People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
- February 23, 2015
FCA Policy Director<
With the adoption of Article 6 guidelines at COP6, we now have guidelines for all the demand-side articles of the FCTC. As a result, guidelines work is unlikely to be the main focus of the next few COP sessions. Rather, we expect a focus on implementation issues.
2015 provides a good opportunity for all of us to prepare for this new stage in FCTC evolution.
One of the areas where work needs to advance in 2015 is reporting and, more broadly, the monitoring of Parties’ compliance with their FCTC obligations.
Already at COP2, the FCA was pushing for an implementation review mechanism (IRM) – a system whereby Parties look at individual Parties’ reports, note problems, discuss ways to overcome obstacles to implementation, and so on.
At COP6, the Secretariat presented a report on the issue. But rather than immediately establish such a mechanism, Parties decided to set up an expert group with a broad mandate to look at the FCTC reporting system. The experts will be appointed later this year and convene a meeting in later 2015 or early 2016.
A second stream of work revolves around the “sustainable measures” working group. In essence, it is essential that Parties, the Secretariat, and anybody else who can help, to think seriously about the gap between Parties’ legal obligations and the actual pace of FCTC implementation, and take practical steps to closing that gap.
FCTC implementation is crucial for all of us – after all, many FCA members spend much of their time advocating for national implementation, for example by pushing for legislation on smoke-free places, tax increases or pictorial health warnings.
The final stream of work to highlight has to do with discussions at the United Nations about the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) – the world’s to-do list, set to replace the 2000 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they are adopted in September of this year.
In the 10 years since the FCTC came into effect, one of the big obstacles to getting official development aid for tobacco control has been the lack of any mention of tobacco in the MDGs. We’re very hopeful this oversight will get fixed this year.