How to accelerate FCTC implementation

Actively mobilising political commitment and resources is essential when addressing the challenges facing implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), an FCA report has found.

The report, Strategies for Accelerated Implementation of the Tobacco Control Treaty: Lessons from Key Global Health Initiatives, recommends seven strategies to be considered at the upcoming 6th session of the FCTC Conference of the Parties (COP6) to help boost the treaty’s implementation.

When devising the recommendations, FCA examined approaches that galvanised political and resource commitments to tackle public health concerns such as AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and maternal and child health.

These health concerns were chosen because, in recent decades, they successfully attracted global attention and gained development assistance. However, this has not been the case for the tobacco epidemic.

The seven strategies that FCA recommends are:

  • Identify barriers to treaty implementation: this needs to be first done at the country, then global level.
  • Develop global strategy, costed plans and investment framework: this is critical to informing the resource decisions of the COP and donor community.
  • Advance FCTC implementation via discussions on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) and development: tobacco control and NCDs should be included among the health priorities in the post-2015 development framework.
  • Agree on an FCTC countdown to 2015: a countdown campaign could guide and accelerate country efforts in a time-bound manner.
  • Develop a political strategy for advocacy: awareness-raising activities need to be augmented by active, Party-led advocacy and communication efforts, guided by a political strategy that raises the treaty’s profile globally.
  • Mobilise domestic and international commitment and resources: domestic resources and early external start-up support can accelerate efforts to curb the tobacco epidemic.
  • Set up a multi-sectoral alliance: an FCTC Article 26 coalition could serve as a platform to enhance and defend the tobacco control programmes of parties that are less resourced or vulnerable to tobacco industry attacks.

FCA says that the FCTC COP and the tobacco control movement need to learn from the lessons of other health campaigns when to design similar initiatives, whether they are high level advocacy, long term strategies or well promoted studies on the advantages of tobacco control.

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