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Start of broad collaboration in Greenland on alcohol recommendations

Agathe Fontain, Namminersorlutik Oqartussat
Agathe Fontain

10.06.2024 - The Department of Health has initiated a collaboration with the Center for Public Health in Greenland and WHO/Europe on a project aimed at developing recommendations for a multi-year evidence-based alcohol policy, involving a wide range of other stakeholders.

The work to develop recommendations for an alcohol policy was launched with an online kickoff workshop held from May 14-16. Participants included the Minister for Health, Agathe Fontain, members of the interdepartmental steering group, the advisory committee, and the interdisciplinary working group responsible for the further development of the recommendations.

"It is very important that the work on recommendations for a future alcohol policy happens in broad collaboration and that the recommendations are based on the best available knowledge. Harmful use of alcohol is a complex problem that affects all sectors and all parts of society. Therefore, it is necessary that we work together to find common solutions," says Minister for Health, Agathe Fontain, and continues:

"The goal is for the recommendations to become the foundation for the adoption of a visionary, long-term, and effective national alcohol policy. It is my great hope that, as a country, we can unite around a common vision for the future: A strong people in a safe society where no children or adults are harmed by alcohol."

The Inatsisartut (Greenland Parliament) has tasked the Naalakkersuisut (Government of Greenland) with presenting recommendations for a multi-year evidence-based alcohol policy no later than the spring session of 2025. The recommendations should especially focus on measures that can ensure children do not grow up in families with substance abuse problems and on initiatives that can help break the cycle of social inheritance. The recommendations should also be based on WHO's recommendations for an evidence-based alcohol policy and relevant experiences and evidence from Greenland and other Arctic regions.

This work is anchored as an initiative under Benchmark Four in Inuuneritta III - the Naalakkersuisut's strategy for cooperation on the good life of children 2020-2030. Benchmark Four is about creating safe and good conditions for all children, protecting them from violence and abuse, and ensuring they are not harmed by substances and tobacco.

The work on alcohol recommendations is led by the Department of Health in close collaboration with the Center for Public Health in Greenland and WHO/Europe. The development of recommendations involves broad cooperation with other departments and sectors, aiming to ensure the inclusion of all relevant stakeholders, particularly citizens and municipalities.

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