GAPA position paper

24 October 2020 GAPA issued a position paper on the implementation of WHO’s global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol during the first decade since its endorsement, and the way forward. In this paper the GAPA highlights important elements for consideration and encourages its own network and the wider the global health community to take part in a web-based consultation conducted by the World Health Organization. The World Health Assembly in May 2019  requested the WHO Director-General “to report to the Seventy-third World Health Assembly in 2020, through the Executive Board, on the implementation of WHO’s global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol during the first decade since its endorsement, and the way forward”.  Comments from the consultation will be taken into consideration in the process of developing the above-mentioned report.

See more about the WHO web-based consultation, including the discussion paper and submission form, here.

Read the GAPA position paper here:

GAPC 2020 to be held in Dublin, Ireland

Sally Casswell, Chair of the Global Alcohol Policy Conference (GAPA), Simon Harris TD, Irish Minister of Health and Catherine Byrne TD, Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, announced today that the 6th Global Alcohol Policy Conference 2020 (GAPC 2020) will be held in Dublin, Ireland 9-11 March 2020.

GAPC is the leading forum for the world’s alcohol policy makers, advocates, researchers, civil society activists and practitioners. Building on the strong commitment and recent alcohol policy interventions in the country, Ireland is the perfect host for GAPC 2020.

The conference in Ireland will have the theme: “Alcohol Equity and Global Health: the benefit of alcohol control for sustainable development for all.” It maintains the tradition of focusing on advocacy, overcoming vested interests in alcohol policy development and the need for international collaboration to stop the harm caused by alcohol.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister Harris said: “The enactment of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill sent a message to the world that Ireland is serious about addressing the harms of alcohol in our country. That commitment has now been recognised by this invitation to host the next Global Alcohol Policy Conference. The conference will provide an excellent opportunity to reinforce the public health message about alcohol and to share best practice from across the world on addressing this important issue.”

Sally Casswell, Chair of GAPA says: “We are very enthusiastic about co-hosting the GAPC 2020 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the alcohol policy NGO community in Ireland. It is a fitting acknowledgement of the great efforts made by the government of Ireland to reduce alcohol related harm. The need for evidence- based alcohol policies has never been more pronounced including in low and middle- income countries and we hope to raise funds to facilitate participation from around the world.  The conference is an opportunity to engage in fruitful discussions and exchange of ideas in a unique atmosphere, free from the vested interests of the alcohol industry. This is an important part of GAPA’s portfolio of activities aimed to fulfil our mission: to promote evidence- based alcohol policies free from commercial interest.”

The previous GAPCs were held in Melbourne, Australia in 2017; Edinburgh, Scotland (2015); Seoul, South Korea (2013); Bangkok, Thailand (2012); and Syracuse, USA (2000).  Civil society organisations, academic institutions, funding agencies and others free from any ties to the alcohol industry are invited to contact the organisers to explore co-sponsorship opportunities for the conference. 

Visit the GAPC 2020 conference website

PMAC Side meeting: Framework Convention on Alcohol Control: Why and How?

GAPA Chair Sally Casswell
GAPA Chair Sally Casswell opening the PMAC side meeting “Framework Convention on Alcohol Control: Why and How”

On 29 and 30 January, prior to the PMAC, GAPA co-hosted two side meetings. One was a half-day session on “Framework Convention on alcohol Control (FCAC): Why and How” together with IOGT International, Thai Health Promotion Foundation, Third World Network, International Health Policy Program, Thailand and National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA), Sri Lanka. Dough Webb from UNDP moderated and GAPA Chair Sally Casswell gave the main introduction in an event which also included the following speakers and panellists:

  • Professor Kumnuan, Thai Health/GAPA Board Member
  • Pubudu Sumanasekara, International Vice President, IOGT
  • International, GAPA Board member
  • Dr Palitha Abeykoon, NATA, Sri Lanka
  • Sanya Reid Smith, Third World Network
  • Øystein Bakke, GAPA Secretary
  • Tungamirai Zimonte, Board Member, IOGT International
  • Dr TRAN Tuan, Chairman Viet Nam Noncommunicable Diseases Prevention Alliance
  • Dr. Supreda, ThaiHealth, CE, Thai Health
  • Paula Johns, NCD Alliance Board Member, GAPA Board Member
  • Issah Ali, Executive Director, VALD, GAPA Board Member
  • Professor Robin Room, Researcher, La Trobe University, Melbourne

The room with a capacity of 50 people was overfilled; there were good presentations, active participation in group discussions and a good debate in the plenary.

In addition GAPA was involved as co-hosts in the side meeting “Advancing SAFER – the new WHO-led initiative to reduce alcohol related harm globally” together with United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on NCD, IOGT International, NCD Alliance and Vital Strategies.