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WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control - 100th ratification of international health treaty

Director-General's statement

4 November 2005

The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has reached another milestone, with the 100th instrument of ratification.

Brazil, the country that led the Treaty negotiation process under the chairmanship of Ambassador Celso Amorim and Ambassador Luiz Felipe de Seixas Correa, became the 100th Party to the Treaty yesterday, after depositing its instrument of ratification in the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Benin paved the way earlier yesterday as well, by becoming the 99th country to do so.

Tobacco is still the leading preventable cause of death in the world, killing nearly five million people every year. If current trends continue, this toll will double by 2020. Developing countries will suffer the highest burden with 70% of the deaths.

The success of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control demonstrates that governments are determined to curb tobacco use and its impact on people's health. This Treaty was adopted less than two and a half years ago and is already having an impact on people's lives. The commitment to the Treaty also demonstrates the importance of tobacco control towards the attainment of higher standards of health, social and development-related objectives, such as the Millennium Development Goals.

For more information contact:

Ms Marta Seoane
Communications officer
WHO/Tobacco Free Initiative
Telephone: +41 22 791 2489
Mobile phone: +41 79 475 5551