IOGT International welcomes the comprehensive report and applauds WHO for its work to help make NCDs and the risk factors the global priority they should be. The high-level side event on alcohol policy, NCDs and SDGs and the launch of the WHO-led SAFER initiative were brilliant achievements at the HLM last September. IOGT International also welcomes the actions outlined to support Member States in accelerating implementation of the 2018 Political Declaration on NCDs.
One major obstacle to implementation of the best buys is proving to be the alcohol industry. Engagement with the alcohol industry should remain limited to their core roles as stipulated by the WHO Global Alcohol Strategy. We do not think that it is accurate to describe the dialogue with the alcohol industry as consultation in preparation of the High-Level Meeting. Furthermore, holding dialogue meetings with the alcohol industry twice per year is too much, given the limited resources otherwise available to support Member States in NCDs prevention and control on country level.
We call on the Secretariat to better support Member States in the implementation of all cost-effective interventions to help achieve SDG 3.4 and contribute significantly to reaching other SDGs, such as poverty eradication, the elimination of violence, sustainable consumption or building more economically productive societies. Fiscal measures and removing subsidies from health-harmful industries should be core elements of such technical support.
Securing sustainable financing for NCDs is an urgent priority. Despite the large health, economic, and social burden of NCDs and the risk factors, the response remains disproportionately underfunded. Sustained financing of NCDs prevention and control is a fundamental component to achieve health and development for all. We encourage WHO and Member States to show by way of resource allocation that NCDs and the risk factors have in fact become the priority they should be.