MOP2 Policy Briefs

MOP2 Policy Briefs

Financial resources and mechanisms of assistance: Progress in developing the Protocol implementation assistance strategy

Key Recommendations

  • We welcome the Strategy for Mechanisms of Assistance and Mobilization of Financial Resources to Support Implementation of the Protocol. We note that this strategy relies mainly on Extrabudgetary Funding and we recommend ensuring the financial viability of this strategy, for example via the proposed investment fund and/or Parties who are able to provide Extrabudgetary Funding at this key moment of growth in a relatively new Protocol.
  • Cooperation with other intergovernmental organisations is of key importance and we therefore encourage Parties to the Protocol to work with relevant government agencies internally, such as their Ministries of Finance, in order to secure mandates for IGOs to fully participate in the Protocol’s implementation and technical assistance delivery. We encourage the Convention Secretariat to continue to invite these IGOs to apply for the status of observer to the MOP and/or contribute to the implementation of the Protocol, in addition to playing a key role in connecting Parties with expert help from other Parties and IGOs, as well as specialised NGOs or independent sources.
  • The Protocol is primarily a law enforcement, customs, and tax administration treaty, and therefore requires relevant expertise, especially regarding the assistance for low- and middle-income countries. We welcome that the Convention Secretariat staff was reinforced with relevant experience to support the Protocol and we call on Parties to support the further strengthening of the Secretariat with dedicated senior staff to ensure high-level support for Parties. We encourage Parties to consider providing additional Extrabudgetary Contributions to support further funding additional staff and full implementation of the strategy and/or by Parties committing to staff secondment agreements with the Convention Secretariat from relevant agencies

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Proposed workplan and budget for the financial period 2022-2023

Key Recommendations

  • We thank the Secretariat for their dedicated work on the proposed workplan and budget for the upcoming biennium. We recommend that Parties consider how to address the substantial and sustainable financial and technical resources that are required in order to ensure successful implementation of the Protocol, particularly in low-and middle-income countries. Given that almost 70% of the MOP activities budget comes from non-Assessed Contributions, we recommend that Parties who are able would consider providing Extrabudgetary Funds at this key moment of growth in a relatively new Protocol.
  • Should MOP2 endorse the Strategy for Mechanisms of Assistance and Mobilization of Financial Resources to Support Implementation of the Protocol, it will be critical that Parties amend the proposed 2022-2023 workplan and budget to reflect the priorities identified in this document.
  • The Protocol is primarily a law enforcement, customs, and tax administration treaty, and therefore requires relevant expertise, especially regarding the assistance for low- and middle-income countries. We welcome that the Convention Secretariat staff was reinforced with relevant experience to support the Protocol and we call on Parties support the further strengthening of the Secretariat with dedicated senior staff to ensure high-level support for Parties. We encourage Parties to consider providing additional Extrabudgetary Contributions to support further funding additional staff and full implementation of the strategy and/or by Parties committing to staff secondment agreements with the Convention Secretariat from relevant agencies.
  • In the case that in-person meetings are to be held over the next biennium, if health measures permit given the ongoing pandemic, MOP2 should also ensure that the Workplan and Budget provides travel support for low- and middle-income country Parties to attend ITP-related meetings.

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Assistance and cooperation

Key Recommendations 

  • We welcome the work of the Working Group on Assistance and Cooperation, and encourage Parties to build on the instruments and mechanisms described in the Annexes of the Working Group’s report. We would also encourage the Secretariat, with the support of Parties, to develop toolkits and training materials that build on the Working Group’s work in such a way to build capacity on Articles 21, 23, 24, 28, and 29.
  • We welcome the work on free zones by the Working Group regarding the need to maintain up-to-date information about good practices on controls of tobacco products in the free zones and create a training module on tobacco control in free zones. Some Parties may benefit from additional guidance and assistance on controlling free trade zones, as this is a key provision to improve controls on illicit trade.

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Report of the Working Group on Tracking and Tracing Systems, including the global information-sharing focal point and unique identification markings for cigarette packets and packages (Article 8)

Key Recommendations 

  • Considering all of the financial constraints and timing considerations, we welcome the proposed interim solution for the global information-sharing focal point (GSP) and we look forward to the development of a more permanent solution.
  • It is often the case that Parties require technical assistance and enhanced capacity to set up their tracking and tracing systems. Substantial and sustainable financial and technical resources are required in order to ensure successful implementation of the Protocol, including the provision of such resources to Parties in pursuit of Article 8 of the ITP and the provision of resources of a global information-sharing focal point.
  • We welcome the work and report of the Working Group and the recommendations to extend its mandate. We recommend that this mandate extension include a provision to continue to gather information on best practices in order to build on the report made by the Working Group. In order to be able to identify best practices, the collection of information on Tracking and Tracing (TT) systems and Unique Identification Markings (UIMs) should continue for all Parties to the Protocol. For example, key information should include whether the unique identifier is accessible outside its jurisdiction and whether the system applies to exported cigarettes.
  • Under the mandate extension of the Tracking and Tracing Working Group, we would recommend including technical experts as Working Group members. This group needs to address both the technical aspects of tracking and tracing solutions at the global and national levels, and address policy implementation barriers to adopt solutions at the national level. It is recommended that this group includes relevant experts to support the development of the roadmap and the technical specifications of the global information-sharing focal point.

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