Thursday, November 6, 2014

FSM to Represent the Western Pacific Region on the Bureau of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

During the Sixth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP6) of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) held in Moscow, Russia from October 13-19, 2014, Assistant Secretary for Health Mr. Marcus Samo from the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs, was nominated and approved by COP6 as the new member on the Bureau of the FCTC representing the parties to the convention from the Western Pacific Region.  The Bureau functions as the executive board of the FCTC.  Assistant Secretary Samo headed the FSM Delegation which consisted of Mr. Kerio Walliby and Mrs. Shra Alik.  Mr. Samo has been a strong advocate, supporter and great negotiator with other countries on the amendments of the articles that would protect public health and of 
benefit to the region as well as the FSM.  

Among the many measures parties endorsed at COP6 were the following:

1.      Guidelines for the illicit trade of tobacco products

2.      Means to regulate production and sale of electronic nicotine device systems (ENDS) or commonly known as e-cigarette,

3.      Ways to create a provision in the FCTC Articles to make the tobacco industry liable for the ill-health caused by tobacco products,

4.      Strong affirmation by parties to refrain from the tobacco industry interference.

5.      A global monitoring framework for NCDs, which includes a global voluntary target of 30% relative reduction in the prevalence of current tobacco use in person aged 15 year and over, by the year 2025.
In the closing statement from the Western Pacific Region, which was delivered by FSM,  Mr. Samo thanked parties for their hard work and the spirit in which parties conducted business by saying “we debated important issues facing us as a tobacco control and prevention community, and at the end of the day, we reached agreement.   Let us be reminded that COP6 came at a time of preparation for the 10th year anniversary of the ratification of the WHO FCTC.  We have come a long way.  Some of us took ‘baby steps’, but have made great progress. The decisions we made at COP6 affirm our common desire to promote good health and protect public health from the tobacco industry interference.  As we move forward, we can look back and be proud of our collective actions.  Let’s further accelerate the implementation of the FCTC for the children of our lifetime”.

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