08 Nov 2016
Unfortunately, the format of an interim report has changed compared to documents submittted to previous COP sessions. In particular, whereas the interim performance report for 2014-2015 (FCTC/COP/7/23) gives a clear indication of the status of progress on each individual workplan activity, the current interim report gives an overview of what the Secretariat has undertaken so far in 2016.
The 2016-17 interim report also does not provide a breakdown of the status of the budget in the first six months of the workplan. In the 2014-15 interim report, a chart was included to clearly communicate total revenues, expenditures and funds available. Before Parties will be able to discuss what needs to be done in 2017 and whether there are sufficient funds for this work, Parties may benefit from additional detail.
Parties may also want to wait for COP7 decisions which will have direct implications for the Secretariat’s workplan in 2017. There are two decisions, in particular, that FCA anticipates will require updates to the existing 2016-2017 workplan and budget.
First, under agenda 5.1, the COP will need to take a decision on how to step up global, regional and countrylevel efforts to address illicit trade in tobacco products and ensure timely preparations for the first session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP1) to the illicit Trade Protocol. The earliest that MOP1 could take place is in late 2018, which will be immediately before or after COP8. FCA therefore recommends that COP7 establish an an inter-sessional mechanism, such as an inter-governmental working group (IGWG), so that FCTC Parties have an opportunity to begin work on addressing key issues on ITP implementation in 2017.
Second, under agenda item 6.1, COP7 will consider document FCTC/ COP/7/15, the report of the expert group on reporting arrangements under the FCTC. In its report, the expert group calls for the establishment of an Implementation Review Committee to enable a systematic review of Parties’ biannual implementation reports. This will provide the COP with a better understanding of the difficulties Parties face in putting the Treaty into effect, and can enable guidance on how to improve and accelerate implementation. FCA recommends that COP establish this implementation review mechanism (IRM). In order for the IRM to deliver its work ahead of COP8, the Committee will need to undertake activities already in 2017. Parties should ensure that sufficient funding is allocated to operationalize the IRM immediately following COP7 and that the budget and workplan for 2016- 2017 is amended accordingly.