The tobacco industry may attempt to discredit the Article 6 guiding principles and recommendations adopted at COP5 by claiming they are an irrelevant document drawn up by “health bureaucrats”.
- The Article 6 working group was evenly balanced between economic and health ministries and chaired by a tobacco tax specialist with a finance background.
- The WHO FCTC is not an agreement between health ministries from different countries — it is a legal agreement between Parties, binding the entire government of each Party. In its guiding principles (Article 4), the Convention refers to the need for “comprehensive multisectoral measures” — in other words, measures that go beyond the jurisdiction of health ministries alone. Under Article 5, Parties undertake to “develop, implement and periodically update and review comprehensive multisectoral national tobacco control strategies, plans and programmes…”
- The Political Declaration by the UN High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases, in September 2011, also emphasized the importance of a multisectoral response, and committed countries to developing a “multisectoral” national NCD plan by 2013.40 This, like the WHO FCTC, is a commitment by governments, not just ministries of health.
40 United Nations General Assembly. Political declaration of the High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable diseases. September 2011. Online.