People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
Payment of assessments owed by Parties of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is improving slowly, according to the latest figures released by the Framework Convention Secretariat.
The number of Parties that have never paid their assessment (known as a voluntary assessed contribution, or VAC) since the system started in 2006-7 has fallen to 22 from 27 in February this year.
Most recently, Cook Islands and Kiribati have provided payments, meaning that all Pacific Island Countries have paid their outstanding contributions (a few of them still owe symbolic amounts such as US$4 or $25, which are presumably transfer fees).
Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Norway and Russia have also paid their VACs.
The total outstanding balance of VACs is $2.66 million as of 31 May 2013.
VACs are crucial to the FCTC, as they represent a predictable and vital cash flow permitting the Secretariat to carry out the work plan agreed by the Conference of the Parties (COP).
Parties’ assessments follow the World Health Organization (WHO) formula based on national income. Hence, the most affluent Parties can pay up to hundreds of thousands of US dollars, while developing countries pay as little as US$116 biennially.
According to the decision from COP5 in November 2012, Parties can pay their dues to the Convention Secretariat through WHO country offices.