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WHF participates in the Eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP8)

The WHF Advocacy team at COP8 with Tobacco Expert Group members Andriy Skipalskiy, Michal Stoklosa and Fastone Goma

Last week (1-6 October), 137 Member States, UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations convened for the 8th biennial Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Conference of the Parties (FCTC COP8) in Geneva, Switzerland. Every other year, parties gather to review progress and strengthen the UN’s first public health treaty designed to drive down tobacco use around the world. WHF participated, along with many other civil society representatives.

Several new topics were on the agenda this year. The biggest win was the adoption of the first-ever Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control, which will serve as a roadmap to reducing tobacco use by 30% by 2025. The strategy also includes an Implementation Review Mechanism (IRM), which will allow Parties to peer-review biennial implementation reports and improve FCTC implementation.

There we were many other significant decisions that were adopted at COP8 including:

  • The creation of a working group to provide guidance on cross-border advertising and depiction of tobacco in entertainment media
  • Reemphasizing that Parties are required to apply the FCTC to novel and emerging products, such as heated tobacco products
  • Parties will be required to submit a Declaration of Interest (DOI) form stating that their delegation has no tobacco industry interests, NGOs and IGOs will be required to submit individual DOIs, and a screening process will be created for the media and the public

We congratulate all of the Parties, fellow civil society representatives, the FCTC Secretariat, and all those who worked extremely hard for a job well done at COP8! We look forward to even more progress at COP9 in 2020 in The Netherlands.