Some sessions of the international tobacco-control meeting due to be staged in India next month will be held in public, according to Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, head of the Secretariat of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), writing a Huffington Post blog.
The seventh meeting of the FCTC’s Conference of the Parties (COP7), which is due to be held in New Delhi on November 7-12, has criticized for refusing entry to relevant stakeholders, including tobacco growers, and the media.
Last month, a report by the Australian Institute for Progress said that COP7 would lack the transparency and dialogue which underpinned United Nations values. The report (https://aip.asn.au) was launched by the former Australian government minister, Dr. Gary Johns.
Da Costa e Silva said that the parties to the Delhi meeting could not sit at the negotiating table with the people who had caused the global disaster of tobacco use because the tobacco industry lied. ‘Publicly it speaks in a mild voice, while behind the scenes it executes policies in absolute opposition to its public statements, ultimately killing one in every two regular users of its products,’ she said.
‘So when we meet in Delhi in November for the WHO FCTC’s seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP), we will be making documents available, we will be briefing journalists and we will publicize our decisions.
‘We will also guard against tobacco industry interference, this most untrustworthy of businesses. It would be a dereliction of our duty to do otherwise.
‘That means some sessions will be held in public and some behind closed doors, normal in international meetings and as provided by the rules of the FCTC Conference of the Parties.
‘We will be as open as possible, but we are not naive. We have learned a critical lesson – this industry can never be trusted and will try to disrupt and confound the tobacco control process.
‘COP7 will, I believe, send an unequivocal message to the tobacco peddlers. The world understands who you are and what you do, and is determined to stamp out the global plague which you do so much to spread.’