Economic Cooperation Organization

An ECO Delegation headed by Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Dr. Huseyin Avni Bicakli attended the Virtual High Level Working Group Meeting on Health on 17th May 2023, ahead of the 5th ECO Ministerial Meeting on Health which will be held in Geneva on May 24, 2023. The event that brought together representatives from the ECO Countries (Azerbaijan, Iran, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan) as well as the representative of the World Health Organization. Chaired by Dr. Nadir Zeynalov, Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the meeting deliberated on the items included in the Plan of Action on Health Cooperation in ECO Region, such as healthcare, natural disasters, and regional coordination and collaboration in response to possible future pandemics.

Dr. Nadir Zeynalov emphasized the importance of sharing positive experiences on implementation of health reforms and finding solutions to certain public health matters, such as critical measures during emergency situations, the recovery process towards a more resilient world after the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing the emerging issues on health rights, and sustainability of medical services. Highlighting the recent earthquake disaster in Türkiye, he also informed the forum that the ECO countries are facing many problems i.e. healthcare challenges, social and economic problems, political stability, natural disasters, and climate change related disasters.

Noting that the ECO region has faced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ambassador Dr. Huseyin Avni Bicakli underscored that the role of ECO in health sector should be stronger and more pivotal for countering crises. Mr. Bicakli also shared his views on implementation of health reforms, addressing public health matters, and critical measures during emergency situations. Mr. Bicakli added that the ECO Member States share common ambitions to achieve stronger health protection through strengthening partnerships, adapting to new priorities and emerging challenges, fostering technical synergies, strengthening public voice as wells as trust in health systems.    

Dr. Husnu Tekin, Director for Human Resources and Sustainable Development Directorate of ECO, briefed the delegates about developments regarding the actions in the ECO Plan of Action on Health Cooperation in ECO Region which was adapted in 2021. The meeting also discussed the draft joint statement of the 5th ECO Ministerial Meeting in Geneva.