Pushing tobacco control up the list of development priorities

FCA and its members continue promoting the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in discussions on the next set of development priorities and ahead of key events in September at the United Nations General Assembly.

Tobacco kills six million people a year and poses an unprecedented threat to health and development globally. Unfortunately, effective tobacco control and implementation of the FCTC remain under-resourced.

Global discussions on the development priorities that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015 provide a unique opportunity to remind world leaders about their FCTC commitments and to get tobacco control to the top of the list of priorities. This should result in more resources for tobacco control.

As part of UN consultations, FCA submitted comments on three reports produced for the UN Secretary-General. This feedback will be presented to UN Member States during a Special Event Towards Achieving the MDGs and will inform subsequent discussions at the General Assembly.

You can find FCA’s submissions here:

• FCA comments on the UN High-level Panel report on the post-2015 development agenda
• FCA comments on the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network report on the sustainable development goals
• FCA comments on Perspectives from UN Global Compact participants on global priorities and how to engage business towards sustainable development goals.

Earlier in June, FCA participated in the fourth session of the UN Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The meeting focused on links between health and SDGs, and provided a great opportunity to brief OWG members, representatives of UN agencies and other stakeholders on the devastating consequences of tobacco use.

In his statement during the meeting, FCA Program Manager Josef Verovic stressed: “Tobacco use is a global epidemic. The consumption of tobacco is the main risk factor for non-communicable diseases. The good news is that there are cost-effective solutions in the form of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which needs to be implemented.”

With more talks on the post-2015 development agenda scheduled for the end of September, such as the Dialogue with civil society and Member States, FCA will continue promoting its key objectives: a specific tobacco target in the new set of development goals and, ensuring that FCTC implementation is fully embraced by the development community in coming years.

How you can 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. A template 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.