Note: Eduardo Bianco was unable to deliver this question at the Philip Morris International annual meeting. Below is what Eduardo intended to ask.
“Good Morning, my name is Eduardo Bianco. I´m a cardiologist based in Uruguay working on tobacco control for over 20 years, and serving as Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control Regional Coordinator for the Americas.
Uruguay, a very small country with less than 3.5 million inhabitants had the highest lung cancer death rates in men as well as the highest Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary diseases prevalence in the Latin America´s region, both conditions highly related to tobacco.
Since 2005 Uruguay decided to implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control -the FCTC- , and got significantly decreased the smoking prevalence and became an international tobacco control leader.
In 2010, Philip Morris International – I’m assuming not operating from its publicly stated concern for public health- decided to launch a lawsuit against Uruguay.
Thankfully, in 2016, Uruguay won! But the lawsuit delayed implementation of new public health measures for about 5 years.
The Arbitrators from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes of the World Bank , that addressed the legal case rejected ALL PMI claims.
Included PMI’s claims that Uruguay´s regulations were arbitrary and constitute an expropriation of trademarks.
As well as recognized that Uruguay´s measures were reasonable and evidence-based.
The question remains, when will your corporation cease its intimidation and litigation of countries that are simply trying to implement common-sense and evidence based public health measures?”