Public hearing on agricultural diversification and alternative crops to tobacco for the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC)
New deadline for submissions: 20 February 2007, 18h00 GMT
Please note: new registration form
15 January 2007 | Geneva - The World Health Organization's (WHO) Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), acting as the interim secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), will hold a one-day public hearing on agricultural diversification and crop alternatives to tobacco on 26 February 2007 in the WHO office in Brasilia, Brazil. This hearing will take place one day before the first meeting of the ad-hoc study group on alternative crops, following the decision taken by the first Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC, the first global tobacco control treaty.
WHO: Public and private-sector organizations and institutions, non-governmental organizations, tobacco farmers' and workers' associations, as well as the tobacco industry1, from anywhere in the world, can present their views for discussion during the one-day hearing.
WHERE: WHO office in Brasilia, Setor de Embaixadas Norte, Lote 19, 70800-400 - Brasilia, D.F., Brazil.
WHEN: The hearing will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on 26 February 2007. Interested parties are invited to present their views during the day. These will be based on their written submissions accepted in advance.
Registration is now open to attend the hearing, either as a journalist or as a participant. The first step for those wishing to participate is to submit a written statement. Please note that only those participants who have submitted statements in writing by the deadline stated below will be invited to make an oral statement at the hearing.
Those who wish to attend the hearing but do not wish to make a statement, including journalists, can register using the registration form (please see Related links).
HOW TO PARTICIPATE AS AN INTERESTED PARTY
Interested parties can participate in one of the two following ways:
- Submit a written statement only (please see Pre-hearing submissions).
- Submit a written statement and present it during the hearing on the day (in person or with a pre-recorded video). (Please see Speaking at the hearing).
1. Pre-hearing submissions
Beginning 15 January, WHO will accept written statements from all interested institutions in any of the six official Conference of the Parties languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). The deadline for receiving submissions has been extended to 17h00 GMT+1, 20 February 2007. Submissions should be faxed (+41 22 791 4832), emailed (firstname.lastname@example.org) or posted to Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), WHO, 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland. All submissions should be sent to TFI using the interested organization's letterhead.
Submissions, addressing the topic of agricultural diversification and crop alternatives to tobacco, must not exceed five (5) pages (standard size paper and type), including attachments. Submissions may be made by public and private-sector organizations, as well as non-governmental organizations and institutions. Each submitting organization will be limited to one comment each.
Each comment must clearly identify:
- the submitting organization or institution (comment to be submitted on the organization's letterhead)
- the scope of activities or mandate of the organization
- the organization's interest in this particular study group on crop alternatives to tobacco
- the source of funding of the commenting/submitting organization.
2. Speaking at the hearing or sending a video with recorded statement
In order to be granted a scheduled time to speak at the hearing, a written submission must be received by the deadline. WHO must receive all submissions by the 20 February 2007 deadline, which will not be extended. All submissions received will be made publicly available on the WHO website in advance of the hearing.
A panel comprising members of the interim secretariat of the WHO FCTC, WHO and Parties to the WHO FCTC will moderate the proceedings. Each speaker may speak between five to ten minutes. Speakers may:
- provide a synopsis of their written submission
- add to their written submission
- comment on other groups submissions or comments.
Please state clearly, at the time of the original submission, if you wish to testify in person at the hearing in Brasilia. Speakers should hand a hard copy of their statements to the Secretariat of the hearing before they speak, to facilitate interpretation into other languages and for future reference.
For those not able to attend in person, comments may be videotaped and, time permitting, these videos will be shown during the hearing. If possible, videos should be submitted in PAL-M format and a transcript should be provided.
Alternatively, those who are not able to attend the hearing in person or send comments on video can nominate another organization/institution to read or present the submission for them, or a member of the panel will read out the submission at the hearing.
The hearing will be open to the press and the public. Further instructions for registration will be issued closer to the hearing date.
The WHO FCTC has provisions that establish international obligations on tobacco price and tax increases, tobacco advertising and sponsorship, labelling, illicit trade and second-hand tobacco smoke, among others.
With decision FCTC/COP1 (17), the first Conference of the Parties (COP) to the WHO FCTC decided to establish an ad-hoc study group on agricultural diversification and crop alternatives to tobacco with the following objectives:
- summarize the uptake of existing economically viable alternatives for tobacco workers, growers and, as the case may be, individual sellers;
- recommend to the COP mechanisms to assess the impact over time of the tobacco companies' practices;
- report on initiatives that are being taken at national level in accordance with Article 17 of the WHO FCTC (Provision of support for economically viable alternative activities);
- recommend cost-effective diversification initiatives.
1 Article 1 (e) of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: "tobacco industry" means tobacco manufacturers, wholesale distributors and importers of tobacco products.
For media-related questions:
Communications Specialist OPS-OMS, Brazil
Telephone: +55 61 3426 9595
For administrative questions:
Please e-mail: email@example.com
Attention: Rosane de Barros Serrão