“Taking place in Geneva from 1 to 6 October, the Eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) will focus on topics such as the shaping of a medium-term strategic framework, which will determine the actions to be taken by the Parties over the next five years, and the advances and challenges revealed in the Global Progress Report on Implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The Conference will also be the starting point for a wider application of the WHO FCTC not only for tobacco control, but also as an international treaty to support sustainable development, fight climate change and defend human rights.
Indeed, various steps in the production and disposal of tobacco products harm the environment and contribute to global warming. In addition, people involved in tobacco growing can become ill from “green tobacco sickness” – a type of nicotine poisoning that occurs while handling tobacco plants.
The Conference of the Parties has already taken several decisions towards implementation of the WHO FCTC article 17&18 of the treaty. Furthermore, Parties have engaged in promoting sustainability what has prompted UN member states to include the WHO FCTC as a target in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
On June 27 the conditions for the entry into force of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (the Protocol) have been met, making this historical moment another step in the battle against the tobacco epidemic. A natural extension of the Convention, the Protocol presents a comprehensive set of tools to fight illicit trade, among them, the establishment of a tracking and tracing system, as well as measures to promote international cooperation, including sanctions and law enforcement. The First session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP1) to the Protocol is set to take place in Geneva from 8 to 10 October, immediately after COP8.
Finally, with COP8 followed by MOP1 nearing, related documents for Party delegates will be published, and a dedicated web page is now available with a software application soon becoming available.
October will be a very important month for global tobacco control; let’s also make it an unforgettable month.”