Kenya: WHO AFRO and WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer workshop on health, trade and investment in the East African Region

Norway: Workshop on legal issues relating to the implementation of plain / standardized tobacco packaging in Europe
June 19, 2015

The WHO Regional Office for Africa and the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, a WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub on tobacco and trade matters, jointly conducted a capacity building working on promoting coherence between health, trade and investment in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in the East African Region. The workshop, held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 25-28 May, brought together participants from across different sectors of government in Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania, and faculty from Australia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Participants discussed the role that regional and international trade and investment are playing in economic development in the East African Region, and the need to harness the positives and minimise negative effects in order to promote sustainable development. Participants noted the centrality of health to sustainable development, and the importance of effective WHO FCTC implementation for both.

Participants examined the relationships between WHO FCTC implementation and international and regional trade and investment agreements, and particularly the policy space for the protection and promotion of health in these agreements. They discussed the current challenge by BAT Kenya to Kenya’s tobacco control laws and the ongoing World Trade Organization and investment treaty challenges to Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws and the investment treaty challenge to Uruguay’s packaging and labelling laws.

Participants shared their experiences of false assertions made by the tobacco industry that tobacco control measures breach a range of domestic, regional and international laws, and discussed ways to effectively counteract these claims, including by harnessing the legal power of the WHO FCTC.

Participants agreed on follow-up actions to be carried out at the regional and country level across different sectors of government.

The workshop was supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the WHO Regional Office for Africa, and conducted as a McCabe Centre WHO FCTC knowledge hub activity.

Cross-posted on the WHO AFRO and Convention Secretariat webpages.

McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer
McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer
The McCabe Centre's mission is to promote the effective use of law for the prevention and control of cancer and other noncommunicable diseases by building knowledge, expertise, capacity and networks at global, regional and domestic levels