People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
- August 11, 2011
Negotiations on the Political Declaration (formerly the Outcomes Document) to be adopted at September's UN Summit on NCDs were last week postponed until 1 September after UN Member States were unable to
come to consensus on the key points: specific commitments – such as
tobacco tax strategies – funding, and follow-up mechanisms.
This move signals ominously the risk that the Summit might not result in strong action on NCDs in general and on tobacco control in particular. However, the delay in drafting provides us with an opportunity to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
Statement from FCA Director Laurent Huber. (Español).
Advocacy during the next 3 weeks (until the end of August) is key to sustaining the momentum we have created to date. We still need to remind governments to:
• send their Heads of State/Government to attend the UN Summit in September;
• commit to specific and time-bound efforts to tackle NCDs, such as national tobacco tax strategies;
• set up a mechanism to follow up on commitments and review progress.
To make the UN Summit successful and ensure that FCTC implementation becomes part of development efforts and receives sufficient development funding, we need to secure a strong text in the Summit final document (now called the NCD Political Declaration). The next three weeks are crucial to achieving this!
Specifically, we need to deliver a message to Member States that the Political Declaration must include strong commitments to:
• New efforts to address risk factors, such as targets for tobacco taxation and salt reduction – the current text contains only generic language regarding previously made commitments; we need the countries to commit to do more;
• Set up national NCD plans and tobacco taxation plans by 2013 to achieve continual and substantial reduction in tobacco consumption, reduce levels of other risk factors, and decrease morbidity and mortality due to NCDs;
• Commit financial resources for NCDs – G77 countries are calling for increased resources through domestic, bilateral and multilateral channels. We need to tell the EU and other donor countries such as Canada and the US to stop opposing such commitments;
• Creation of a global NCD Partnership by 2012 – a mechanism where Member States, all UN agencies, other multilateral institutions, NGOs, and other civil society organisations, where appropriate, can work together to coordinate activities and mobilise resources for NCDs;
• A high-level comprehensive review in 2014 – countries must come together and assess progress on control and prevention of NCDs.
These demands are realistic and based on the practices of other major global health efforts. The NCD Political Declaration needs to contain measurable and time-bound commitments, because without assessment, any progress on the Summit outcomes is impossible. We also need a way to make sure all stakeholders regularly meet and work together. Finally, we want to see how we progress, review and improve our work.
Please act today to ensure that your government stands behind the above commitments.