At its sixty-third World Health Assembly, the 193 Member States of the World Health Organization have adopted, in a consensus vote, the eagerly awaited Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol.
In the two-hour long debate at the Assembly, all member states acknowledged the harmful use of alcohol as a major public health issue. In the many member state interventions, delegates pointed to the global aspects of the problem and requested that alcohol problems receive a higher priority at the WHO and that more resources be allocated to address those problems and to implement the new global strategy.
The important concerns identified in the debate included the increasing culture of binge drinking among young people worldwide, and the expanding influence of the alcohol marketing and advertising. Delegates welcomed the varied evidence-based measures included in the strategy and their potential for successfully addressing alcohol problems.
The resolution was adopted with one amendment proposed by Thailand on behalf of the SEARO countries asking for adequate financial and human resources for implementation (inserted in par. 4 (1)) . . . . .