Leave No One Behind

Eluned Morgan MS, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care

I am pleased to update members about my attendance at a recent event in Venice to mark the 20th anniversary of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) European Office for Investment for Health and Development.

The event, Reimagining an economy for resilient and healthier societies that leave no one behind, was an opportunity to discuss the wellbeing economy with ministers and colleagues from across Europe.

It brought together governments, experts, youth alliances, heads of economic development organisations, non-governmental organisations and public health agencies to focus on some of the big challenges facing countries, including ageing societies, youth mental health and social inclusion, gender equality, resilient public systems, and urban–rural divides.

The event harnessed knowledge, innovation and best practice to inform and support affordable, doable and inclusive solutions for national resilience, sustainable development, and accelerating the transition to well-being economies.

Wales is one of six governments which form the Wellbeing Economy Government Network. Our work with the WHO enables us to consider the health and care system’s role in delivering an economy designed to serve people and the planet. I am pleased Wales will host the first health-focused wellbeing economy policy dialogue later this year.

The WHO will be publishing a deep dive on the well-being economy in Wales, as part of a series of deep dives capturing countries’ experiences in shifting to well-being economies in the WHO European Region.

I published a written statement in February about the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Welsh Government and the WHO Regional Office for Europe. This covers areas of health equity and rights; investment for health and wellbeing and the essential underlying conditions of health; and sustainable development and prosperity for all.

The Memorandum of Understanding, together with our work on the well-being economy, will help us to strengthen our international connections and provides a strong lever to support us in achieving the goals of a healthier and more prosperous Wales.