In 2007, when we started our alcohol policy work in Cambodia together with our awesome member organisation PDP-Center
, we were really not sure where this work would lead us.
But yesterday, seven years later, I had the precious opportunity and tremendous privilege to witness our long-term work bearing fruits. Yesterday, 120 people from the senate, the parliament, universities, researchers, the WHO, civil society organisations like our member organisation KYA
, as well as decision-makers from different ministries of the Royal Government of Cambodia under the leadership of Vice Prime Minister Men Sam An, all came together for the “Consultation on ‘Mechanism Towards The National Alcohol Policy Development'”.
Huge interest shows the urgent need for alcohol policy in Cambodia
And PDP, under the heart-driven leadership of my old friend Kim Eng, was again key to the organisation and coordination of this landmark event.
Mr. Kim Eng together with leading decision-makers
I can say that it actually looks like the decision-makers are united in the move for a proposal that would mean tax increases, regulations of availability and restrictions on alcohol marketing. This is good news after many years of regional, national, and local conferences, workshops and working meetings that we arranged together with the Swedish IOGT-NTO movement
Focused before the key-note speech
Talking (on the left) about alcohol policy’s potential to promote a richer and freer life, development and peace
The discussions yesterday touched upon well-known areas of alcohol harm: gender-based violence, especially domestic and intimate partner violence, road traffic accidents and injuries and accidents at the workplace, the exposure of children and young people to alcohol harm as well as the traditional Buddhist and Khmer values.
Should Cambodia move ahead with the draft as envisioned today, it would surely assume a leadership role in the regional cooperation within ASEAN.