10 Nov 2016
Parties are committed to implementation, and by including key priorities within the workplan, they can advance and accelerate harm reduction in time to meet this global deadline. One of the steps to success will be creating and launching an implementation review committee as proposed under agenda item 6.1. The committee would provide a systematic review of implementation reports and guidance on how to improve and accelerate efforts to reduce tobacco use prevalence.
The effectiveness of this committee would be furthered by allowing nations to share and monitor global progress on implementation through the creation of an expert-driven mechanism— an implementation review mechanism, or IRM- compile such information and report on the global progress.
However, implementation is not possible without adequate resources. If they are to be effective, both initiatives must be adequately funded. Also, the Secretariat should be mandated to play an active role in mobilising resources for further implementation. Through a system of review, Parties’ needs could be identified, prioritized and formally communicated from the Secretariat to donors and potential donors.
The increased role of the Secretariat would allow for additional key strategies to be included in the workplan including:
• Travel support to meetings of the FCTC COP for low- and middle-income countries, so that those who bear the greatest burden of tobacco-related deaths are a part of the ongoing discussions; • Support for the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade Products (ITP) so that the Meeting of the Parties (MOP1) can take place swiftly after the treaty comes into force (after 40 countries sign on)
• A knowledge hub for Article 5.3 that would track tobacco industry interference in political systems around the world.
To carry out these crucial and necessary activities, FCA recommends that the Secretariat’s budget proposal be adopted with the proposed increase in the Voluntary Assessed Contribution. FCA also proposes that the FCTC workplan create an ongoing, multistakeholder finance dialogue, similar to that of the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to assist the Secretariat in further identifying and addressing member resource needs.
While these discussions may be difficult, the workplan and budget must reflect implementation plans and provide adequate resources if the FCTC hopes to save the lives it has fought so hard for., guidelines alone are not enough.