2-3 November 2017:
Government officials from 20 countries all over the world, development partners including the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and civil society gathered in Bangkok, Thailand to discuss how to further strengthen implementation of WHO FCTC Article 5.3 by integrating this in good governance policies.
The meeting is a timely call for governments to step up policies to make sure that they are being safeguarded from the corrupting influence of the tobacco industry.
During the two-day meeting, the Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control (GGTC), a WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub for Article 5.3 was launched.
GGTC is a partnership program between the School of Global Studies Thammasat University and the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA).
GGTC aims to assist and support Parties to the WHO FCTC in developing strategies to counter tobacco industry interference and implement good governance in tobacco control.
The Participants concluded the meeting with the following resolution:
- Article 5.3 of the Convention is a cornerstone for good governance and should be made part of national tobacco control legislations;
- Article 5.3 is an obligation for all Parties and the guidelines for implementation of this article supports the Parties to comply with that obligation;
- Policy coherence among all government departments is necessary to make progress in implementation of the Convention;
- Systematic tobacco industry monitoring is integral part of Article 5.3 implementation and could assist with the planning of next steps;
- Article 5.3 should be operationalised at all levels of the government (national, regional and local) and implemented by all branches of the government (executive, legislative and judiciary);
- There is need to identify, engage and support those government sectors that could be more vulnerable to tobacco industry interference;
- Given the new evidence that has emerged on the increasing tobacco industry interference with the Conference of the Parties (COP) it should be ensured that all relevant sections of the Article 5.3 guidelines are applied to Parties’ preparation and participation at COP sessions;
- Efforts should be made to link implementation of Article 5.3 with existing transparency and anti-corruption regulations and codes of conducts;
- Codes of conducts should be developed, strengthened and applied to all government sectors;
- Prioritising health should be a key objective in the deliberations at COP meetings.