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Sep 21 '23, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM


Unlocking the potential of alcohol policy solutions to reach health and development for all

United Nations General Assembly 78 High-Level Side Event – on the margin of the SDG Summit and UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage 2023

Date and time

  • September 21, 2023
  • 13.30 – 15.00


  • Church Center of the United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, USA (opposite the UN Headquarters)

Registration link

Please register for the event by using this registration link.

Event flyer

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The first half the era of the Sustainable Development Goals has not yielded significant progress towards reaching development and health for all and leaving no one behind.

One of the biggest obstacles to reaching the SDGs is alcohol.

  • Alcohol harm is a major obstacle to reaching 14 of 17 SDGs.
  • Alcohol’s contribution to the global burden of disease has been increasing.
    • In high income countries alcohol use is the second fasted growing risk factor, and
    • In LMICs it is the fourth fastest rising risk factor for the global disease burden.
  • Alcohol is the second largest risk factor for disease burden in the age group 10-24 years. And alcohol is the largest risk factor for disease burden in the group 25-49 years.

With some notable exceptions, most countries have failed to develop public health oriented alcohol policy in the last decade.

Modelling forecasts that global targets to reduce alcohol use and harm will not be met.

Member States of the World Health Organizations have recognized the lack of progress and identified alcohol as public health priority with urgent need to accelerate action. In 2022, Member States unanimously adopted the Global Alcohol Action, with a renewed focus on the most cost-effective, high-impact, and scientifically proven alcohol policy solutions.

In all WHO regions, there are countries that are implementing proven alcohol policy solutions and their results are creating new momentum, showing the potential of alcohol policy for reaching health and development for all.


This event aims to take stock of key challenges in developing and implementing evidence-based and ambitious alcohol policy solutions. How can those challenges be overcome?

The event will showcase best practices from countries and provide a platform for discussion, and experience sharing.

The discussion will chart benefits of cross-border and international collaboration among member states, and the potential of technical support and normative guidance from the World Health Organization.

The event will outline the role of communities in the implementation of the global alcohol action plan to help ensure ambitious action and achieve progress that benefits all.


The target audience of this high-level side event during UNGA and on the margins of the SDGs Summit and the High-Level Meeting on UHC is member states, as well as leaders of civil society organizations, academia, and UN agencies and programs.


Moderator: Kristina Sperkova, International President, Movendi International

  • Welcome and opening by the moderator

High level segment

KEYNOTE REMARKS How has alcohol policy helped advance SDGs, including towards UHC?
Ingvild Kjerkol Minister of Health of Norway
Riina Sikkut Minister of Health and Labour of Estonia
Michal Palkovic (tbc) Minister of Health of Slovakia
Ximena Aguilera Sanhueza (tbc) Minister of Health of Chile
Kwaku Agyemang-Manu Minister of Health of Ghana

Deep dive segment

DEEP DIVE SEGMENT Alcohol policy as catalyst for Sustainable Development
Ilana Pinksy

Public Health Consultant

Academic presentation: Are countries using alcohol policy to reach their SDGs targets?
Roy Small

Policy Specialist, UNDP

Nick Banatvala

Head, Secretariat of the United Nations Interagency Task Force on NCDs, WHO

UNDP presentation: Alcohol as obstacle to development


WHO presentation: The SAFER initiative for health and development

Kristina Sperkova

President, Movendi International

Movendi International: Achieving sustainable development through alcohol policy

Interactive segment

INTERACTIVE SEGMENT What are the key challenges and what are the main opportunities in advancing alcohol policy for development and health for all?
Conversation with perspectives from all co-sponsoring Member States, academic experts, UN partners, and Civil Society including youth perspective
Ajifanta Marenah Board Member Movendi New York  Expert perspective youth
Adam Karpati Senior Vice President Vital Strategies  Expert perspective civil society

Closing, by moderator


  • Norway
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Slovakia
  • Ghana
  • Movendi International
  • Movendi New York


Sep 21 '23
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Event Tags:
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Movendi International
View Organizer Website


Church Center
777 UN Plaza
New York, NY
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