Statement from the 4th Baltic Sea States Summit on the Threat of Communicable Diseases

  Published: 07.05.04 Updated: 20.08.2004 10:28:39
The Heads of Government agree that sharp increases in communicable diseases remain a threat to human security and welfare across the Baltic Sea Region. This serious situation calls for strong counteractive efforts and concerted actions involving large segments of society.

Key projects (on surveillance, tuberculosis, HIV, antibiotics and primary health care) have been identified by the Task Force on Communicable Disease Control in the Baltic Sea Region. A substantial number are being implemented. Realisation of the projects should be intensified and relevant institutions are encouraged to participate in financing approved projects.

The Heads of Government reaffirm their strong commitment to efforts in the following fields:


The spread and threat of further escalation of the HIV epidemic, in particular among drug abusers, calls for immediate measures, within and outside of the health services. There is a need to mobilise society at large. Discrimination, misunderstanding and misjudgement hinder effective campaigns against HIV infections.


Overcrowded prisons with infected inmates and with poor hygiene and sanitation are a dominant threat in the field of communicable diseases in the region. Prison health must be a priority.

Health Sector Reform

All the member states in the Region constantly need to adjust the health services to meet the present and future needs and demands. With regard to communicable diseases, available resources can be used more efficiently with a larger emphasis on outpatient and primary health care. Reform processes in this direction are encouraged.

Training in public health

There is need for strengthening the education in public health. The Task Force shall continue to examine modalities for regional collaboration for this purpose.

Task Force mandate

The Heads of Government note and welcome that Norway will chair the Task Force for two more years. The Task Force shall issue a final report to the next, 5th Baltic Sea States Summit.

St. Petersburg, 10 June 2002

Background Information:

Upon invitation of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, the Heads of Government of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation and Sweden met in St. Petersburg on 10 June 2002. The Heads of Governments also met with President Putin and endorsed the above statement on the Threat of Communicable Diseases, and - on top of their list - expressing their commitment to scale up efforts against HIV/AIDS.