Intervention by Corporate Accountability International at the Fifth Anniversary of the FCTC
For Immediate Release:
February 26, 2010
GENEVA- On behalf of Corporate Accountability International and the Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals (NATT), we whole-heartedly join with the World Health Organization to congratulate member states in celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the world’s first public health and corporate accountability treaty. The anniversary is an incredible milestone. We applaud the 168 countries that have ratified the treaty and encourage these countries to continue standing firm in the face of tobacco industry pressure to weaken its lifesaving measures.
In an inspiring display of international cooperation, the World Health Organization launched negotiations on a global tobacco treaty to challenge the largest preventable health epidemic. Five years ago the tobacco industry’s impact on public health was virtually unchecked; today we celebrate the conviction and collaboration of civil society and government leaders from around the world and the resulting international treaty that levels the playing field for tobacco control and public health efforts.
The World Health Organization (WHO) made precedent setting history when the treaty entered into force as international law in 2005. The FCTC is a first of its kind for the WHO and the United Nations; it is one of the most widely and quickly embraced treaties in history.
Corporate Accountability International and NATT are committed to work for strong worldwide enforcement and broad implementation of the treaty that could save hundreds of millions of lives over the next 40 years.
One of the greatest impacts of the treaty is its recognition, in Article 5.3, of the tobacco industry’s fundamental and irreconcilable conflict with public health. Echoing the statements today of Madam Director General and the Honorable President of the Conference of the Parties, we urge governments to remain vigilant in the enforcement and implementation phase. And assure you that NATT will continue to monitor and expose Big Tobacco’s deadly tricks and to support Parties in implementing the Article 5.3 guidelines.
The FCTC is a victory for people and health over the profits of transnational corporations; however, the threat from Big Tobacco is still eminent. Still there is reason for great optimism, given the success of the treaty and its guidelines to date. We are confident of even more milestones for celebration in the coming months.