Outline of the process that lead to the WHO Global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol
During the Sixty-third session of the World Health Assembly, held in Geneva in May 2010, the 193 Member States of WHO reached an historical consensus on a global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol by adopted resolution WHA63.13. The adopted resolution and endorsed strategy gives guidance to both Member States and to the WHO Secretariat on ways to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.
The drafting of the strategy was mandated in resolution WHA61.4 from 2008 and the drafting process involved the following activities and timeline:
Broad consultation process
3 October - 15 November 2008:
Web-based consultation (WHO public hearings) with Member States and other stakeholders on ways of reducing harmful use of alcohol.
6. November 2008:
Roundtable meeting with economic operators.
24-25 November 2008:
Roundtable meeting with NGOs and health professionals on ways they could contribute to reducing harmful use of alcohol.
8 September 2009:
Consultation with intergovernmental organizations.
Consultations with intergovernmental organizations and UN agencies are planned for 8 September 2009.
Draft strategy development for consideration by the WHO Executive Board in January 2010 and presentation to World Health Assembly in May 2010
February - May 2009:
WHO regional technical consultations with Member States took place in all six WHO regions to ensure the effective collaboration with Member States on developing a draft global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol. Ongoing national and sub-regional processes, national needs, priority areas for global actions and coordination was discussed, as well as examples of best practices with special emphasis on at-risk populations, young people and those affected by the harmful drinking of others.
May - August 2009:
The WHO Secretariat produced and sent out to Member States for their feedback a working document for developing a draft global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol. The working document is based on the outcomes of the regional consultations with Member States and consultative process with other stakeholders and contains relevant background information, as well as a proposed vision, objectives and target areas for action by Member States.
An informal consultation with Member Status took place 8 October 2009 in Geneva to discuss feedback from Member States on the working document in continuation of the consultation and collaboration process with Member States on developing a draft global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol.
October - November 2009:
Preparation of the draft of the global strategy on harmful use of alcohol to be included in the documentation for the 126th Executive Board meeting to be held in January 2010. A draft global strategy was annexed to the Report by the Secretariat. The documentation also contained an evidence annex. The referred bibliography of the main sources of evidence available on harmful use of alcohol is available through the link below.
18–23 January 2010: EXECUTIVE BOARD 126th Session
At its 126th session in January 2010 the Executive Board discussed the draft global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol that had been prepared on the basis of available evidence and the outcomes of consultations with Member States and stakeholders, and in collaboration with Member States, as requested in resolution WHA61.4. The Board adopted resolution EB126.R11 in which it recommended the World Health Assembly to endorse the global strategy. The draft global strategy presented to the World Health Assembly was amended in the light of comments made by the Board.
17–22 May 2010: SIXTY-THIRD WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY
The Health Assembly considered the draft resolution contained in resolution EB126.R11, which endorses a draft global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol. Strategies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol was item 11.10 on the provisional agenda. For the first time, delegations from all 193 Member States of World Health Organization reached consensus at the World Health Assembly on a strategy to confront the harmful use of alcohol and adopted resolution WHA63.13. The endorsed strategy is available via links to the right. Resolution WHA63.13 Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol is available below in:
For queries about the process of implementation of the WHA61.4 resolution and development of a draft global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol:
World Health Organization
Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster (NMH)
20, Avenue Appia
CH-1211 Geneva 27
Dr Vladimir Poznyak
Management of Substance Abuse
Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Tel: +41 22 791 43 07
Fax: +41 22 791 48 51