October 3, 2018 — Fifteen years after the World Health Assembly adopted the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), Parties to the treaty once again find themselves in Geneva faced with the opportunity to make history once again.
At the eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which commenced on Monday (October 1) to October 6, in Geneva, Switzerland, Parties will be presented with an opportunity to adopt the first ever Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control.
This is a roadmap for accelerated progress on tobacco control and towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3a.
The World Health Organization’s SDG 3a is meant to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages, with the SGD’s targeted for the year 2030.
Gobal anti-tobacco group-Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) notes that while much progress has been achieved in 15 years, much work still remains to be done to address gaps and obstacles in FCTC implementation, and prevent the increases in tobacco use prevalence that are predicted to occur in many regions of the world in the coming years.
“FCA emphasizes that the Global Strategy will be an important tool to coordinate the efforts of the global community to make concrete progress towards a world free from the tobacco epidemic,” it said in a communiqué’.
“The Strategy outlines a few WHO FCTC time-bound priorities and a roadmap for immediate action. For the next five years, it will help guide and amplify ongoing national tobacco control efforts and leverage the good will of the international community. We implore Parties to discuss and adopt this document as a matter of priority this week,” FCA added.
Renowned international corporate lawyer and strategist Thomas F. McInerney is among those in attendance.
An expert in treaty strategic management, McInerney is experienced in managing legal affairs for organizations and companies operating in multiple jurisdictions and designing, implementing, and improving multilateral treaties and regulatory systems.
He is the founder and director of Treaty Effectiveness Initiative (TEI).
McInerney is pitted to be a key instrument in making Parties understand the proposed FCTC Global Strategy alongside FCA staff attending the COP8.
The FCA 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.
Kenya is among countries that have shown commitment in implementation of the WHO-FCTC.
The East Africa nation has so far made significant progress through enactment of the Tobacco Control Act in 2007. The country gazetted the Tobacco Control Regulations in 2015, which ban advertisement of tobacco products.
It also enforced the use of “scary” pictorial on cigarette packs in July 2016 to discourage smoking and tobacco use.
Epidemiologists,scientists who study diseases within populations of people, forecast one billion deaths from tobacco in the course of the 21st century.