WHO FCTC Article 20 in focus of international experts

Tobacco surveillance will be addressed in Helsinki on 11-13 December 2017
December 7, 2017
Registration to Article 20 webinars open
September 28, 2018

The three-day expert meeting on implementation of FCFC Article 20 was convened by the Convention Secretariat and hosted by the WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub on Surveillance. That was the first international meetings organized by the Knowledge Hub (KH) from Finland, the country with strong tobacco policy and a comprehensive and well-functioning tobacco monitoring system, the country with effective tobacco control and declining tobacco use trends.

The audience consisted of distinguished experts from leading organisations, institutions and networks from around the world (Convention Secretariat, WHO headquarters and regional offices, CDC, ENST, American Cancer Society, Health Canada, University of Stirling and University of York, other WHO FCTC knowledge hubs, Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and Ukrainian Ministry of Health) and Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, which hosts the KH on Surveillance.

The Convention Secretariat introduced the issues related to Article 20 and reminded the audience of the Reporting WHO FCTC.

The first key point of the agenda was to make an overview of the current state of the game in the implementation of Article 20, which, unlike many other FCTC articles, has no implementation guidelines. To set the landscape for the discussion, the KH on Surveillance had prepared an analysis of the FCTC Parties’ progress in implementing Article 20 based on their latest FCTC reporting (2016).

Another crucial item was to brainstorm possible solutions for scaling up the implementation of Article 20 and improving the reporting for Article 20. This is particularly important in the light of SDG targets and the need for the countries to achieve progress in the implementation and to report the achieved progress. SDG target 3.a deals with strengthening the implementation of the WHO FCTC.

A series of presentations was made by experts, i.e. on new and emerging tobacco products, on smokeless tobacco, and health in all policies approach for scaling up public-health oriented agenda across sectors.

Last but not least, the experts discussed how the KH on Surveillance could step up its work in rendering support to Parties with relation to Article 20. It is to be borne in mind that the KH on Surveillance is globally oriented, and the surveillance expertise is plenty around the world and therefore the KH should systematically scan the environmental landscape in surveillance, collect information, tools and practices from different parts of the globe. The KH on Surveillance could help Parties analyze collected data, if requested by the Convention Secretariat. Moreover, the KH could establish a roster of experts who could be mobilized, including experts from other KHs. And, of course, the KH on Surveillance should closely work with other KHs on various matters (e.g. joint publications, joint project proposals, etc.)

The summary of observations from the expert meeting can be accessed from here.