Drinks industry giants are meeting with the World Health Organisation (WHO) later this month (February 12) to try and forge a global policy on lessening the health damage caused by alcohol.

The meeting follows informal discussions over the past six months; companies attending the meeting manufacture more than half of all alcohol sold.

Globally, alcohol causes 1.8 million deaths, said the WHO, causing 4% of all disease.

The meeting - in Geneva - will brief companies on WHO alcohol initiatives, and the UN agency on relevant corporate social responsibility initiatives. Both sides will exchange views on how to reduce drinking and driving, and on marketing alcohol to young people without promoting binge drinking or dependence.