Thank you all for a historic and eventful year 2022.
In this end of year blog post, Kristina looks back at eight highlights and success stories of Movendi International’s work in 2022. These accomplishments and the people and partner organizations that made them possible are the source of inspiration and optimism for 2023.

To all members, friends, partners, and colleagues we say thank you very much for a historic and event-full year in 2022.

Together with my friends in the Movendi International Board, I wish you all krasne sviatky, happy holidays and a happy, healthy, and sober new year. It was fun to make the video and it felt inspiring to write this blog post to wrap up 2022.

We are really looking forward to seeing you all in 2023.

Read more about our 2022 success stories

We thank our members and partners for a historic year 2022 and the awesome and impactful things we did together. I could not be more proud to share a brief overview of our success stories in 2022 with you.

World Health Assembly adopts historic Global Alcohol Action Plan

In May, the World Health Assembly unanimously adopted the WHO Global Alcohol Action (GAAP). I’m proud of our leadership and dedicated work the last three years together with our members, partners, and like-minded alcohol policy champion countries, to bring alcohol policy back on the agenda of the World Health Organization governing bodies and to make alcohol policy the priority it should be. The adoption of the Global Alcohol Action Plan means more momentum, stronger commitment, and bigger ambition to accelerate action on alcohol harm as public health priority.

Also in May at the World Health Assembly, we co-organized a high-level side event with Slovenia, Estonia, and a number of other Member States. This was a landmark event that helped pave the way towards the GAAP adoption at WHA75, that brought like-minded countries closer together, and that charts the way forward towards a decade of action on alcohol policy.

WHO European Region adopts trailblazing framework for action on alcohol

In September 2022, the 72nd Regional Committee Meeting of the World Health Organization in Europe (WHO Europe) adopted a historic decision: the WHO Framework for Action on Alcohol. Movendi International has partnered for years with WHO Europe Member States and other civil society organizations to make alcohol policy the priority it should be, to bring alcohol policy back on the agenda of WHO Europe’s governing bodies and to improve the response to alcohol harm at all levels. 

Launch of groundbreaking RESET Alcohol Initiative

A $15 million philanthropic award doubles existing global funding; RESET Alcohol will work in fifteen countries primarily in Latin America, Africa, Asia, with GiveWell as the donor. Lead by Vital Strategies, RESET Alcohol will protect more people from alcohol harm, especially by raising public health oriented alcohol excise taxes. Movendi International is a partner supporting RESET Alcohol, contributing our expertise and experience in alcohol policy advocacy, value-based communication, strategic alcohol industry counter-action, social mobilization, and translating evidence into action and policy change.

Launch of the World Assembly for Community Action on Alcohol (WACAA)

One of the highlights and big successes of our work in 2022 was the launch of WACAA. Together with our friends at ICAAN, we were able to get this new and much needed initiative off the ground and arrange three community assemblies.

The World Assembly for Community Action on Alcohol is a global shared space for people and groups engaged in community-based action to prevent and reduce alcohol harm. WACAA is a platform for discussion, networking, support, and empowerment. WACAA is an initiative by communities for communities to strengthen and amplify the voices of the grass-roots in local, national, and global alcohol policy processes.

Driving the conversation and improving the evidence-base for alcohol policy

Three highlights stand out in our work to contribute to a well-informed public discourse about alcohol harm and the benefits of alcohol policy solutions.

  1. I was able to publish my first peer-reviewed research article. It provides unique analysis showing that most European countries fail to address alcohol as obstacle to multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the design of measures to make progress towards the SDGs. This first-of-its-kind study, published in the peer reviewed journal PLOS ONE, spotlights the need to improve countries’ recognition of alcohol harm as cross-cutting impediment to 14 of 17 SDGs and countries’ capacity to utilize alcohol policy solutions as catalyst for sustainable development.
  2. I’m happy Movendi International and ACT Brazil developed a strong collaboration on addressing alcohol as obstacle to development in Brazil. We launched the trailblazing report “Alcohol: obstacle to development” in Portuguese. ACT launched the report together with a member of parliament in a fruitful public hearing in parliament in Brasilia.
  3. A milestone in our collaboration with IOGT-NTO in Sweden is the new report “Uncorking Big Alcohol in the EU. A mapping of the European alcohol industry and its lobbying efforts against public health in the EU institutions”. It reveals – among other shocking findings – that the alcohol industry meets with the EU Commission 19 times more often than with civil society on alcohol policy.

