A meeting between WHO secretariat and representatives from 20 nongovernmental organizations and professional associations took place in Geneva 24 and 25 April 2006. The meeting was a direct follow up of the World Health Assembly resolution:

Public health problems caused by harmful use of alcohol. The meeting with the NGOs and professional associations discussed international cooperation and collaboration with civil society based on the resolution.

The meeting:

  • briefed the participants on current WHO activities in relation to the resolution;
  • provided an opportunity for dialogue, debate, information sharing and identification of good practice models; and
  • discussed the ways of increasing and coordinating the involvement of civil society and professional organizations in order to limit the health impact of harmful alcohol consumption.

In the concluding session of the meeting it was agreed to set up a network which should encompass a broad spectrum of NGOs and professional associations working directly with alcohol related problems or in associated areas. Acting on the decisions of the meeting the interim secretariat is with the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA).

In the aftermath the web site www.worldalcohol.net was set up to facilitate information sharing between NGOs and between NGOs and WHO. In the meeting no name for the network was discussed but the title “World NGO Network on Alcohol and Public Health” is being proposed as a working title for the network.