To recognise Cork City Councils involvement in the World Health Organization Healthy Cities Project over the past five years, Minister of State for Health Promotion, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, T.D, presented a certificate of accreditation to the National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network.
With the significant development in 2013 of Healthy Ireland – the National Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing – the WHO Healthy Cities model has been identified as the way to develop key partnerships at the local level to implement Healthy Ireland. To progress this, Minister Corcoran Kennedy formally launched the National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland, under the aegis of Healthy Ireland, on Tuesday November 29th in Dublin City Hall.
Minister Corcoran Kennedy, T.D., congratulated Cork City on having the vision to be involved in the WHO Healthy Cities for the past five years and for making a commitment to work to become healthier places for all. Minister Corcoran Kennedy added that “as a former elected member of a Local Authority I know that Local Authorities are uniquely placed to bridge the gap between national policy and local implementation. I know the influence and reach that Local Authorities, in particular the recently formed Local Community Development Committees, have in every community and I see huge potential for them to contribute to building a healthier Ireland”.
Ms Elisabeth Bengtsson, representative from the World Health Organization (WHO), explained that “for WHO Europe it is very important to continue supporting and strengthening National Healthy Cities and Counties Networks. Declarations and strategies on international and national levels are important as common grounds for understanding; but to make them happen, and to foster real change, they have to be interpreted and put into actions at the local level where people live their lives and can have their say”.
Cllr. Tony Fitzgerald, who is a member of the Cork Healthy Cities Forum, explained that “as the influences on health such as employment, environment, housing, transport and food supply are so varied and complex; to address health issues and promote health, it is important to take a multi-agency approach. During times of austerity over the past number of years Cork Healthy Cities has provided mechanism for the sectors across the city to collaborate and to be more efficient, by building on areas of common interest”. Cllr. Fitzgerald added that “it is great for Cork City to receive the certificate of accreditation in recognition of the work being undertaken. We look forward to the future and working to progress the Cork Food Policy Council, Cork as an Age Friendly City, Cork as a UNESCO City of Leaning and the Cork City Local Economic and Community Plan’
In addition to Cork City Council, Galway City Council and Waterford City and County Council received certificates of accreditation for their involvement in the WHO Healthy Cities Project, ten and four years respectively. The first counties in Ireland to receive accreditation to the National Healthy Cities and Counties Network are South Dublin County and County Offaly. For more information visit www.corkhealthycities.com or www.healthyireland.ie