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WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 30 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which working groups of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control the UK (a) is and (b) is not a member of; and what mechanism exists for UK representation in those working groups of which it is not a member. (271216)

Working groups are established to develop guidelines for implementation of the Articles in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Draft guidelines developed by these working groups are considered for adoption during FCTC Conferences of the Parties.

The membership and progress of the current working groups is set out by the World Health Organisation on its website at:

www.who.int/fctc/cop/working_groups/en/index.html

The United Kingdom is currently a member of two working groups developing guidelines and recommendations on Articles 9 and 10, and on Article 14 of the FCTC. The UK was also a member of the working group that developed guidelines on Articles 8 and 11 of the FCTC.

The UK is not a member of two currently mandated working groups developing guidelines and recommendations on Article 12 and on Articles 17 and 18.

The UK is also participating in the inter-governmental negotiating body which is to draft and negotiate a protocol on illicit trade in tobacco products, to support the provisions of Article 15 of the FCTC.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms exist by which signatory countries to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control join its working groups. (271217)

Countries that are Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Parties volunteer to participate in working groups to elaborate guidelines under the Articles of the Convention, when parties agree that guidelines are to be developed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the membership is of each working group of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of which the UK is a member; and what recent assessment he has made of the progress of each such working group; (271218)

(2) what his most recent assessment is of progress in the development of protocols and guidelines in respect of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control;

(3) what his most recent assessment is of progress made by the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (a) working groups and (b) Conference of the Parties; and if he will make a statement.

The membership and progress of the current working groups established to develop draft guidelines under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), is set out by the World Health Organisation on its website at:

www.who.int/fctc/coop/working_groups/en/index.html

Progress made by the intergovernmental negotiating body on a protocol on illicit trade in tobacco products is set out by the World Health Organisation on its website at:

www.who.int/fctc/inb/en

Reports from FCTC Conferences of the Parties are published by the World Health Organisation on its website at:

www.who.int/fctc/cop/en

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with European Union counterparts on the development of protocols and guidelines in respect of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. (271219)

Protocols and guidelines made under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) are discussed during relevant meetings convened by the European Commission.

Adopted FCTC guidelines were discussed at the fifth meeting of member state health experts under the Tobacco Advertising Directive (2003/33) held on 21 April 2009, and at the ninth meeting of the Regulatory Committee established under Article 10 of the Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC) on 22 April 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent assessment he has made of the UK's progress in meeting its obligations as a signatory to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; and which of these obligations the UK has met to date; (271220)

(2) what effect he has given to the (a) obligations and (b) guidelines contained in the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; and if he will make a statement.

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) encourages parties to take a comprehensive approach to tobacco control. A comprehensive approach to tobacco control is taken in the United Kingdom, and therefore, the Government believe that the UK meets the obligations set out in the Articles of the Convention.

FCTC guidelines adopted by parties are non-binding, and set out best practice guidance for parties in the development of their tobacco control policies. Guidelines are important in informing the development of tobacco control policies in the United Kingdom.