UN health agency releases draft treaty aimed at curbing global tobacco epidemic

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today released the draft text of a treaty – set for negotiation later this year – that aims to curb what the agency terms a global “tobacco epidemic.” The draft Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which was put together by the chief negotiator, Ambassador Luiz Felipe de Seixas Correa of Brazil, details points of potential agreement on such key issues as tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, the illicit trade in tobacco products, taxes, and international cooperation in such areas as agricultural diversification. Ambassador de Seixas Correa called the draft “a basket of best options” for nations seeking to curb tobacco use and voiced confidence that it would be adopted early next year. “As in any negotiations, there is a process of give and take, and it is my firm belief that this text will meet the target date of May 2003 for adoption,” he said. The FCTC will be considered by WHO member States meeting in Geneva from 14 to 25 October. According to the agency, that round aims to be the penultimate negotiating session before the text’s adoption by the World Health Assembly when it meets next May. read more