13 Jun 2017
FCAers at the ‘South-South’ meeting: Eduardo Bianco, Ulysses Dorotheo and Ryan Forrest.
Improving co-operation globally to advance implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was the major focus of a meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay from 8-10 May 2017.
Hosted by the FCTC Secretariat, the meeting assembled delegates from over 20 countries, UNDP, WHO regional and country offices, and non-governmental organisations. FCA was among these participants.
Also attending were representatives of the FCTC knowledge hubs, including the newest one, on Article 5.3. Established by COP7, this knowledge hub will be hosted by Thailand’s Thammasat University. Its main purpose will be to generate, share, and facilitate FCTC Parties’ access to expertise on matters related to tobacco industry interference in public health policymaking.
Creating mutual benefits
In the spirit of Article 22 of the FCTC, south to south cooperation involves the exchange of knowledge between two Parties from the ‘global south’. It can include the transfer of technology, skills, and expertise with the goal of creating mutual benefits for both donor and recipient.
At the meeting, small group discussions gave Parties the opportunity to report on successes translating the FCTC into action, as well as challenges and obstacles faced along the way. An exercise to match needs for assistance and relevant expertise formed the basis for developing more detailed proposals for long-term co-operation.
A number of areas of collaboration were identified, including on effective tobacco taxation and preventing industry interference, to name a few. Participating countries are in the process of elaborating the details of these projects, including the timeframes, the expected outcomes, and the modalities of co-operation. Some projects will also involve ‘triangular’ support provided by the Secretariat, UNDP, or NGOs, including FCA.
Discussions that took place at this meeting will also inform the efforts of the Working Group on Measures to Strengthen Implementation of the Convention through Coordination and Co-operation. COP7 mandated this working group to develop a strategic framework for the FCTC, which should provide guidance on priorities for implementation support to Parties, including south-south and triangular projects and activities.