Continued growth of our global social movement

A major highlight of the year was our digital World Congress – the 70th session in our long history but the first entirely virtual one.

114 delegates representing 70 Member Organizations came together virtually for a week of democratic decision making. We now have an improved, new Strategic Plan, rooted in a comprehensive theory of change. And we continue to grow, as more community-based and civil society organizations are joining our global social movement. In 2022 alone, we welcomed 16 new member organizations.

Support for the campaign to keep Netflix free from alcohol ads

I’m also proud of the support our movement mobilized for FARE’s effort to call on Netflix to exclude alcohol ads from the streaming service. Thanks to the leadership of FARE, a group of over 50 signatories representing communities from around the world – many Movendi International members – sent a letter to the Chairman of Netflix calling on the streaming service to extend the exclusion of advertizing to alcohol ads in the new tier.

Providing unique resources, trainings, and events

I’m very proud of the following numbers. In 2022, we continued to provide unique resources to policy makers, advocates, journalists, and the interested public about alcohol policy developments, latest science, and revelations about the unethical practices of the alcohol industry. Our News Center is the one-stop-shop for key resources, timely updates, and in-depth stories about alcohol issues.

In 2022, we published:

  • 360+ alcohol policy news stories,
  • 180+ science digests regarding alcohol harm and policy,
  • 190+ stories exposing the unethical practices of the alcohol industry, and
  • 16 opinion articles from leaders worldwide.

We conducted more than 40 capacity building sessions on alcohol policy and science in 2022, for our members.

And we arranged, co-organized, or co-hosted more than 20 events that drive the conversation about alcohol policy benefits forward. These events were often arranged together with WHO, UNODC, PAHO and/ or WHO Europe, as well as other civil society partners, such as UICC. I’m deeply thankful for all these partnerships and joint efforts:

  • No Child Left Behind: Do Children from Households with Alcohol Problems Get the Help They Need?
  • CSocD60 Side Event: Alcohol Taxation – The Untapped Potential for COVID-19 Recovery and Sustainable Development
  • Toward a Healthier Future for the People of Africa: Neo-Colonialism, Public Health, and the Alcohol Industry
  • European Framework for Action on Alcohol, 2022-2025
  • Movendi International 70th World Congress
  • Alcohol policy session at World Cancer Congress
    • Alcohol and Cancer Virtual Series with UICC
  • WHO & Movendi Webinar: Reducing exposure to alcogenic environments among young people
  • SAFER Move Online Workshop: Youth Take Action – Promoting Alcohol Free Lifestyle for Youth
  • WHO Webinar: Women, Men and Alcohol: Why is Gender Important in Alcohol Control Policies?
  • Webinar: Strengthening Implementation of the Global Alcohol Strategy
  • Supporting children to grow up healthy and safe
  • Commercial Determinants of Health – Major Challenge to Achieving Sustainable Development Goals
  • Launch Event – Building Capacity for Alcohol Policy in the Americas: Paho’s New Online Courses
  • HRIDAY & Global Youth Meet Workshop on Marketing to Children Session 1: Tobacco and Alcohol
  • Women, Alcohol Consumption and the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • ASEAN Talk: Best Practices for Alcohol Policy Makers by SAFER Move
  • Webinar: Strengthening Implementation of the Global Alcohol Strategy
  • WHO Webinar: Women, Men and Alcohol: Why is Gender Important in Alcohol Control Policies?
  • WHO Webinar: Restricting Alcohol Availability: How Can Common Barriers Be Overcome?

8 success stories and 1 big thank you

These eight highlights show that ambitious work in a collaborative spirit can make a real difference and that progress in alcohol policy is possible. It’s the end of 2022 – a historic year for Movendi International and for global alcohol policy. With everything we have accomplished in 2022, I feel excited and optimistic about 2023 and the opportunities we have to build on our successes, lessons learned, and progress made so far.

Our accomplishments in 2022 would not have been possible without our members, donors, friends, and partners in civil society, governments, and intergovernmental organizations. It’s the people behind those terms that inspire me and that I cannot wait to continue collaborating with in the new year.

Thank you for 2022. And I am looking forward to continue this work in 2023. Happy holidays and a happy, healthy, and sober new year.