WEEKLY ALCOHOL ISSUES
Week 46, November 08 – November 13, 2020
Welcome to the weekly Alcohol Issues Newsletter with carefully curated alcohol policy news, latest science digest, Big Alcohol revelations, and a Special Feature as well as a new Special Event Alert to keep you in the know about the most important alcohol issues of week 46.
Alcohol issues from our Policy Newsfeed come from Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, and the UK, covering the topics of alcohol policy as tool to contain COVID-19, the inequities associated with alcohol’s harm to others and accelerating alcohol harm during the pandemic…
Alcohol issues from our Science Digest cover alcohol industry CSR activities in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as lessons from alcohol policy making in former Soviet Union countries…
Alcohol issues from our Big Alcohol Watch reveal how Woolworths seeks to exploit vulnerable communities with a new alcohol mega store, how Coca-Cola incites heavy alcohol use with their first global alcohol brand, and how Big Alcohol cashed in on the U.S. election…
This week, our Special Feature covers Movendi International’s statement at the resumed and virtually held World Health Assembly (WHA73)…
Alcohol Policy News
Latest Science Digest
Big Alcohol Watch
Advancing alcohol policy and curbing Big Alcohol at the World Health Assembly
This year’s 73rd edition of the World Health Assembly resumed virtually on Monday, November 9, after a two-day emergency session in May earlier this year to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
The resumed WHA73 took place before the background of sharply rising COVID-19 infection rates in Europe and the United States, deep geopolitical divides and calls for reform of the WHO that could strengthen its mandate.
Alcohol issues at the resumed WHA73
Regarding the resumed WHA73, there were no major alcohol issues on the agenda or set to come up during deliberations because the major decisions had been adopted in February at the 146th session of the WHO Executive Board.
Nevertheless, a few countries mentioned the importance of and their interest in alcohol policy in their statements when discussing agenda item 11. But the agenda was so unwieldy (one statement for 9 different topics put under one agenda item) that countries and civil society had to select the most urgent topic and sharply focus on those.
WHO leadership highlights alcohol policy priority
In her response to the deliberations under agenda item 11 Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, the Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organization, mentioned specifically that WHO headquarters are investing more in the work on alcohol as a risk factors. Similarly, Dr Hans Kluge, the WHO Regional Director for Europe, responded to Member States’ interventions under agenda item 11 and outlined WHO Europe’s work in some key priority areas, such as addressing health inequalities. He specifically mentioned the importance of addressing alcohol (and tobacco) in the context of health inequalities.
That WHO leadership on global and regional levels is increasingly talking about alcohol harms shows that alcohol policy is becoming the public health priority it should be.
The Movendi International statement
Movendi International’s statement was delivered by Maik Dünnbier, Director of Strategy and Advocacy, on behalf of our 5 million members worldwide.
In our statement, we have called out Big Alcohol for their efforts to put profits before people and we have urged the WHO to desist with dialogues with an industry that is just like Big Tobacco.
We have also advocated for making alcohol policy the priority it should be in order to achieve health and development for all and build back better after the coronavirus devastation.
Three statement versions:
Find more information, documentation and a summary of key WHA73 resumed issues here.