The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Australia - again!

Once again Australia has demonstrated a truly global approach to tobacco control by making a financial contribution above and beyond the annual levy on Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Australia's extra-budgetary contribution of A$985,000 will support the work programme agreed by the fifth session of the FCTC Conference of the Parties. This includes the intersessional group to complete draft guidelines on FCTC Article 6 (Price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco) and technical and institutional activities to support the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.

Australia was the first country in the world to adopt plain cigarette packages. That measure was challenged in the country's courts by the tobacco industry, which lost, and has also been taken to the World Trade Organization by countries acting on behalf of the industry.

At the same time, Australia has long supported international tobacco control. In 2011 it made two extra-budgetary contributions to the FCTC, totalling A$777,000.

"Tobacco continues to cause enormous suffering and death which is totally avoidable," said Jane Halton, Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing in the Australian Government, at a meeting in Geneva to mark World No Tobacco Day (May 31).

"We urge other nations to defy the tobacco industry," she added.

The recent contribution will also:

• Fund meetings of both the expert group on Article 19 (Liability) and the working group on sustainable measures to strengthen implementation of the Convention;
• Close the funding gap for participation of low-resource Parties in work on Articles 9 and 10 (Regulation of the contents of tobacco products and Regulation of tobacco product disclosures) and economically sustainable alternatives to tobacco growing (in relation to Articles 17 and 18), and
• Support implementation assistance activities in the Pacific region.

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