People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
Under Article 23 of the FCTC, the COP is mandated to keep the implementation of the Convention under regular review and to take the decisions necessary to promote effective implementation. Towards this end, the COP shall promote and facilitate the exchange of information, consider Parties' periodic reports, and adopt regular reports on the implementation of the Convention. The COP has recognized that Parties' periodic reporting will form the basis for consideration on implementation of the Convention, and will enable Parties to understand and learn from each other's experience in implementing the Convention by providing details of the progress being made.
Under Article 21, the COP is mandated to determine the frequency and format of Parties' periodic reports, and to consider arrangements to assist developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition, upon request, in meeting their reporting obligations. At its first session ( Geneva , Switzerland , 6-17 February 2006), the COP decided to adopt a graduated reporting system:
- Within two years of entry into force of the FCTC for a Party, the Party is to report on ‘Group 1' questions: questions relating to ‘core items of data, legislation, taxation and funding for implementation activities and selected optional questions. The current format for this initial report (pending a decision by the third session of the COP) is the provisional format adopted by the first session of the COP and revised by the Convention Secretariat as requested by the second session of the COP (Bangkok, Thailand, 30 June – 6 July 2007) . A timeline for the submission of initial reports is available on the website of the Convention Secretariat.
- Within five years of entry into force of the FCTC for a Party, the Party is to report on ‘Group 2' questions: more complex or detailed ‘core' and ‘optional' questions. The format for this second report is to be considered by the COP at its third session (Durban, South Africa, 17-22 November 2008), based on a draft to be elaborated on by the Convention Secretariat as requested by the second session of the COP.
- Within eight years of entry into force of the FCTC for a Party, the Party is to report on ‘Group 3' questions: more complex or detailed ‘core' and ‘optional' questions. The format for this third report is to be considered by the COP at its fourth session.
To enable Parties to benefit from each other's experience and to facilitate access to examples of best practice in specific areas of tobacco control (including by non-Parties which may be seeking information to allow them to take effective steps in tobacco control), Parties' reports are made available on the website of the Convention Secretariat. The Convention Secretariat is expected to provide feedback to each reporting Party, and to provide an annual summary analysis that reflects international and regional progress in implementation of the FCTC, highlights significant achievements, and reflects the spirit of shared learning. The Secretariat's first synthesis of Party reports was submitted to the second session of the COP.
The first session of the COP decided that the COP will conduct an independent assessment of the above reporting arrangements in 2009, and will further consider the matter of reporting in 2010. As noted by the Secretariat in its synthesis presented to the second session of the COP (and in its note on reporting and exchange of information presented to the first session of the COP), the COP may wish to consider, in the longer term, the establishment of a subsidiary body to undertake assessment and analysis of Parties' reports, as occurs under many existing treaties with similar systems of national reporting on implementation.