The ASH Policy Team is in Panama for the Tenth Conference of the Parties (COP10) of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) from February 5 – 10, 2024. They will share updates and progress here for our community to stay engaged and informed throughout COP10.
February 9, 2024 – Today is the second to last day of the 10th Conference of the Parties, and the Parties still have agenda items left to discuss, but they have also gotten through several of their important agenda items.
Yesterday, the government of Ecuador proposed a Decision on the contribution of the FCTC to the promotion and respect of human rights. The initiative was co-sponsored by Palau, Panama, Brazil, and New Zealand. ASH Managing Attorney made a short intervention on behalf of 12 organizations:
The draft decision on Human Rights emphasizes the mutually reinforcing nature of the WHO FCTC, Human Rights treaties, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It provides new opportunities for cooperation among policy-makers from different departments as well as civil society groups. The draft Decision is supportive and assists the tobacco control efforts of national governments; it can be a tool that will help tobacco focal points of national governments in addressing challenges in implementing the WHO FCTC at national level (tobacco industry interference, lack of adequate budgets and resources, for example).
For these reasons, Action on Smoking and Health, African Tobacco Control Alliance, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Coalition for Americas’ Health, Corporate Accountability, European Network for Smoking Prevention, Global Alliance for Tobacco Control, Smokefree Partnership, Southeast Asian Tobacco Control Alliance, Tobacco Control Research Group- University of Bath, The Union for International Cancer Control, and Vital Strategies welcome the proposal by Ecuador, Palau, Panama, New Zealand and Brazil on Human Rights. We recommend that the Parties adopt it as written. Human rights are the basis for tobacco control and certain rights like the right to health can only be fully realized without addictive, health-harming tobacco products.
In addition, Brazil proposed a Decision on Article 18 on the Environment. ASH Executive Director Laurent Huber made an intervention on the floor of the COP.
The draft Article 18 Decision reminds us of the significant negative environmental impact caused by tobacco growing, production, marketing, distribution, consumption and post consumption of tobacco products.
But as mentioned in the most recent Global Progress in Implementation of the WHO FCTC presented to COP 10, Article 18 continues to be weakly implemented at the national level and in addition, this report points out to insufficient intersectoral cooperation and coordination which as a key barrier to FCTC implementation.
For this reason, Action on Smoking and Health, the African Tobacco Control Alliance, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Corporate Accountability International, the European Network for Smoking Prevention, the Global Alliance for Tobacco Control, Tobacco Control Research Group- University of Bath, the Union for International Cancer Control, Smoke Free Partnership, the South East Asia Tobacco Control Alliance and Vital Strategies welcome the draft Article 18 Decision as it will help increase synergy and cooperation between the FCTC and UN environmental mechanisms, while respecting their respective mandates, to achieve globally agreed upon UN Human Rights and Development goals and objectives, including progress towards the 2030 UN Development Agenda.
We continue to be pleased with the strategic side events we were able to host and join, and we look forward to seeing the results of that work in closing plenary – just one day away!