According to reports, at the fourth joint meeting of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the Bureaus of its related meetings decided to postpone the treaty meetings of the ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) and the second Meeting of the Parties (MOP2) to November 2021.
These official meetings of the treaty body are opportunities for ratifying parties of the treaty to move forward on the roadmap of implementation of the FCTC.
Please see the statement below from Daniel Dorado, Senior Policy Organizer at Corporate Accountability:
“As people around the world face the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a clear need for systemic change that prioritizes people, especially those on the frontlines of global crises, above profits. COVID-19 is no equalizer. Rather, this crisis exacerbates existing inequities while corporations seek to profit off of them.
Today’s announcement to postpone the global tobacco treaty negotiations is a necessary one to address the immediate global public health crisis. But, while the world turns its attention to one crisis, another continues to rage on. Tobacco-related illness remains the number one preventable cause of death in the world, and Big Tobacco is relentless in its attempts to market lethal products and undermine public health policy. The industry is already pushing deregulation and thinly-veiled PR ploys to try to exploit the COVID-19 crisis.
It is imperative that the postponement does not stall further implementation of a life-saving treaty, which is a gold standard for protecting people and policy from the deadly tobacco industry. If anything, this is an opportunity to expose Big Tobacco’s pandering and PR stunts that both seek to gain industry a seat at policymaking tables and create opportunities to profit off of the new and existing public health crises.
Fortunately, international negotiations are not the only opportunities for progress: The global tobacco treaty outlines a path forward that is brought to life by in-country protections. Governments must hold Big Tobacco accountable by preventing industry interference in policy, exposing and stopping predatory marketing, and halting global rebrand attempts by corporations like Philip Morris International.”