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WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

Date: 17-22 November 2008
Place: Durban, South Africa

The third session of the Conference of the Parties (COP3) of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) will convene in Durban. The overall objective is to make further and faster progress on the implementation of the FCTC, the first health treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO. The FCTC is the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO. In contrast to previous drug control treaties, the FCTC asserts the importance of demand reduction strategies as well as supply issues.

COP3 will review, among other issues, the progress on the negotiations of a protocol on illicit tobacco trade, the first protocol to the treaty, based on the report of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body.

Discussions are expected on the following issues:

  • the interference of the tobacco industry which is the greatest threat to effective implementation of the FCTC;
  • packaging and labelling of tobacco products with picture-based health warnings to ensure that everyone, including the less literate, understands the health messages; and
  • tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Decisions on three progress reports are also awaited, namely on alternatives to tobacco growing, tobacco dependence and cessation, and the global progress report of the first three years of implementation of the FCTC.

About 600 delegates from more than 150 countries are expected to attend the COP3 session, which is being hosted by the Government of South Africa.

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