In accordance with Article 34 of the Protocol, the Convention Secretariat will also be the Secretariat of the Protocol.
Following the adoption of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (Protocol) by the Conference of the Parties (COP) at its fifth session (Seoul, Republic of Korea, 12-17 November 2012), the Conference requested the Convention Secretariat to commence activities aimed at promoting the entry into force of the Protocol and convening the first session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP) in due course.
As requested, the Secretariat is carrying out Protocol-related activities in accordance with decision FCTC/COP5(16) and the 2013-2014 workplan adopted by the COP. The Secretariat will conduct activities aimed at raising awareness of the Protocol and promoting its entry into force, through web-based seminars and other online means as well as through regional workshops (as part of the broader WHO FCTC implementation workshops carried out by the Secretariat in different regional/subregional settings; in 2013, three or four workshops will be convened, with other regions to be involved in 2014). The following activities will also be carried out before entry into force:
Establishing coordination with international organizations with expertise in Protocol-related matters. This concerns in particular the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Customs Organization (WCO), as the Protocol refers to the “need to build enhanced cooperation” with these organizations and other bodies. Representatives of UNODC and WCO participated in the ceremony marking the opening for signature of the Protocol, held in Geneva on 10 January 2013. Further meetings and discussions with both organizations are being held to explore and promote ways to cooperate in raising awareness of the Protocol and eventually in supporting its implementation.
A study of the basic requirements of the tracking and tracing regime and the global information sharing focal point, including best practices available in Parties, will be conducted. The study will be submitted to the first session of the MOP.
Development of a self-assessment checklist for use by Parties in assessing their legal, regulatory and policy frameworks in view of the requirements of the Protocol and in order to scope Parties’ technical assistance and capacity building needs.
The self-assessment checklist has been prepared by the Convention Secretariat in the six official languages of the COP. The checklist is available on a protected website and Parties are invited to utilize it at their convenience. A note verbale with information on how to access the protected website has been sent to all Parties. For login information, Parties are invited to contact the Secretariat by email (email@example.com).
Preparations for the first session of the MOP: The first MOP will be held immediately before or after the next regular session of the COP following the entry into force of the Protocol. The Protocol will enter into force on the 90th day following ratification by 40 States. Should the Protocol enter into force before the sixth session of the COP, to be held in 2014, the first MOP will take place immediately before or after that session.