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The Role of Civil Society in the FCTC* Process. Laurent Huber Framework Convention Alliance (FCA). * FCTC: Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Section A. The Roles of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society in the FCTC Process. Learning Objective .

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the role of civil society in the fctc process

The Role of Civil Society in the FCTC* Process

Laurent Huber

Framework Convention Alliance (FCA)

* FCTC: Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

section a

Section A

The Roles of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society in the FCTC Process

learning objective
Learning Objective
  • Provide an overview of the role of civil society in the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) negotiation process, from development to implementation and monitoring
the fctc
The FCTC
  • The first international public health treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO
  • Objective: to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental, and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and tobacco smoke exposure
  • Roadmap that could lead to comprehensive tobacco control programs and strategies at the international, national, regional, and local levels
the fctc as a global public good
The FCTC as a Global Public Good

“The WHO FCTC is a powerful global public good for health, in that it is catalyzing international health cooperation to reduce the burden of disease attributable to tobacco consumption”

—World Health Organization

challenges to fctc success
Challenges to FCTC Success
  • In many countries, including many developing ones:
    • Domestic legislation is nonexistent or extremely weak
    • The tobacco control movement is in its infancy
    • Tobacco control is not perceived by politicians as a public health priority
    • Resources for tobacco control are nonexistent
    • The tobacco industry wields great political and economic power
civil society and ngos in the fctc
Civil Society and NGOs in the FCTC
  • Preamble of the WHO FCTC
    • Emphasizes special contribution of NGOs and other members of civil society to tobacco control efforts
  • Article 4.7 of the WHO FCTC
    • The participation of civil society is essential in achieving the objectives of the Convention and its protocols
fctc process ngo civil society participation critical
FCTC Process: NGO/Civil Society Participation Critical
  • NGO involvement results in stronger treaties with shorter timelines
    • International Code on Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes
    • Landmine Treaty
    • FCTC
  • NGOs have more political independence than governments or WHO
  • NGOs can better catalyze and coordinate NGO coalitions
  • The engagement of civil society in a treaty-making process is a key aspect of democracy and good governance
  • Role of civil society and NGOs in this process is to raise the bar
un secretary general report to un general assembly
UN Secretary General Report to UN General Assembly

“The degree to which a world conference mobilizes the attention of NGOs and other organizations of civil society has become an important criterion for judging its success.”

“The massive presence of NGOs . . . [has] increased public awareness of the conferences and the issues they dealt with and, ultimately, of the United Nations, and was a driving force for the setting of international norms and standards.”

“Determined, knowledgeable and well-organized NGOs that are willing to form caucuses and alliances can achieve successes in advocacy and lend tremendous weight to international and United Nations-led campaigns.”

—Kofi Annan (1998)

the framework convention alliance fca
The Framework Convention Alliance (FCA)
  • Comprised of 300+ NGOs from 100+ countries
  • A true global tobacco control coalition
  • Brought together health, consumer, human rights, environmental, religious, and other groups to address tobacco
  • Powerful voice in WHO FCTC negotiation process

Image source: Huber, L. (2006).

mission of the framework convention alliance
Mission of the Framework Convention Alliance
  • The FCA mission is to carry out effectively the watchdog function for the WHO FCTC
  • To develop tobacco control capacity, particularly in developing countries to support the ratification, accession, implementation, and monitoring of the FCTC
  • To promote and support a network for global tobacco control campaigning
civil society s presence in the who fctc process
Civil Society’s Presence in the WHO FCTC Process
  • FCA NGO representatives have participated in:
    • All six treaty negotiating sessions, as well as two working group sessions
    • Dozens of regional treaty meetings
    • Several annual meetings of the World Health Assembly
    • Two Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) meetings
    • The First Conference of the Parties (COP) and Expert Working group meetings
ensured ngo presence during who fctc negotiations
Ensured NGO Presence During WHO FCTC Negotiations
  • A key element of FCTC success was ensuring that voices of world were present
  • Governments and NGOs from around the world participated
  • Presence of wealthy as well as low- and middle-income countries

Images source: Huber, L. (2006).

ensured ngo presence during igwg1 igwg2 cop1
Ensured NGO Presence During IGWG1, IGWG2, COP1

Images source: Huber, L. (2006).

perspective from a member of the u s delegation
Perspective from a Member of the U.S. Delegation

“The NGOs in Geneva were well organized and outspoken.”

“…an assortment of other NGOs banded together to form an umbrella organization called the Framework Convention Alliance.”

“…the NGOs worked the halls masterfully and, for all intents and purposes, filled the roles of deeply entrenched Washington insiders.”

