FCA-September discussions could impact future of global tobacco control

Screen Shot 2556-08-30 at 8.40.31 AMFCA will be at the United Nations in New York in September pushing to get tobacco control onto the agenda of world leaders. You can help.

The hot topic for the 68th session of the UN General Assembly is the current set of development priorities (the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs) and what should replace them after 2015.

The MDGs do not address the devastating effects of tobacco use, and the latest UN Secretary-General’s recommendations for the post-2015 agenda also fail to mention them.

(The report does include the need to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), however tobacco is not mentioned, despite it being a leading risk factor for these diseases).

In New York, FCA will be busy reminding the international community that tobacco use is not just a health issue; it also undermines sustainable development. Yet there is a proven, effective and economical solution to free the world from the devastating consequences of tobacco use: the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

It’s not too late to help:

Getting FCA’s messages across at the country level is as important as advocating at UN headquarters. Here’s what you can do:

  • Send letters to your tobacco control focal point/minister of health, encouraging them to make efforts to get tobacco control included in the next set of global development goals. Atemplate letter is provided here;
  • Engage with ministries involved in negotiations on sustainable development goals (SDGs) to ensure they understand the importance of tobacco control as a major sustainable development issue, not just a health issue. Use the background paper here.

Events focused on the MDGs and the post-2015 development agenda will take place throughout the week of 22-26 September. Some of the major ones are listed below:

  • Sunday, 22 September: Advancing Regional Recommendations on Post-2015: A Dialogue between Civil Society, Governments and UN Representatives.

Conclusions from this event will be shared with Member States on 25 September. This event is open to all interested representatives from civil society, the UN system and governments. Civil society registration is open now on CSO-net, and will close on 10 September.

  • Wednesday, September 25th: UN General Assembly Special event on MDGs.

Heads of State and Government will gather to take stock of progress and renew commitment toward achieving the MDGs. They will also continue to plan a post-2015 sustainable development agenda.This event will be webcast live on the UN website here.

Aside from these meetings, there will also be a variety of side events throughout the week. These include Healthy Planet, Healthy People: Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, on 23 September.

For more information on the official list of side events please click here.

By the end of the week, the international community’s next steps in developing a new set of development goals should be clear. They are likely to include a series of consultations at country level so that civil society and governments can provide their views.