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Like any legal document, a treaty houses countless possibilities. The words of the document are critical, but they can only ever be part of the story. It is not ultimately the text that gives the document breath, but the imagination and the efforts of those who interact with the document and determine what kind of life it leads in the real world.
The life of the FCTC has two primary, inter-related components: the international work of the Conference of the Parties (COP), and on-the-ground implementation. When things work …
Competing interests: Jonathan Liberman was Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) policy director from March 2006 to December 2008, a period that included both COP-2 and COP-3. The FCA is an international non-governmental organisation representing over 350 NGOs from more than 100 countries, working towards the effective development and implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.