• May 28, 2024

FCTC funding story ‘inaccurate’

 FCTC funding story ‘inaccurate’
world health organization photo
Photo by US Mission Geneva

The EU Commission has described as inaccurate a report by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) that claims that nearly 80 percent of the parties to an international tobacco control treaty, including the EU, have not paid their contributions.

The Commission was responding to a question by the French member of the European Parliament, Nadine Morano.

Morano said that the TPA report revealed that almost 80 percent of the parties to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control had not paid their financial contributions required under the convention.

She asked the Commission to ‘outline what the state of play is with regard to the payment of the EU’s tobacco control contribution, and, more generally, take stock of the steps that have been taken to combat smoking in the EU’.

The Commission replied that it was aware of the report by the TPA. ‘This report is unfortunately inaccurate because it does not take into account the payment schedules of Parties,’ it said.

‘Regarding the EU contribution for 2016-2017, the 2016 portion has already been paid and the remaining balance will be paid in 2017 as agreed with the World Health Organisation FCTC.

‘The EU and its member states are strongly committed to tobacco control. As such, a number of tobacco control measures have been introduced in the form of legislation, recommendations and information campaigns. Such measures include: the regulation of tobacco products on the EU market (e.g. packaging, labelling, and ingredients), EC law providing for advertising restrictions for tobacco products, a Council Recommendation and national legislation on smoke-free environments, tax measures and activities against illicit trade, and anti-smoking campaigns.’

In launching its report in October, The World Health Organization in Intensive Care, the TPA said that as of July 15, 142 of the 180 FCTC member countries, nearly 80 percent, had outstanding obligations.

Commenting on the report, David Williams, TPA president, said it was shocking how many countries still refused to pay their subscriptions.

“We suspect that this is indicative of wider concern about the way the WHO operates,” he said.

“It is essential that during the election campaign for the next Director-General of WHO, which has just started, that the candidates face up to the very serious questions about transparency, funding, accountability and malpractice, which the WHO must answer.  The world’s taxpayers deserve clear answers, not obfuscation.”