Global Alcohol Policy Conference 2015

October 22, 2015

More than 400 delegates from 55 countries gathered in Edinburgh, Scotland for the Global Alcohol Policy Conference (GAPC) entitled Momentum for change: research and advocacy reducing alcohol harm. GAPC plenaries and concurrent sessions focused on the following themes: implementing effective alcohol policies, the barriers to implementing effective alcohol policies, building support for protecting children’s right to grow up free from alcohol marketing, and building a global network. Sarah Mart and Michael Scippa represented Alcohol Justice at GAPC.

The GAPC declaration reaffirms commitment to, and calls for action on, the following:

  • evidence-based actions to reduce alcohol-related harm worldwide;
  • a specific indicator of consumption or harm in monitoring progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • implementation of population-wide measures to curb consumption in reducing harm;
  • the rights of children to grow up safe from alcohol-related harm;
  • WHO global strategies on alcohol and on non-communicable diseases, including the three "best buys" and proven drink-driving reduction strategies;
  • protecting government ability to implement evidence-based public health policies regarding alcohol, through strengthening existing instruments or negotiation of a binding public health-oriented global agreement to address alcohol-related harm, independent of commercial interests in alcohol;
  • the need to restrict alcohol marketing in all forms, and implementation and evaluation of minimum pricing where appropriate;
  • protection of public health and alcohol control policies from commercial and other vested interests of the alcohol industry;
  • recognition of alcohol's significant role in injuries, infectious diseases, cancer and a wide range of non-communicable diseases, and mental health and social harms;
  • provision of funding from the global philanthropic community to national and international NGOs and research organizations to match the burden of alcohol on health worldwide.

Alcohol causes 3.3 million deaths a year, is the fifth leading cause of death and disability worldwide, and is the leading cause of death and disability for young people ages 15-24 in much of the world. It also causes multiple types of harm to nondrinkers including violence and injury, birth defects, and negative impact on family budgets. See Alcohol: a global concern, a 16-minute film by Alcohol Focus Scotland that premiered at, and was produced for, the conference.

Click here to view Sarah Mart's presentation

Click here to view Michael Scippa's presentation