The Convention Secretariat is the Secretariat of the Protocol (Article 34 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.
The Secretariat is carrying out Protocol-related activities in accordance with decision FCTC/COP5(16). This includes 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 WHO FCTC regional/subregional implementation workshops carried out by the Secretariat). The following activities are also being 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. The ways of cooperation were reviewed and put into practice with both organizations. In that spirit, the Convention Secretariat promoted the Protocol at global (such as WCO’s Enforcement Committee and UNODC’s Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice) and regional meetings of these organizations, and representatives of UNODC and WCO are participating in Protocol-related meetings organized by the Convention Secretariat. Further meetings and discussions with both organizations are being held to explore and promote ways to cooperate in raising awareness of the Protocol and in supporting its entry into force and eventually, 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, is being conducted by the Convention Secretariat. The study aims at facilitating Parties’ discussions of the global tracking and tracing regime, which will have to be established within five years of entry into force of the Protocol.
A self-assessment checklist for Parties to assess 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, has been prepared by the Convention Secretariat. The checklist is available in the six official languages of the COP 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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/accession by 40 FCTC Parties.