From 22 to 24 July 2014 Parliamentarians and civil society representatives get together in Colombo, Sri Lanka in order to discuss policies to control and prevent harm caused by alcohol and tobacco. Democracy in action. Dialogue beyond borders. Heart-driven towards life set free…

As I write these words, a unique and diverse group of participants is getting ready for the first of their “study trip”. I feel proud and privileged to welcome honourable Members of Parliaments from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Viet Nam, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. And it’s a pleasure and honor to welcome leading experts on alcohol and tobacco control from among civil society organisations from those countries.

Indeed, I feel it’s a proud day. My team at ADIC has been doing astounding work – once again – to prepare for this unique event. And I couldn’t be feel more thankful today, to be part of the global IOGT movement.

This regional workshop and study trip for countries from the different parts of the vast Asian continent is for me a modern symbol and example for what IOGT International is all about.

We bring together different people and set out to engage in partnership, cooperation and dialogue beyond borders; we breath life into democracy and promote progress for public health, and socio-economic prosperity.

Just consider the IOGT International constitution – since 1851:

IOGT International seeks to promote democracy at all levels of society, which means that all citizens must have the opportunity to actively participate in decision-making processes and freely express their opinions.

IOGT International works for peace by promoting human development and dignity, democracy, tolerance, equality and justice.

Furthermore, IOGT International advocates the peaceful settlement of conflicts between individuals and groups.”

2014-07-21 22.03.27It’s a crucial time to address the issues around alcohol control comprehensively in this part of the world.

It’s high time to reign in Big Alcohol and it’s crucial now to protect the advances made in our region from alcohol harm and its eroding effects.


Follow the happenings at the workshop here…