Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

World Health Assembly Resolution 56.1

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was adopted unanimously by the 56th World Health Assembly on 21 May 2003. The final text is contained in World Health Assembly Resolution 56.1.


Part VII: Scientific and technical cooperation and communication of information

Article 20: Research, surveillance and exchange of information

  • The Parties undertake to develop and promote national research and to coordinate research programmes at the regional and international levels in the field of tobacco control. Towards this end, each Party shall:
    • initiate and cooperate in, directly or through competent international and regional intergovernmental organizations and other bodies, the conduct of research and scientific assessments, and in so doing promote and encourage research that addresses the determinants and consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke as well as research for identification of alternative crops; and
    • promote and strengthen, with the support of competent international and regional intergovernmental organizations and other bodies, training and support for all those engaged in tobacco control activities, including research, implementation and evaluation.
  • The Parties shall establish, as appropriate, programmes for national, regional and global surveillance of the magnitude, patterns, determinants and consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. Towards this end, the Parties should integrate tobacco surveillance programmes into national, regional and global health surveillance programmes so that data are comparable and can be analysed at the regional and international levels, as appropriate.
  • Parties recognize the importance of financial and technical assistance from international and regional intergovernmental organizations and other bodies. Each Party shall endeavour to:
    • establish progressively a national system for the epidemiological surveillance of tobacco consumption and related social, economic and health indicators;
    • cooperate with competent international and regional intergovernmental organizations and other bodies, including governmental and nongovernmental agencies, in regional and global tobacco surveillance and exchange of information on the indicators specified in paragraph 3(a) of this Article; and
    • cooperate with the World Health Organization in the development of general guidelines or procedures for defining the collection, analysis and dissemination of tobacco-related surveillance data.
  • The Parties shall, subject to national law, promote and facilitate the exchange of publicly available scientific, technical, socioeconomic, commercial and legal information, as well as information regarding practices of the tobacco industry and the cultivation of tobacco, which is relevant to this Convention, and in so doing shall take into account and address the special needs of developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition. Each Party shall endeavour to:
    • progressively establish and maintain an updated database of laws and regulations on tobacco control and, as appropriate, information about their enforcement, as well as pertinent jurisprudence, and cooperate in the development of programmes for regional and global tobacco control;
    • progressively establish and maintain updated data from national surveillance programmes in accordance with paragraph 3(a) of this Article; and
    • cooperate with competent international organizations to progressively establish and maintain a global system to regularly collect and disseminate information on tobacco production, manufacture and the activities of the tobacco industry which have an impact on the Convention or national tobacco control activities.
  • Parties should cooperate in regional and international intergovernmental organizations and financial and development institutions of which they are members, to promote and encourage provision of technical and financial resources to the Secretariat to assist developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition to meet their commitments on research, surveillance and exchange of information.

Article 21: Reporting and exchange of information

  • Each Party shall submit to the Conference of the Parties, through the Secretariat, periodic reports on its implementation of this Convention, which should include the following:
    • information on legislative, executive, administrative or other measures taken to implement the Convention;
    • information, as appropriate, on any constraints or barriers encountered in its implementation of the Convention, and on the measures taken to overcome these barriers;
    • information, as appropriate, on financial and technical assistance provided or received for tobacco control activities;
    • information on surveillance and research as specified in Article 20; and
    • information specified in Articles 6.3, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4(d), 15.5 and 19.2.
  • The frequency and format of such reports by all Parties shall be determined by the Conference of the Parties. Each Party shall make its initial report within two years of the entry into force of the Convention for that Party.
  • The Conference of the Parties, pursuant to Articles 22 and 26, shall consider arrangements to assist developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition, at their request, in meeting their obligations under this Article.
  • The reporting and exchange of information under the Convention shall be subject to national law regarding confidentiality and privacy. The Parties shall protect, as mutually agreed, any confidential information that is exchanged.

Article 22: Cooperation in the scientific, technical, and legal fields and provision of related expertise

  • The Parties shall cooperate directly or through competent international bodies to strengthen their capacity to fulfill the obligations arising from this Convention, taking into account the needs of developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition. Such cooperation shall promote the transfer of technical, scientific and legal expertise and technology, as mutually agreed, to establish and strengthen national tobacco control strategies, plans and programmes aiming at, inter alia:
    • facilitation of the development, transfer and acquisition of technology, knowledge, skills, capacity and expertise related to tobacco control;
    • provision of technical, scientific, legal and other expertise to establish and strengthen national tobacco control strategies, plans and programmes, aiming at implementation of the Convention through, inter alia:
      • assisting, upon request, in the development of a strong legislative foundation as well as technical programmes, including those on prevention of initiation, promotion of cessation and protection from exposure to tobacco smoke;
      • assisting, as appropriate, tobacco workers in the development of appropriate economically and legally viable alternative livelihoods in an economically viable manner; and
      • assisting, as appropriate, tobacco growers in shifting agricultural production to alternative crops in an economically viable manner;
    • support for appropriate training or sensitization programmes for appropriate personnel in accordance with Article 12;
    • provision, as appropriate, of the necessary material, equipment and supplies, as well as logistical support, for tobacco control strategies, plans and programmes;
    • identification of methods for tobacco control, including comprehensive treatment of nicotine addiction; and
    • promotion, as appropriate, of research to increase the affordability of comprehensive treatment of nicotine addiction.
  • The Conference of the Parties shall promote and facilitate transfer of technical, scientific and legal expertise and technology with the financial support secured in accordance with Article 26.
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