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WHO sets up pan-European group to push post-Covid reform

Italian former PM and president of Bocconi University Mario Monti to lead group

The World Health Organization has launched a pan-European commission on health and sustainable development to “rethink policy priorities in the light of pandemics”.

Mario Monti, the president of Bocconi University, a former prime minister of Italy and former European commissioner, will chair the commission, which will be made up of former heads of states and governments as well as scientists and economists.

“Our goal is to position health at the top of the political agenda within the [United Nations] Sustainable Development Goals, and to strengthen the resilience of health and social care systems in the 53 member states of the WHO European region,” said Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, announcing the commission on 11 August.

The group will seek to learn from different countries’ responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and suggest investments and reforms to make health and social care systems more resilient. It will also try to raise the profile of health and social care in political decision making, said the WHO.

The commission will hold its first meeting on 26 August.