SEATCA supports the APACT Declaration on Indonesia

APACT Declaration on Indonesia

The 700 delegates from 41 countries/territories of the 9th APACT Conference in Sydney make this urgent appeal to the Indonesian government:

Indonesia, the fourth largest country in the world with a population of 238 million is the only country in Asia that has refused to accede to the global tobacco treaty, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). We are deeply concerned that in failing to accede to the FCTC, Indonesia is creating a public health disaster. Indonesia’s tobacco-related death toll is more than 200,000 a year. More than 60% of Indonesian men smoke. There is a disturbing trend of increasing prevalence of smoking among young children, with a 400% increase in smoking prevalence among the 5-9 year olds, and 40% increase among the 10-14 year olds. This emphasizes the need to protect children and the young from tobacco.

Indonesia is the world’s third largest tobacco market, attractive to both local and transnational tobacco companies. Indonesia is lagging far behind many other Asian countries, which are Parties to the FCTC and enacting evidence-based tobacco control measures. Indonesia is making itself vulnerable to transnational tobacco companies and their front groups, who are expanding their markets and whose goal is to maximise profits. Unfortunately, Indonesia is also being used as a platform to undermine tobacco control efforts in other countries.

Tobacco advertising and promotional activities in Indonesia are unmatched anywhere else in Asia. Tobacco sponsorship of music and sports outlawed elsewhere in the world are flourishing in Indonesia. Rock groups from western countries such as USA, UK and Australia, who would not allow tobacco sponsorship of their concerts in their own countries or anywhere else in the world, are performing in Indonesia under tobacco brand names. This weekend Australian bands Wolfmother and The Vines are in Jakarta performing under the Gudang Garam brand, which is owned by Indonesia’s largest tobacco company. These bands have ignored international protests about their double standards.

The 9th APACT Conference makes the following recommendations:
•    That the Indonesian government joins the rest of Asia and accede to the FCTC immediately. It is important for Indonesia to put the health of its people before profits of tobacco companies;
•    That Indonesia ban tobacco advertising, promotions, and sponsorship, including music and sports events, as a concrete step towards showing that Indonesia is putting public health before tobacco profits.
•    That all international artists and athletes performing in Indonesia reject tobacco sponsorship of their concerts and events; that they do not participate in or endorse any activity or event that promotes cigarettes, smoking, and tobacco companies;
•    That Wolfmother and The Vines at their Java Rockin Land concert in Jakarta this week-end make a public statement that they will no longer endorse tobacco sponsorship and do not encourage smoking; they condemn the distribution of free cigarettes at concerts.

Action agreed – APACT Plenary – 9 October 2010, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre Darling Harbour, SYDNEY, Australia
Dr Harley Stanton President APACT 2007-2010

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