The following statement was made at the conclusion of the second Meeting of the Parties (MOP) of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) by Keltie Vance, the Associate Campaigns Director at Corporate Accountability.
We, salute all Parties and the Secretariat’s efforts to run a successful MOP, and the commitment to reach consensus. We second what our colleagues at FCA have shared, and welcome all the efforts made by the AMRO region and those parties who have submitted voluntary declarations of interests, and the adoption of the “Declaration of Interest for Members of the Bureau and Regional Coordinators of the Meeting of the Parties.” This truly reflects how parties are leading by example in advancing provisions that reflect the spirit of art. 5.3 of the FCTC and art. 4.2 of the Protocol.
In the case of illicit trade of tobacco products, is worth highlighting that further damage is caused to our economies by diverting potential tax revenues, sorely needed financial support that could help Parties in their COVID-19 recovery efforts and of course the WHO FCTC and The Protocol implementation. Reinforcing tobacco control measures such as tobacco taxes, plain packing, advertising, promotion and sponsorship and other measures besides the ones listed on the protocol can support to counteract tobacco smuggling. Trade is not an obstacle to implementing the Protocol and the FCTC, Parties have the legitimacy to implement these treaties, they have reduced tobacco consumption prevalence and put limits to the tobacco industry interference.
We strongly encourage Non-Parties to Ratify the Protocol, and we need to continue to grow the funding support and technical expertise to fight illicit trade of tobacco products.
The energy from parties at this MOP has been inspiring, and we can only imagine what the same energy and focus on Protocol implementation between now and MOP3 can make possible.