18 Aug 2008
The negotiation, ratification and entry into force of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) represents a remarkable achievement in global public health. The FCTC is the world’s first modern-day global public health treaty and has the potential to save millions of lives across the globe. If it is to live up to its promise, however, the FCTC must be fully implemented by its Parties as quickly and as effectively as possible.
While comprehensive tobacco control laws, policies and programmes are highly cost-effective, their implementation requires a combination of financial resources, infrastructure, and expertise which presents difficulties to many countries. Developing countries and countries with economies in transition face particular challenges in effectively implementing the commitments they have made under the FCTC. The result is that lives are lost unnecessarily and economies suffer heavy and avoidable losses.
International cooperation to build capacity and mobilize resources for implementation of the FCTC – including at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels – will be critical to its success in protecting present and future generations from the tobacco epidemic. Parties to the FCTC acknowledge ‘that tobacco control at all levels and particularly in developing countries and in countries with economies in transition requires sufficient financial and technical resources commensurate with the current and projected need for tobacco control activities’ (Preamble), and agree to be guided by the principle that: ‘ International cooperation, particularly transfer of technology, knowledge and financial assistance and provision of related expertise, to establish and implement effective tobacco control programmes … is an important part of the Convention’ (Article 4.3) .