The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

World No Tobacco Day 2011 opinion

This year WNTD is focussing on the FCTC.By FCA Director Laurent Huber
May 31 marks World No Tobacco Day (WNTD 2011). This year’s topic, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), is very timely because of the current economic and political environment.  

If you are a member of the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), then you may have already seen the famous World Health Organization (WHO) slide that proudly states the “FCTC is one of the most rapidly embraced UN treaties”.  If you haven’t seen this slide, take heart in knowing that the treaty, which focuses exclusively on curbing the tobacco epidemic, has been globally embraced.

However, while we have do have good models of FCTC implementation at national levels, overall the world is lagging behind in using the treaty to its full potential.

This is because:

  • The tobacco industry has grown stronger since the treaty was adopted in 2003;
  • There is a lack of political will and leadership;
  • In today’s difficult economic context, resources for implementation are scarce or non-existent;
  • Tobacco control and the treaty are absent from the development agenda, making it very difficult for low-income countries to secure funding from development agencies for FCTC implementation.  

WNTD 2011 provides a unique opportunity to elevate the treaty’s profile, and there are many ways you can get involved.

As FCAers we need to take every opportunity leading up to the United Nations High-level meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCD Summit) on 19-20 September to ensure that accelerated treaty implementation is a priority of the Summit’s outcomes and by extension, in the global development agenda.

Success will result in adequate resources being devoted to the treaty’s implementation, permitting all of us to say proudly: “the FCTC is one of the most rapidly endorsed UN treaties AND one of its most effective, saving future generations from unnecessary deaths and suffering”.  

As an FCA member you can help make this a reality by getting involved with our WNTD 2011 activities, such as:

•    Following and engage in our Tobacco Control for Global Health and Development campaign.
•    Sending us pictures from your WNTD 2011 day events so we can include them in an online global photo slideshow. Find out how to send us your pictures.

•    Using our press release template, which we will distribute shortly with a backgrounder in various languages. The release will cover FCTC successes, challenges, and the support it could receive if it was included in the global development agenda. The press release will also include a place for you to enter information about your organisation’s national/regional FCTC priorities.

Written by Laurent Huber, FCA director

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