Margaret Chan, (center) with volunteers at the closing day of the four-day conference yesterday.(Wang Rongjiang)
Shanghai has become a "leading example of a Healthy City" the World Health Organization director-general Margaret Chan said on the sidelines of the conference that concluded in the city yesterday.
As one of China's most dynamic cities, Shanghai had demonstrated great leadership by hosting the conference and creating a smoke-free indoor environment for the city's more than 20 million inhabitants, Chan said.
"Shanghai is therefore an excellent choice of location for the conference and the international mayors' forum," she added, praising the city government's efforts, especially on health promotion at the community level.
She wrapped up the conference in a speech thanking local citizens and government for hosting the event and called it a "great success." Participants, including ministers and mayors from across the world, were inspired by the conference, she said.
Led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the conference convenes every four years and rotates the host cities.
This year, 1,200 participants,including WHO officials and experts, health ministers and city mayors and health officials‚ gathered from 126 countries and regions. Solutions for a number of serious issues concerning global health promotion and equality were discussed, with China playing a central role.
A significant public health challenge that people faced globally, and especially in China, was tackling the rise of non-communicable diseases — with tobacco control playing a key role, Chan said. WHO was "extremely pleased" with the recent decision taken by Shanghai to make airport terminals, railway stations and hotels smoke-free, she added.
"By fully implementing and enforcing the new indoor smoking ban and by following a whole-of-society approach, Shanghai can demonstrate to cities inside China and around the world that it is possible to create 100 percent smoke-free environments." She lauded the Healthy China 2030 Planning Outline by the Chinese government as one of the actions that demonstrated China's strong political commitment to prioritize the population's health.