COP8 Bulletin Day 2 – Tuesday, October 2
Global Strategy and IRM – let’s shift gears
Amid the excitement of yesterday’s opening ceremonies, the WHO FCTC Secretariat presented its 2018 report on global progress in implementing the FCTC.
A shocking statistic from the report that was not mentioned in the Secretariat’s presentation is that just 13 per cent of Parties to the FCTC are likely to achieve the agreed global targets to reduce tobacco use prevalence by 30 per cent by 2025.
In the past two years, 9 per cent of Parties actually saw increases in tobacco use in their countries, and 60 per cent identified specific gaps in implementation of the treaty. It is fifteen years now since the FCTC was endorsed, and these trends are just not acceptable.
The good news is that today, as the first order of business in Committee A, Parties will be invited to adopt a plan that will allow us all to shift gear. The proposed Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control calls for coordinated action on a small number of high-impact interventions in order to reduce tobacco use prevalence between now and 2025. If endorsed, it will be an important tool to raise the visibility of the treaty and to help mobilise funding for tobacco control at the global and national levels.
The Implementation Review Mechanism, as proposed in Objective 3.1.2 of the Strategy, is critical to the success of the Global Strategy. A peer-led Implementation Review Committee would look at Parties’ existing implementation reports, identify where they face problems, and make suggestions about what can be done to help fix them.
The Committee would report back to the COP every two years – allowing the COP to develop a clearer picture of what the most common challenges to FCTC implementation are. The report back would also inform a broader discussion about how best to overcome these challenges, and what support should be provided to Parties.
This kind of problem-solving and knowledge exchange is truly valuable and will support implementation of the FCTC. We encourage Parties to adopt the Global Strategy as it is, and to give the proposed pilot of the IRM a chance to prove its worth.