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NCAS attends WHO FCTC COP 10 in Panama, February 2024

Updated: Mar 28



The National Council Against Smoking (NCAS) is proud to have participated as part of the Civil society delegation at the Tenth Conference of the Parties (COP10) for the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in Panama City from 5 to 12 February, 2024, under the theme “United for Healthy Lives”.


Parties adopted many positive decisions that will set the trajectory for tobacco control and have an undeniable positive impact on health, the environment, human rights, and the economy. Parties adopted the Panama Declaration resolving to expedite implementation of WHO FCTC, especially key articles and in alignment with the Global Strategy for Tobacco Control and SDGs. And emphasizing the need for vigilance in monitoring marketing strategies of all tobacco and nicotine products, including novel and emerging ones.


There was also a strong youth presence at COP10 including representatives from Africa such as those from the South African Tobacco Free Youth Forum. Highlighting the need to prioritize child rights and to involve youth at the forefront of the solutions to attain a world free from tobacco and its devastating effects.

 

Key decisions adopted include:


1.     Decision on the Environment: The Decision raised environmental awareness within tobacco control efforts, highlights the need to recognize and address the ecological footprint associated with every stage of tobacco production and consumption. Furthermore, the decision emphasizes the importance of fostering increased cooperation between the FCTC and environmental mechanisms to leverage synergies between tobacco control initiatives and broader environmental conservation efforts. In her opening statement at COP10, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), expressed UNEP's readiness to implementing relevant decisions adopted at COP10. This includes integrating the FCTC into the global environmental agenda, particularly in ongoing negotiations for the UN Treaty to End Plastic Pollution. Civil society plays a crucial role in advancing these efforts by facilitating connections between the WHO FCTC and the UN Treaty to End Plastic Pollution and advocating for the recognition of plastic cigarette filters as "Problematic and avoidable plastic products" in the treaty's Zero Draft.


An Expert Group will be established to explore innovative measures for expanding tobacco control policies. It acknowledges the need for evolving standards in tobacco control, with the FCTC Bureau tasked to create the expert group and set terms of reference.


3.     Decision on Liability (Article 19):

An expert group on liability will be re-established, the decision urges Parties to hold businesses accountable and to ensure a whole-of-government approach to tobacco control.


4.     Decision on Human Rights:

The decision encourages alignment with other Human Rights Mechanisms such as the African Union and United Nations human rights system. Civil society should foster connections between the WHO FCTC and global Human Rights Mechanisms.


5.     Decision on (Digital) Tobacco Advertising Sponsorship and Promotion – Parties adopted more robust guidelines, these complement existing measures outlined in Article 13 and do not replace them. COP10 acknowledged the growing digital access to entertainment media, facilitated by the internet, which transcends national borders. The decision underscores how changes in the media landscape have led to shifts in marketing strategies, resulting in increased exposure of consumers, particularly young people, to tobacco marketing. This decision reflects a recognition of the evolving nature of advertising platforms and the need for tailored measures to curb tobacco promotion in digital spaces.


These decisions signify a collective commitment to advancing tobacco control efforts globally and underscore the importance of multi-sectoral collaboration and ongoing vigilance in the fight against tobacco use and its associated harms.

 

 

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