People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
- January 27, 2011
Tobacco Watch update
Two months after COP-4 and nearly a year after the first deadlines, a large number of Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) have still failed to file their phase 2 reports on implementation to the Convention Secretariat. As of the end of January, 18 countries’ reports are at least six months past due, in spite of reminders from the Secretariat and at the COP.
The picture is bleaker than in January 2008, when 13 Parties were more than six months late on their phase 1 reports. Two Parties – Solomon Islands and North Korea – still have not turned in their phase 1 reports, which are now over three and a half years late. Reporting deadlines are tied to a Party’s ratification date.
Reporting is a vital part of the FCTC, as it is in many other treaty mechanisms, allowing for the tracking of implementation and the determination of technical assistance needs. In addition, official reports to the Convention Secretariat are used by the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) to perform its shadow reporting activities, holding governments accountable for their FCTC obligations. (See FCA's 2010 Tobacco Watch report). As the Convention includes no enforcement mechanism, public scrutiny is the best tool to ensure that the promise of the FCTC is fulfilled.
Surprisingly, the list of countries that are late in submitting reports include some tobacco control leaders (such as Iceland, the first country in the world to ban tobacco displays) and others that have recently improved their legislation (such as Spain, which recently extended its ban on indoor smoking to all bars and restaurants). It also includes Peru, which has had one of the strongest smoke-free air laws in its region since 2008.
The following Parties were due to return their phase 2 questionnaires by the end of July 2010, and have failed to do so by the end of January 2011 (in order of ratification date):
- Sri Lanka
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea