Fourth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC

The fourth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) was held from 15 to 20 November 2010 at the conference centre of the Conrad hotel in Punta del Este, Uruguay. The session was attended by 137 Parties to the Convention. The participants also included 7 States non-Parties and 16 nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations accredited as observers to the COP.

The principal decisions adopted by COP comprised the following:

(1) In the area of treaty instruments and technical matters

The COP adopted three new guidelines for implementation of the Convention

• Guidelines for implementation of Article 12 (Education, communication, training and public awareness)

• Guidelines for implementation of Article 14 (Demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation)

• Partial guidelines for implementation of Articles 9 and 10 (Regulation of the contents of tobacco products and Regulation of tobacco product disclosures)

The COP also decided to establish a working group to elaborate guidelines on price and tax policies (Article 6). The work on economically sustainable alternatives to tobacco growing will continue, in order to elaborate appropriate policy options and recommendations.

The COP also decided that negotiations on a protocol to combat illicit trade in tobacco products should continue in 2012 in a final session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body.

Finally the Conference established an expert group on cross-border advertising, promotion and sponsorship (Article 13) to keep the COP up to date and to monitor progress in this area of work.

(2) In the area of reporting, implementation assistance and international cooperation

Parties adopted the Punta del Este Declaration aimed at strengthening the implementation and protection of public health policies in relation to tobacco control.

Parties also adopted decisions to engage more actively with international organizations and bodies in promoting treaty implementation and strengthening assistance to developing countries to meet their obligations under the Convention. Special focus was placed on the integration of implementation of the WHO FCTC with the existing mechanisms for development cooperation and the 'One UN' framework.

The COP also decided to harmonize data collection initiatives in the area of tobacco control and to synchronize the cycle of Parties' implementation reports with the biennial cycle of regular sessions of the COP.

(3) In the area of budgetary and institutional matters

At its fourth session, the COP reviewed the performance of the current and previous workplans and adopted the workplan and the budget for the biennium 2012–2013. A new COP Bureau was elected with Ambassador Ricardo Varela (Uruguay) as the President of the COP. The COP also decided that its fifth session will take place in 2012 in the Republic of Korea.