I had the honour and pleasure to give this address on October 4th in Phnom Penh at the Indochina Alcohol Control Workshop:

Your Excellencies Madame Ho Noun, Mr Sakhan, Members of Parliaments from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam, representatives fromMinistries and the Civil Society.

It’s an honour for me to address this third meeting with delegates from the Social Committees of national Assemblies from the three countries. We have met in Vientiane, Laos and Kuching, Malaysia before.

Let me quote the foreword of the publication Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2011 from the World Health Organization to highlight the importance of the workshop:

The harmful use of alcohol is a worldwide problem resulting in millions of deaths, including hundreds of thousands of young lives lost. It is not only a causal factor in many diseases, but also a precursor to injury and violence. Furthermore, its negative impacts can spread throughout a community or a country, and beyond, by influencing levels and patterns of alcohol consumption across borders.

The organisation I represent, the IOGT International is a politically independent and heart driven organization working from evidence based facts. The work expands from community action for children and youth to creating, facilitating and developing efficient alcohol policies.

IOGT International has members all over the world and is open to everyone who wishes to see an open and democratic world free
from alcohol and other drugs. As member of many International networks, IOGT International works together with other NGOs to improve the situation of people all over the world.

Our members are member based organizations as well as professional institutes who are experts in their field.

In Sweden the national organizations have formed the International Institute of the IOGT-NTO Movement, which is responsible for development work, where regional and global Alcohol Policy is the key part.

With the contributions from the representatives from the three Assemblies and the speakers for the sessions, all global and regional experts, Professor Sally Casswell of  Massey University, New Zealand;  Mr Pubudu Sumanasekara the Director of Alcohol and Drugs Information Centre (ADIC), Sri Lanka; and Dr Thaksaphon Thamarangsi from the Centre for Alcohol Studies (CAS), Bangkok Thailand, I believe we will move one step further on the path of wellbeing for the people in the region.

Parliamentary Workshop on Indochina Alcohol Policy, me on the right