Sint Maarten represented at PAHO Regional Stakeholder’s Meeting on Cooperation among Countries for Health Development in the Americas 

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Head of the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), Dr. Virginia Asin, travelled to Panama last week to attend the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Regional Stakeholders’ Meeting on Cooperation among Countries for Health Development (CCHD) in the Americas, including South-South and Triangular Cooperation (TrC).


South-South Cooperation (SSC) has become more important in the efforts of the United Nations (UN) system to promote sustainable and equitable development.


Dr. Asin stated that the goal is to improve, expand, and make more strategic, PAHO’s technical cooperation modality of cooperation among countries for health development, in the framework of the 2013 PAHO policy and resolution on Cooperation for Health Development in the Americas.


Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of PAHO was present for the entire conference and conducted the opening and closing sessions.  Dr. Etienne addressed the diversity of competencies and experiences of the people from across the region, pointing out that every woman and child has the opportunity to live a life of productivity and with dignity.


Dr. Asin added that the purpose of the meeting is to engage Member States and key stakeholders in the development of strategies and mechanisms for enhancement of PAHO’s CCHD modality of technical cooperation and the implementation of the CHD policy.


“The objectives and expected results were to obtain from stakeholders strategic and technical input for, and recommendations for the enhancement of, a draft strategic framework for advancing PAHO’s facilitation of, and contribution to, CCHD, including SSC and TrC.


“Secondly, review policies and initiatives being advanced by PAHO Member States in the field of CCHD involving different variants of SSC and TrC, and the roles of national authorities, regional and sub-regional integration and cooperation.


“Thirdly, to identify opportunities, themes/areas, and strategies for cooperation among countries for health development, including SSC and TrC in the Americas and beyond, amenable to support from bilateral and multilateral development agencies.


“Fourthly, to establish a community of practice and a virtual space for regional dialogue among all interested stakeholders on CCHD, to facilitate the development of strategies for sustained CCHD and the implementation of the CHD policy.


“The stakeholder’s meeting discussed many issues and programs that have been successful.  More than 7000 projects carried out between 2007 and 2013 with positive results.  Human development was the key and is the purpose of SSC, and it warrants a change in thinking and practice with the accent placed on expansion of human capacity with the ultimate goal is to ‘live a life that is worth living.’ 


“The meeting is the first step to the implementation of the resolution adopted in 2013 during the Directing Council where Sint Maarten was part of the discussions,” Dr. Virginia Asin said on Monday.


PAHO Director Dr. Etienne at the closing of the conference told country delegates and other participants that wisdom, experience and knowledge exist within the various countries.  She thanked everybody for their recommendations which charts the way forward bring a mix of mind sets and richness to the table.


Dr. Etienne added that PAHO will coordinate, integrate, support and facilitate the process while each respective country retains leadership and sovereignty.  


The meeting took place at the Marriott Hotel, Panama City, Panama.


PHOTO CUTLINE: Dr. Virginia Asin (2nd from left) along with other health officials and representatives in Panama.