25 Jul 2018
The Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) recently announced a limited number of travel grants to select individuals from member organisations in low-and middle-income countries – where more than 1 billion of the world’s smokers live –, to attend the Eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in Geneva.
Applications for the grants closed on July 3 and the FCA will soon notify the selected grantees.
Taking place in Geneva from 1 to 6 October, COP8 will bring together 181 Parties, including the European Union. Momentum is building globally – as shown in the provisional COP8 agenda – to strengthen and accelerate the implementation of the FCTC over the next few years.
For the first time ever, a high level segment will kick-off COP8 proceedings, discuss its inaugural theme – “tobacco and climate change” – and, share insights into how countries, businesses and civil society organisations have taken action.
According to the FCTC Secretariat, COP8 will be “the starting point for a wider application of the WHO FCTC not only for tobacco control, but also as an international treaty to support sustainable development, fight climate change and defend human rights.”
One of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, the tobacco use epidemic requires all hands on deck approach.
With the entry into force of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products on 25 September, governments will have a treaty-based international law in their toolbox, to combat the illicit trade of tobacco products and coordinate their efforts in protecting the health of their populations and significant tax revenue.
The First session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP1) to the Protocol will take place in Geneva from 8 to 10 October, immediately after COP8.
When the WHO FCTC came into force in 2005, it represented a milestone for the future of international health cooperation. The FCTC and the global tobacco control community celebrated a significant achievement – the world’s first modern-day public health treaty.
Among an arsenal of powerful tools to protect the health of their citizens, the treaty requires ratifying nations to implement packaging and labeling provisions, tobacco taxation, smoke-free policies, marketing bans and cessation programs.
Thirteen years later, there has been significant progress made by governments. We are in a position to do more.
About the Author
Mafoya Dossoumon is the Communications Manager for Framework Convention Alliance.