Nadi, April 28, 2014 – Western Pacific Regional meeting on the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control will be held 28-30 April 2014 in Nadi, Fiji. The meeting is hosted by the Ministry of Health, Fiji and organized by the Convention Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in cooperation with WHO Western Pacific Regional Office.
Representatives from 25 countries in the Western Pacific region will come together to review and further promote the implementation of the Convention in the Western Pacific.
Fiji was the first country in the Pacific and third in the world to ratify the WHO FCTC . Fiji is also the first Pacific island country to sign the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.
His Excellency the President of the Republic of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, will deliver the key note address.
As of today, 178 countries are Parties to the WHO FCTC; including all Pacific island countries. Western Pacific Region is the only region with 100 percent ratification of the Convention.
The meeting is an important one for Pacific Island Countries as it will review and promote inter-country exchanges on implementation achievements and challenges, review and promote the use of instruments available for implementation of the Convention; discuss international and multisectoral cooperation, resources, and mechanisms of assistance for implementation of the Convention; and raise awareness of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products with a view to further promoting ratifications and entry into force of the protocol.
“The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is an evidence-based treaty developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic, which kills nearly 6 million people each year world-wide,” said Dr. Liu Yunguo, WHO Representative/Director Pacific Technical Support.
WHO FCTC is the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO and entered into force on 27 February 2005.
Tobacco use is one of the world’s leading preventable causes of death and contributes significantly to the risks for noncommunicable diseases like cancer, lung and heart disease. Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke is also harmful to health, causing an estimated 600,000 deaths globally each year.
In the Western Pacific Region it is estimated that two people die every minute from tobacco-related disease, and half of all women and children are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home and in public places.
The meeting will end on Wednesday, April 30, 2014.
For more information contact:
Dr Temo Waqanivalu, Coordinator (Noncommunicable Disease (NCD) and Health Promotion)
Division of Pacific Technical Support
World Health Organization South Pacific Office
Level 4 Provident Plaza One, Downtown Boulevard
33 Ellery Street, PO Box 113, Suva, Fiji.
Ph: 679-323 4100 / 323 4127(Dir)
Fax: 679-323 4166