People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
- September 2, 2014
Now that the global commitments and infrastructure are in place to tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs), countries need to focus on implementing specific interventions at regional and country levels.
The upcoming WHO Regional Committee Meetings (RCMs) provide a unique opportunity for countries to advance the global commitments and tailor action to their specific needs. FCA is delighted to see that most of the RCMs feature NCDs and tobacco control on their agendas.*
For example, the RCM for South-East Asia will discuss the Regional action plan and targets for prevention and control of NCDs (2013–2020). Member States are expected to review a proposal to establish national NCD targets and develop national costed NCD plans. FCA fully supports these steps and Alliance Board member Iqbal Masud will deliver FCA’s statement during the meeting.
The WHO Regional Committee for Europe is expected to endorse the Ashgabat Declaration of December 2013, which specifies that European countries share the ambition of moving towards a tobacco-free Europe. The proposed decision further requests the regional office to develop a European action plan for achieving the global target on tobacco use in the region, and to strengthen technical support to Member States in attaining all global NCD targets.
FCA will support these proposals, but will urge Member States and WHO to make further efforts to protect health policy from the vested interests of the tobacco industry.
Preparations for the remaining four RCMs are still underway, and FCA will develop its positions for these meetings in due time. In particular, we plan to promote the outcomes of FCTC COP6 at the meetings scheduled for late October and November.
WHO Regional Committees will meet on the following dates:
- 9-12 September: Regional Committee for South-East Asia (in Dhaka, Bangladesh)
- 15-18 September: Regional Committee for Europe (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- 29 September-3 October: Regional Committee for the Americas (Washington D.C., USA)
- 13-17 October: Regional Committee for the Western Pacific (Manila, Philippines)
- 19-22 October: Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean (Tunis, Tunisia)
- 3-7 November: Regional Committee for Africa (Cotonou, Benin).
* Tobacco use is the one risk factor common to four major NCDs: cancers, cardiovascular and lung disease, and diabetes.
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