Protocol aimed at eliminating illicit tobacco trade opens for signature

| January 11, 2013

The World Health Organization yesterday opened for signature a protocol aimed at eliminating the illicit trade in tobacco products.

The protocol was adopted with much fanfare in November at the fifth Conference of the Parties to the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which was held at Seoul, South Korea.

And, according to a Voice of America story, ‘participating ministers and representatives attended a signing ceremony at the WHO headquarters [Geneva] to mark the landmark achievement’.

The WHO’s director-general, Margaret Chan, apparently told delegates attending the ceremony that one of the most joyous moments of her life was the unanimous adoption of the protocol, despite efforts by the tobacco industry to prevent it from passing.

But the protocol is almost certainly broadly welcomed by the tobacco industry, which would like to see the speedy implementation of one of its commitments – the establishment an efficient international track and trace system for tobacco products.

And it would like to see the protocol broadened to encompass certain manufacturing materials.

The protocol will remain open for signature until January 9, 2014.

It will enter into force 90 days after the 40th FCTC participating country has ratified it.

Category: Breaking News

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