People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
- June 19, 2015
On 26-27 May, civil society and the private sector gathered at the United Nations (UN) to share with governments their views on the post-2015 development agenda.
Several FCA members took part in the event, and Patricia Lambert from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids spoke on behalf of FCA. She promoted tobacco taxes as a “win-win” solution for governments and sustainable development.
Tobacco taxes reduce tobacco use, thereby improving health, and can contribute to domestic sources of funding for sustainable development. Tobacco taxes should not be controversial, added Patricia, as 179 countries have committed to them by ratifying the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
“As we prepare for the meeting in Addis*, we must make sure that this solution does not fall off the table,” said Patricia. Watch her full statement here at 2:24:29.
NGOs organise in Brazil
In Brazil on June 10-11, FCA Board member Monica Andreis of ACT participated in a meeting about the SDGs with government, UN agencies and other civil society organizations. The NGOs agreed that it is important to ensure civil society’s participation in the post-2015 process, and created a working group to monitor and discuss SDGs approval and implementation.
The NGOs also plan to engage in a meeting in June on SDGs indicators and be part of the Brazilian delegation to the UN General Assembly in September, as well as the Financing for Development conference in July.
As shown by the attached graphic, we already have achieved some success in elevating tobacco control to the top of the global to-do list for the next 15 years. Now it’s time for the tobacco control community to get ready for action at the country level.
SDGs must be in national plans
After the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September, countries will need to start implementing the goals and targets. Tobacco control advocates must make sure that governments include the target on tobacco control (target 3a under the third goal, on health) in their national development plans.
In addition, global work will continue until March 2016 on SDGs indicators. Currently, tobacco prevalence is included as a top priority indicator. However, the SDG monitoring framework would be strengthened by adding an additional indicator to monitor progress on tobacco control interventions, such as tobacco taxation.
Now is the time for all tobacco control advocates to engage with government colleagues to discuss how tobacco control can be included in NATIONAL sustainable development strategies.
*Third International Conference on Financing for Development, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13-16 July 2015.