12 South American states to act as a bloc on COP5 issues

16 Oct 2012

Bolivia’s proposal was unanimously adopted by the UNASUR.

The proposal also suggested the nations speak in one voice on issues related to implementation of the FCTC and FCTC administrative matters. As a result, UNASUR countries are expected to develop common positions on issues such as FCTC Mechanisms of Assistance (Needs Assessments), official travel support and international cooperation, including South-South cooperation.

Countries at the UNASUR meeting also agreed to work together on scientific and technical cooperation and on the exchange of information related to tobacco control. Support for these activities may be sought at COP5 to ensure that available resources are allocated for regional mechanisms for cooperation on FCTC implementation.

South American civil society supported the decisions taken at the meeting. “We are delighted to see UNASUR taking the lead in intergovernmental cooperation on tobacco control. Such activities are in the spirit of Article 5.5 of the FCTC, which encourages Parties to cooperate through regional bodies such as UNASUR to achieve the objectives of the Convention,” said Dr. Dennis Rada, a tobacco control expert from Bolivia.

Countries such as Bolivia and Uruguay, (both UNASUR member states), face numerous challenges as they progress on turning FCTC’s measures into national policies. Not only do they have limited domestic resources, but they are increasingly being targeted by the tobacco industry. “Regional cooperation becomes critical for middle and low-income countries as they implement tobacco control,” said Eduardo Bianco, FCA’s regional director.

UNASUR is a regional body of 12 Latin American states whose objective is to build cooperation among its peoples in the cultural, social, economic and political fields. Prioritizing political dialogue, UNASUR aims to eliminate socioeconomic inequality in order to achieve social inclusion, and stresses participation of civil society, strengthening of democracy and the sovereignty of its member states.

For further information contact:

  • Dr. Eduardo Bianco – Director of FCA, Americas region biancoe@fctc.org;
  • Dr. J. Dennis Rada – Inter American Heart Foundation dr.denis_rada@hotmail.com.

For more information, in Spanish, regarding:

Bolivia’s proposal to UNASUR;

UNASUR’s VII Ordinary Meeting of the South American Health Council of UNASUR in Bolivia;

UNSAUR.

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