cares alcohol-and-health new-global-action-plan-to-reduce-alcohol-related-harm

New global action plan to reduce alcohol related harm

World Health Organization announced the 7th of February 2020 a draft decision to support the implementation of the strategy to reduce harmful drinking from 2010. The draft decision calling for “accelerating action to reduce the harmful use of alcohol” was proposed by Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam supported by civil society groups during WHO intergovernmental meetings

After more than 12 hours of informal consultations, the WHO countries agreed on a final draft with a more modest compromise, with Norway and the EU coming on as co-sponsors. The proposed international instruments were removed after strong opposition from countries such as United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Haiti according to sources familiar to the negotiations. The ban on alcohol sales and consumption at WHO premises was rephrased to «the practice of not offering alcoholic beverages in some WHO offices and that this could be applied more widely across the Organization for health promotion»

The adopted roadmap contains four action points:

1. Review the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol and report to the 166th session of the Executive Board in 2030 for further action

2. Develop an action plan (2022–2030) to effectively implement the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol as a public health priority

3. Develop a technical report on the harmful use of alcohol-related to cross-border alcohol marketing, advertising and promotional activities, including those targeting youth and adolescents

4. Adequately resource the work on the harmful use of alcohol

The roadmap recognizes evidence for the carcinogenicity of alcohol and a causal contribution of the use of alcohol to the development of several types of cancers. EU and the member states represented by Germany was one of the countries that emphasised the link between alcohol and cancer.

Despite EU recognition of alcohol as carcinogenicity, Europe`s Beating Cancer Plan so far overlooks alcohol as a major risk factor for premature death in the heaviest alcohol drinking region in the world. Eurocare hopes that the new approach by the WHO for accelerating action on reducing alcohol-related harm will result to Europe`s Beating Cancer Plan to include alcohol as a major risk factor and raise awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer.

Health Policy Watch. 2020.
Movendi. 2020
World Health Organization. 2020.

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