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World: FCTC #COP9week virtual campaign
The ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) for the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) was scheduled to take place in the Hague, the Netherlands from 9-14 November 2020. It was postponed to November 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In its place, the FCTC Secretariat, Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) and civil society organisations held a virtual campaign, #COP9week, and range of online events to highlight and discuss ways to accelerate and intensify FCTC implementation.
The FCTC secretariat put the spotlight on the Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control. Adopted at COP8, the strategy provides a blueprint for global tobacco control from 2019 to 2025. It emphasises FCTC implementation, with a focus on articles 5 (general obligations), 6 (price and tax), 8 (protection from secondhand smoke), 11 (packaging and labelling) and 13 (advertising, promotion and sponsorship). Other priorities are building alliances and partnerships across sectors, and protecting the integrity of the FCTC.
The FCA encouraged the public health community to share their COP9 week priorities by taking a photo and sharing it on Twitter with the hashtag #COP9week. The tobacco control community responded with a range of priorities, including tax rises, preventing tobacco industry interference, economic alternatives to tobacco growing, ensuring a human rights approach to tobacco control, financing FCTC implementation and making the tobacco industry pay for the harms it causes, and getting to the tobacco endgame.
They also published three think pieces. The first, by FCA Policy and Advocacy Manager Ryan Forrest, discussed ‘building back better’ and how FCTC implementation can help recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The second by Convention Secretariat Head Dr Adriano Blanco Marquizo discussed adaptation of the Secretariat during the pandemic, tobacco industry interference, and the vital role of civil society in FCTC implementation. Finally, the third by Paul Blokhius, Dutch State Secretary …
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