Federated States of Micronesia – Draft national action plan developed and multisectoral coordination mechanism established

A meeting of national stakeholders took place in the Federated States of Micronesia from 18 to 20 September with a view to developing a multisectoral national tobacco control action plan, along with plans for individual States. Participants represented: the Departments of Justice, Health and Social Affairs, Resources and Development, Finance and Administration, and Foreign Affairs; the Attorney General’s Office; the Senate; and the Judiciary. Members of the national and State tobacco control coalitions also participated, representing civil society.

The Secretary of Health and Social Affairs, Vita Skilling, encouraged participants to develop a comprehensive plan that would tackle the tobacco control priorities of the country, and also emphasized the importance of the recent needs assessment exercise (jointly conducted by the Government and the Convention Secretariat in November 2012). The needs assessment report is being used as a reference to develop the plan, and the workshop is part of the post-needs assessment support being provided by the Convention Secretariat.

The workshop concluded with a draft National Action Plan for Tobacco Control including a vision and guiding principles. It will next be finalized and submitted for Government approval. The workshop also adopted a proposal to introduce legislation on increasing import duty on tobacco products and to allocate 5% of the tax collected on tobacco and other unhealthy products to tobacco control.

Following the needs assessment exercise, the President, Emanuel Mori, also approved the establishment of the Tobacco Control Advisory Council, on which the Departments of Justice, Foreign Affairs, Finance and Administration, Resources and Development, as well as the individual States, will be represented. The Council will act as the multisectoral national coordination mechanism for implementation of the WHO FCTC.

For further information is available from Ms Shra L. Alik, Department of Health and Social Affairs (e-mail: salik@fsmhealth.fm; telephone: +691-320-2643).