IOGT World Congress Declaration
42 countries, 77 delegates and 320 participants all together took part in the 69th session of the IOGT International World Congress. Together they issued the following declaration:
Make Alcohol Policy Solutions The Priority They Should Be
We, the delegates of the 69thIOGT International World Congress “Future Made Here”, gathered to galvanize fresh momentum in our efforts to tackle alcohol as major obstacle to sustainable development.
We note with alarm the lack of progress in preventing and reducing alcohol harm in countries around the world.
13 of 17 Sustainable Development Goals are adversely affected by alcohol. Every ten seconds a human being dies due to an alcohol-related cause. Globally, alcohol is the leading risk factor for premature death and disability among people between the ages of 15 to 49. Alcohol harm is decimating our families, hurting our communities, undermining our economic productivity, and impeding progress for all. All this is manufactured and fueled by the alcohol industry, their harmful products and unethical business practices, which include tax avoidance, pervasive marketing and industry self-regulation.
Not only is Big Alcohol ruthlessly pursuing profits with no regard for Human Rights, human dignity, and human well-being. The alcohol industry is also engaging in aggressive political activities to undermine, derail and obstruct evidence-based and cost-effective alcohol policy measures that would benefit people and societies.
We are deeply concerned about the fact that our governments are dangerously off track in fulfilling their commitments to promoting a better life for all through tackling alcohol harm.
Independent science shows that the alcohol policy best buys hold considerable and largely untapped potential to promote health, foster development and to protect especially vulnerable groups like children and youth, women and people in deprived and marginalized communities. For example, a $1 investment in the alcohol policy best buy measures generates a return of $9 dollars. These alcohol policy best buys are important tools to help achieve the SDGs.
The lack of progress in policy implementation and enforcement since the adoption of the WHO Global Alcohol Strategy in 2010 make the need for a binding international agreement abundantly clear.
Therefore, we call for the adoption of a Framework Convention on Alcohol Control. In the era of the Agenda 2030, sustainable development will not be possible without renewed and high-level political commitment and persistent, evidence-based action to prevent and reduce alcohol harm.
It is high-time that governments make alcohol policy solutions the priority they should be in order to achieve development for all.