People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
FCTC: Action Now! Campaign
- December 7, 2011
Palau recently underwent the third needs assessment (NA) in a Pacific Island country that is Party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
Organised by the Framework Convention Secretariat (FCS) and the WHO WPRO Representative Office in Fiji, the assessment took place over three days. The first two days included discussions between FCS representatives and elected and government officials (particularly tobacco control program staff of the Ministry of Health).
On the final day, stakeholders such as the Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) were invited to a meeting to discuss the implementation status of each substantive Article of the Treaty and further steps towards full implementation of the FCTC. The Coalition for a Tobacco Free Palau participated in the stakeholder session.
“The needs assessment process proved to be a critical first step in determining strategies to access international development assistance for FCTC implementation in Palau,” said FCA’s Coordinator for Pacific Island Countries, Annabel Lyman.
“Each person who attended the stakeholder meeting went away with a greater understanding and appreciation of tobacco control issues and a commitment to strengthen tobacco control efforts in the region,” added Annabel.
One immediate outcome of the assessment was the decision to establish a national coordinating mechanism to track FCTC implementation and reporting requirements.
The NA mission in Palau took place thanks to extrabudgetary contributions provided earlier this year by the Australian Government and two Australian nongovernmental organisations – Cancer Council Australia and the National Heart Foundation of Australia. More NAs in the region should be carried out in the future. An additional grant from European Commission was also announced this year. According to available materials, further 30 NAs will be carried in 2012-2013 to support FCTC implementation.
FCA members in low and middle-income countries should encourage their government to request a needs assessment from the Convention Secretariat, and themselves plan to join the mission.