Tobacco interests seek seat at CoP7

| October 11, 2016

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being ‘implored’ by a number of organizations seeking to be included in the official Indian delegation to the seventh Conference of the Parties (CoP7) to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

CoP7 is due to be held in New Delhi on November 7-12.

Those seeking to be represented at the event are the Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA), the association of small tobacco retailers (the Akhil Bharatiya Paan Vikreta Sangathan – ABPVS), and the bidi manufacturers’ group, AIBIF.

In the letter to the Prime Minister, the ABPVS said the government might be forced to consider and adopt harsh policies against tobacco retailers at the CoP7 meeting. ‘To counter this and ensure small retailers are allowed to present their point of view and valid concerns, the association is seeking to be included in the team representing India at WHO FCTC,’ it said.

An appeal has been sent to the Health Minister, Commerce Minister, Labor Minister and the Finance Minister.

The appeal, said FAIFA president B.V. Javare Gowda, was a demonstration of the disappointment and resentment towards existing regulations and a plea that the government of India promote balanced laws to protect the interests and livelihoods of millions of small farmers, farm laborers and their families.

“A democratic, participative approach in forming the Indian delegation to CoP7 will ensure that farmers and industry viewpoint is taken cognizance of, and no unilateral, discriminatory and one-sided decision is taken by the Parties of the Conference that would be hostile to the livelihoods of millions dependent on tobacco in India,” he said.

Gowda said that the participation of farmers in CoP7 deliberations would be in line with the principles of transparency and equity as propagated by the United Nations itself.

Category: Breaking News

Comments are closed.