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Monday, February 20, 2012

“We have enough evidence to act. Now!”

More than 1.200 participants attended the first Global Alcohol Policy Conference in Bangkok, Thailand 13-15 February. 59 countries were represented, and a broad range of stakeholders were present; governments, NGOs, researchers, activists and media.

Already in the opening session of the conference, the role of civil society was emphasized. In his opening remarks, Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), called for backing from champions to make things happen: “Do not underestimate the opposition. The alcohol industry is rich and powerful. Commercial interests clash with the most effective measures for reducing harmful drinking. Resistance will come, often from well-financed lobbying groups and resistance will need to be overcome. It is gratifying to see such a strong presence of civil society organizations taking part in this conference. Your voices will be critical in overcoming this resistance and persuading governments to take a strong and decisive stand.” > > > > Read More