European regional meeting on implementation of the WHO FCTC
Forty countries from the WHO European Region, including 39 Parties, one State non-Party, and eight organizations that are observers to the Conference of the Parties (COP), met from 18 to 21 March in Budapest, Hungary to discuss implementation of the WHO FCTC in the Region. The meeting was organized by the Convention Secretariat, in cooperation with and the Government of Hungary, which hosted the event. Several intergovernmental organizations, such as the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the World Bank (via video conference) and the World Customs Organization participated. The Framework Convention Alliance, the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, the World Heart Federation and the World Self-Medication Industry represented civil society. The meeting was convened in cooperation with the WHO Regional Office for Europe.
Participants shared their experiences in implementation of the WHO FCTC, including the challenges faced, and discussed mutual cooperation and the role and possible contributions of international partners in assisting Parties to strengthen implementation of the Convention.
The agenda of the meeting also included an update and discussion of the new EU Tobacco Products Directive which will entail significant developments in the 28 countries of the Region that are members of the EU. In addition, participants discussed ways to promote ratification of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, which was adopted by COP in November 2012.
The outcome document agreed by participants summarizes the main progress, challenges and further steps to be taken to accelerate implementation of the Convention in the Region.
The meeting was convened in line with the workplan adopted by the COP and was financially supported under the EU grant to promote implementation of the Convention.