The 63rd session of World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for the Western Pacific opened in Hanoi on September 24, drawing the participation of officials from 37 countries and territories in the region.

In her opening remark, Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan affirmed that the relations between Vietnam and the WHO in general and its Western Pacific committee in particular have developed fruitfully since 1976.

WHO has made great contributions to the common achievements of Vietnam ’s health sector, especially in public health care, she said.

Vietnam, as a WHO member, has demonstrated a more positive and responsible role in the organisation, she said, adding that the country’s efforts are highly valued by the international community.

The Vice President said Western Pacific has been emerging as a dynamic region but it is facing a series of challenges that affect human development in each country.

She expressed her hope that the meeting will put forth effective strategies, resolutions and action plans, thus benefiting the people of member countries as well as contributing to health care development in the region.

Vietnamese Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, who was elected as the Chair of the session, said that the hosting of the regional WHO meeting reflects Vietnam ’s determination to cooperate with regional countries for the goal of public health care.

The meeting is an important milestone in the health cooperation between Vietnam and regional countries as well as offers a good chance for WHO members in the region to share experience in developing their health sectors, she said.

Tien took the occasion to thank the WHO and regional countries for their valuable assistance for Vietnam ’s health sector over the past time.

According to WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Shin Young-soo, the meeting is an opportunity for WHO member countries to strengthen cooperation, review both successes and challenges facing their health sectors, as well as put forth positive measures to deal with rising health issues.

During the five-day event, there will be discussions on health issues and diseases of the region’s common concern. Five resolutions and five regional strategies or action plans are expected to be adopted at the end of the session.-VNA