Over the last years we have met and (indirectly) joined forces on different occasions with our friends in IFMSA, the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations.
Building on last year’s joint efforts at a number of high-level events – for instance the World Health Assembly, the Global Health Promotion Conference or the World Health Summit – we are now stepping up our cooperation, entering a new dimension.
IOGT International and IFMSA share a lot of concerns and views on evidence-based solutions. Promoting global health, an inclusive development agenda, gender equality and sustainable ways of living are our common objectives, to put it briefly. Key for both organisations is to empower young people, bring them to the center of policy processes and give them the opportunity to contribute with their input and know-how and to change and shape policy discussions.
Concrete issues we care about are NCDs and policy responses to prevent and control this global epidemic, as well as communicable diseases like HIV/ Aids and tuberculosis; gender-based violence is another issue of common concern; the conflict of interest concerning multinational corporations (Big Food, Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol) in public health policy-making is a fourth issue both organisations are working on; and to name a fifth: the post-2015 development agenda merging sustainable development goals and millenium development goals into one agenda fostering global health and development.
Why do I tell you all this?
Because in a few days IOGT will go to Hammamet, Tunisia and the Pre-General Assembly as well as the 63rd General Assembly of IFMSA. I am really delighted about this new dimension in our cooperation and look forward to this being the launching platform of many more fruitful joint efforts.
This time around, we are sending two of our highly knowledgable members to IFMSA:
Tenna from ADIC Sri Lanka – who will be addressing the issue of community-based actions to counter the operations of Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol; he’ll also support Viktor and share know-how from ADIC in how to work with innovative prevention methods.
Viktor from the Fake Free think tank in Sweden – who will introduce the most innovative prevention method in the world and three strategies to effectively involve young people in preventing alcohol harm and promoting fun; Viktor will explore how to question alcohol culture and its illogical advantages, and how to de-glamorise Big Alcohol’s messages and much more.
Both of them join an impressive range of speakers and trainers (see pages 6 and 7).
They both will hold workshops for IFMSA members that come to Tunisia from all around the world. You can read the program here and see that our guys will be highly active: International Public Health Leadership Training (IFMSA 2014)
I am wishing them both good luck, much fun and an amazing experience with the savvy members of IFMSA. I am proud that we in IOGT empower young people by giving them opportunities to take the lead, to take responsibility and ownership.