06 Oct 2018
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – 6 October 2018 – After a week of lively and sometimes frustrating negotiations at the eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), Parties took a gigantic step forward for FCTC implementation by endorsing the first ever Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control and adopting it as proposed. This adoption is historic because it identifies priorities through 2025, with the clear and ambitious objective of sharply reducing tobacco use prevalence by 30% by 2025.
The Global Strategy serves as a roadmap to help the COP, the FCTC Secretariat and individual Parties organise their work and raise funds for implementing tobacco control measures. The Strategy will ensure that COP sessions remain focused on the tobacco control measures with the highest impact on reducing tobacco-related death and disability. It can also help to build cooperation and raise the visibility of the treaty among external stakeholders.
The newly adopted Strategy includes a Party-driven pilot project for an Implementation Review Mechanism (IRM) which was the result of extensive collaboration between Parties and civil society in advance of COP8. The FCTC IRM involves peer-review of Parties’ biannual implementation reports, with an eye to identifying and sharing good practices, helping Parties understand where they might improve their tobacco control policy formulation, implementation or enforcement, and providing a focus for follow-up assistance. The pilot should start in 2019, ensuring that we continue working together on the Strategy’s implementation at national level.
Despite regular tobacco industry interference, civil society and most delegations remained focused on tobacco control measures proven to be effective, such as raising tobacco taxes and banning all tobacco advertising, marketing, promotion, and sponsorship.
Parties also agreed on a Working Group to provide guidance on cross-border advertising and depiction of tobacco in entertainment media, taking account of technological advances in communications. The FCTC Secretariat was mandated to create an online information hub to facilitate exchange between Parties on tobacco advertising activities. Another significant decision was the reaffirmation that Parties must apply the FCTC to novel and emerging tobacco products, such as heated tobacco products.
As of COP9, Parties will submit mandatory statements that their delegations are free from tobacco industry interests, in line with Article 5.3 guidelines. This is a historic decision and reflects the unique nature of the FCTC and its mandate to protect public health from the vested interests of the tobacco industry. NGO and IGO representatives will also have to submit individual declaration of interests forms; and a screening process for members of the media and the public has been established.
FCA thanks its funders for supporting the work of our global team at COP8. We appreciate their dedication and support for the adoption of the Global Strategy and for building a world free from tobacco-related death and disease.
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Media Contact: Megan Arendt
About Framework Convention Alliance (FCA)
Framework Convention Alliance works to rid the world from the devastating health, social, economic and environmental consequences of tobacco and tobacco use. With nearly 500 non-government member organizations from over 100 countries, the Alliance grew out of civil society’s participation in the work that produced the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005, the first modern-day public health treaty. FCA is a leading advocate for including the FCTC and tobacco control in the international health and development framework, including the Sustainable Development Goals. The Alliance is an influential voice for civil society at the FCTC Conference of the Parties.