People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
As usual, FCA will have a team of experienced advocates at the upcoming Intergovernmental Negotiating Body on a Protocol on Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (INB5). We will also publish the Bulletin daily newspaper and organise the Death Clock ceremony.
A pre-INB briefing will be held for FCA members at Maison des associations on the afternoon of 28 March.
Going into this final meeting of the INB, FCA will focus on the following issues:
- Highlight the need to start looking seriously at technical assistance and capacity building needs for successful ITP implementation;
- The need to take action on illegal manufacturing, including via controls on key inputs;
- Governance issues for the Protocol, including the relationship between the ITP Meeting of Parties and the FCTC Conference of the Parties and the relationship with other international organisations;
- The application of Article 5.3 to the Protocol, in particular how to achieve transparency and keep illicit trade control efforts free of industry interference, as well as avoid diversion of resources into enforcement of the industry's intellectual property;
- Ensure that any mutual legal assistance and extradition provisions in the Protocol do not weaken other existing arrangements, particularly the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
"Adoption of the Illicit Trade Protocol at COP5 will be just the start of the process," says FCA Policy Director Francis Thompson.
"Controlling illicit trade requires international and multi-sectoral co-operation, with involvement from customs, law enforcement, justice, finance, revenue and health authorities. To increase tobacco taxes successfully, some Parties will need to build up their tax administration and collection capacity," he adds.
"This is a long-term effort that will need resources, planning, expertise – and a strong and vocal civil society to counter tobacco industry interference," Thompson says.
See WHO's INB page.