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The International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) applauds the direction taken by the Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in highlighting that an increased focus on health (and health promotion) has many co-benefits beyond health. The IUHPE calls for this positive intent to be backed by policy and investment in health promotion systems. 

Critically, the benefits of healthy communities and populations extend to a healthy economy and higher productivity. However, the co-benefits of investing in health and wellbeing also extend to improvements in sustainability and environmental quality, education and social policy, all of which are conducive to equitable societies.

“The wellbeing of people and their communities is a prerequisite to sustainable societies and should be central to Government policy. This is also true in reverse – a strong economy and a sustainable environment support a health promoting future,” stated Adj Prof Trevor Shilton, IUHPE Vice President for Advocacy.

But how is this achieved? The IUHPE has outlined a framework for investing in sustainable health promotion systems. Adj Prof Shilton says “Making meaningful progress towards achieving health targets is dependent on strong political leadership, and this would result in sustainable financing of strong health promotion institutions, a strengthened health promotion workforce and comprehensive programs.”   

It is only through investment in promoting health and wellbeing that the major health issues that are crippling economies and destroying lives – such as chronic conditions and air pollution – can be sustainably prevented.


Download IUHPE’s Press release


Learn more about the programme of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

We also invite you to read the Background Paper of OECD on the Economy of Wellbeing.