On May 15, 2023, Sweden and the majority of World Health Organization (WHO) Member States in the WHO European Region decided to relocate the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases from Moscow to Copenhagen no later than 1 January 2024.
“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 non-communicable 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.
NCDs are by far the leading cause of mortality across the WHO European Region.
Decision: Closure of the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD Office) in Moscow, Russian Federation, and relocation of its functions and management of activities to Copenhagen, Denmark – RCSS3, 15 May 2023.