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    • ECO Secretariat participated at IGOs consulting meeting on WHO Framework on Tobacco Control in Geneva
      ECO Secretariat participated at IGOs consulting meeting on  WHO Framework on Tobacco Control in Geneva
      On the invitation of the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a Representative of the ECO Secretariat attended the Geneva meeting on November 7-8, 2019. While the meeting was organized by Convention Secretariat on Tobacco Control and the Protocol to eliminate illicit trade in the Tobacco products (the Secretariat), the Representatives of Intergovernmental Organizations from African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Southern African Custom Union (SACU), Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also attended the meeting to raise awareness about both treaties to regional integration bodies and at the same time identify potential avenues for collaboration on this issue.

      During a 2-days interactive meeting, the Convention Secretariat, which was created during the first Conference of the parties in 2003, highlighted the activities it had been making under the assigned task. Currently, there are 181 Parties of the WHO framework Convention on Tobacco Control including ECO Member States, covering more than 90% of the world population. The ECO Secretariat was also advised by the Convention Secretariat to work on accession to Conference of Parties (COP-Convention)) and Member of Parties (MOP-Protocol) as observer.

      So far, 28 International intergovernmental organizations and 21 none-governmental organizations, accredited as observers to the COP, are committed to the purpose of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, disregarding any sort of funding that has vested interest in the tobacco industry.
      The ECO Representative Mr. Mojtaba Faraji briefed the meeting about the ECO Region and Member States as well as aims and objectives enshrined in the Izmir Treaty. While, explaining the ECO rules of procedures for getting observer status in other organizations, he underscored the specific segments of ECO Vision 2025 regarding trade, environmental and health issues which are considerable by FCTC and Protocol of elimination of illicit trade of Tobacco products, as well.

      The ECO Representative also advised the Convention Secretariat to extend its support to IGOs for preparing regional frame works aligned with WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products for effective implementation of global agenda for Tobacco Control and Illicit Trade of its products.

      WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

      The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO, adopted by the World Health Assembly on May 21, 2003 that entered into force on February 27, 2005. It has since become one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties in the history of the United Nations. The WHO FCTC, developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic, is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health. The Convention represents a milestone for the promotion of public health and provides new legal dimensions for international health cooperation.

      The Conference of the Parties (COP), governing body of the WHO FCTC, is comprised of all Parties to the Convention. The work of the COP governed by its Rules of Procedure remains under regular review for implementation of the Convention and takes the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation, and may also adopt protocols, annexes and amendments to the Convention.

      As and when required, the COP may establish subsidiary bodies such as the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body on a Protocol on Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products to achieve the objectives of the Convention. The COP may also establish working groups or expert groups with the mandate to elaborate and develop guidelines and recommendations for the implementation of different treaty provisions.

      Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products

      The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products is an international treaty with the objective of eliminating all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products through a package of measures to be taken by countries acting in cooperation with each other: it is a global solution to a global problem.

      The Protocol was developed in response to the growing illicit trade in tobacco products, often across borders. Illicit trade poses a serious threat to public health because it increases access to – often cheaper – tobacco products, thus fueling the tobacco epidemic and undermining tobacco control policies. It also causes substantial losses in government revenues, and at the same time contributes to the funding of international criminal activities. Iran, Pakistan (accession), Turkey and Turkmenistan (accession) from ECO region are members of this protocol, as well.
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