The Convention Secretariat’s engagement during the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health

Cape Town, South Africa
6 March 2018

The Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (Convention Secretariat) will be actively involved in the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH 2018) that will take place from the 7th to the 9th of March 2018.

Yesterday the Convention Secretariat had a meeting with the FCTC 2030 parties. Today, the Convention Secretariat will launched the WHO FCTC Secretariat’s Knowledge Hub on Tobacco Taxation and the Tobacco Industry Observatory and the campaign to promote COP8 that will take place from 1-6 October.

The busy week will also include a Convention Secretariat booth located at the Exhibition Area.

March 7 will see the Plenary Opening session of the 17th WCTOH in which Dr Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, the Head of the Convention Secretariat, will deliver a speech. Right after the Plenary Opening, the Convention Secretariat is participating at the Symposium “FCTC at the Crossroads: Directions and Challenges to Strengthening and Accelerating FCTC Implementation and Sustaining Its Impact”. Updates can be followed up on the WHO FCTC website, Facebook and Twitter accounts. The next day, the Convention Secretariat will hold the Symposium “The WHO FCTC Impact Assessment: Methodology, Findings, and Lessons Learned”.

March 8 marks the International Women’s Day. Dr da Costa e Silva and the COP President Ms Preeti Sudan will take the chance to highlight gender issues when implementing tobacco control policies. Their message will be relayed in the WHO FCTC website and on social media platforms. The same day, the Convention Secretariat will release the Information Kit for Delegates to the Conference of the Parties. The kit that has been developed mainly for new delegates to the COP to understand how the COP operates, as well as its practices and procedures.

On the last day of the meeting, the Convention Secretariat is going to launch the Article 19 Toolkit which is a tool designed to present ways that individuals and groups can overcome challenges in implementing Article 19 of the WHO FCTC and bringing claims against the tobacco industry to court. The Toolkit will be launched in a session called “the WHO FCTC as a Shield and Sword in Litigation”.

On the morning of the last day a symposium will be organised on the following themes: “Implementation of Articles 17 and 18 of the WHO FCTC: Taking Action to Protect Tobacco Farmers and the Environment”. The main objective of this symposium is to increase the awareness on the rationale behind the need to implement these Articles, describe the main challenges, present economic tools to estimates costs and share good practices. The Convention Secretariat is also organizing the special session “WHO FCTC: An Accelerator for Sustainable Development”. The core objective of the session is to highlight that tobacco use is not only harmful to health, but uniquely undermines sustainable development efforts across economic, social and environmental dimensions.

The last activity the Secretariat of the WHO FCTC is organizing during the conference is the launch of Toolkit for Parties to implement Article 5.2(a) of the WHO FCTC. The toolkit was developed jointly by UNDP and the Convention Secretariat and will assist in establishing national coordination mechanisms for effective multi-sectoral coordination in tobacco control.