Sweden supports relocation of WHO office in solidarity with Ukraine

Published

Sweden and the majority of World Health Organization (WHO) Member States in the WHO European Region have decided to relocate the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases from Moscow to Copenhagen. The decision was taken in support of Ukraine and enables the WHO to continue its work fighting noncommunicable diseases in Europe.

“I am proud that Sweden can show solidarity with Ukraine while at the same time ensuring that the WHO’s vital work fighting noncommunicable diseases can continue. The relocation is part of Sweden’s strong and continual political support of Ukraine,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell.

Russia has hosted the WHO office for several years, which has made it dependent on Russian funding. This has been a challenge both in practice and in principle. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has complicated the office’s capacity to offer technical support to countries in Europe. This has had negative consequences for prevention and treatment of noncommunicable diseases in the region. 

 “I welcome the decision today to relocate the WHO office to Copenhagen. This will decrease Russia’s influence and is a show of support for Ukraine, and it enables the WHO to continue its meaningful work in the region. The WHO’s work to prevent noncommunicable diseases and improve public health is very important to Sweden and the region as a whole,” says Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health Jakob Forssmed. 

Press contact

Karl Opdal
Press Secretary to Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Simon Hoff
Press Secretary to Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 76 127 76 97
email to Simon Hoff

Noncommunicable diseases

Noncommunicable diseases is an umbrella term for cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and mental health problems. Noncommunicable diseases play a central role for public health in our region and are the most common causes of illness and death in Europe. Approximately 90 per cent of all deaths in Europe are caused by noncommunicable diseases.