— Gregory Jacob (2003)

Source: The University of Chicago Journal of International Law. (2004).

civil society expertise
Civil Society Expertise
  • Civil society brought top experts to needed fields
    • Smoke-free policy, litigation, best practices, product health warnings, and other experts
  • Provided powerful briefings for governments to use

Images source: Huber, L. (2006).

fca bulletin
FCA Bulletin

Images source: Huber, L. (2006).

briefings for delegates negotiating the who fctc
Briefings for Delegates Negotiating the WHO FCTC
  • Provide expert testimony on the relevant issues and research

Images source: Huber, L. (2006).

staged events during fctc meetings
Staged Events During FCTC Meetings

Images source: Huber, L. (2006).

guidelines on implementation elaboration of protocol
Guidelines on Implementation/Elaboration of Protocol
  • Treaty is a good road map—but not the final solution
    • A country could be fully compliant with FCTC without fully protecting the public’s health
  • Guidelines are being developed by the Secretariat and the COP
  • Guidelines will not be legally binding, but they will provide what constitutes effective evidence-based implementation of the articles of the treaty
guidelines on implementation elaboration of protocol1
Guidelines on Implementation/Elaboration of Protocol
  • Civil society
    • Involved in the expert group tasked with elaborating a template for a protocol on illicit trade
    • Participated in the meeting of key facilitators, experts, and other interested parties on the elaboration of guidelines on Articles 8, 9, and 10
    • Participated in an ad-hoc study group on alternative crops
media to advocate in favor of the fctc
Media to Advocate in Favor of the FCTC
  • Civil society worked at the national level to promote the FCTCoutside of the FCTC/WHO forum through Inter-governmentalNegotiating Body Meetings
  • Capacity building trainings were organized to assist implementation or ratification of the treaty by involving civil society at the national level

Images source: Huber, L. (2006).

capacity building in tobacco control
Capacity Building in Tobacco Control
  • Ca·pac·i·ty: the ability to perform functions, solve problems, and achieve objectives
    • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) definition
  • The ability to respond to tobacco control comprehensively
  • Help NGOs develop specific, concise strategic plans to achieve a certain goal
capacity building workshops
Capacity Building Workshops

Images source: Huber, L. (2006).

fctc role
FCTC Role
  • Assess needs or gaps that countries have at the national level
  • Develop specific strategic plans
  • Assist and provide grants to support country-level strategic plans
capacity building trainings
Capacity Building Trainings

Images source: Huber, L. (2006).

national level advocacy events
National Level Advocacy Events

Images source: Huber, L. (2006).

regional sub regional coordination
Regional/Sub-Regional Coordination
  • More activities in support of tobacco control
  • Better grants and proposals
  • Better exchange of communication

Image source: adapted by CTLT from the World Health Organization. (2007).

international advocacy campaigns
International Advocacy Campaigns
  • Online petitions
  • Fax, letter campaigns
  • Letters to presidents, prime ministers, kings
  • Lobbying governments to sign/ratify/accede/implement the FCTC

Images source: Huber, L. (2006).

ensuring effective implementation
Ensuring Effective Implementation

Image source: The Framework Convention Alliance. (2006).

article 21 reporting and exchange of information
Article 21: Reporting and Exchange of Information

“Each Party shall submit to the Conference of the Parties, through the Secretariat, periodic reports on its implementation of this Convention…”

— FCTC Article 21

Source: World Health Organization. (2007).

monitoring implementation of the fctc cop decision
Monitoring Implementation of the FCTC: COP Decision
  • Parties agreed to a graduated reporting system under which they are required to report on some articles after two, five, and eight years of entry into force
  • Parties agreed that their objective in reporting: “is to enable Parties to learn from each others’ experience in implementation and not to develop a checklist on implementation”
the clock is ticking
The Clock Is Ticking
  • February 27, 2008
    • 40 original ratifying countries must have health warnings on packages
  • February 27, 2010
    • 40 original ratifying countries must have ad ban in place

Image source: Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. (2007).

monitoring the implementation of the fctc
Monitoring the Implementation of the FCTC
  • Civil society has the responsibility to develop and implement a monitoring and reporting mechanism whose mission is to monitor the implementation and respect of the Convention (a check list on implementation)
    • Example: The Land Mine Monitor: 1997 Mine Ban Treaty
fca fctc monitor data collection system
FCA FCTC Monitor Data Collection System

Image source: The Framework Convention Alliance. (2006).

what is the fca fctc monitor data collection system
What Is the FCA FCTC Monitor Data Collection System?

Image source: The Framework Convention Alliance. (2006).

who will collect the data
Who Will Collect the Data?
  • Civil society and NGOs will collect and analyze the data around the world
    • They will make policy recommendations based on what is taking place at the national level
what topics will be included
What Topics Will Be Included?
  • Background information on key informant and country overview, includes information on:
    • Tobacco control programs
    • Non-governmental organizations
    • Media coverage
    • Industry interference
what topics will be included1
What Topics Will Be Included?
  • FCTC implementation includes information on:
    • FCTC signature and ratification
    • FCTC obligations as outlined in Articles 6, 8, 11, and 13
    • Other FCTC initiatives
what topics will be included2
What Topics Will Be Included?
  • Supplemental documents
    • Allow data collector to upload pictures, texts of legislation, and other examples
what topics will be included3
What Topics Will Be Included?
  • Going beyond the numbers, including a narrative description of tobacco control in the country
civil society monitoring of the fctc
Civil Society Monitoring of the FCTC
  • June 30, 2007 during COP2
  • Mirrored the countries’ reports submitted to COP2

Image source: The Framework Convention Alliance. (2006).

asean tobacco control report card
ASEAN Tobacco Control Report Card

Image source: Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance. (2007).

national level reports
National Level Reports

Images source: Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil (OSCs). (2006).

national level reports1
National Level Reports

Images source: Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil (OSCs). (2007).

national level reports2
National Level Reports

Images source: Canada Coalition for Action on Tobacco. (2006).