De Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie (WHO) probeert de interpretatie van de afspraken rond de Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) om te buigen in een veel strakkere richting dan daadwerkelijk is afgesproken.
Dat zegt de International Travel Retail Confederation (ITRC).
De FCTC is een overeenkomst tussen landen wereldwijd om het gebruik van tabak te ontmoedigen en ligt aan de basis van de Nederlandse tabakswet. Zowel ambtenaren van VWS als Stivoro bezoeken regelmatig bijeenkomsten van de FCTC.
In tegenstelling tot de afspraken probeert de WHO landen er van te overtuigen dat het volgens de conventie verplicht is een einde te maken aan het verschijnsel belastingvrije sigaretten.
The WHO accused of rewriting FCTC clause
Tobacco Reporter – February 20, 2004
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a checklist for countries outlining actions required to implement the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). In the document, the WHO says countries must take measures to “restrict or prohibit duty-free sales of tobacco products.” According to the International Travel Retail Confederation (ITRC), this violates the final text of the FCTC, which states that countries may choose to implement restrictions on duty-free sales of tobacco, but are not required to do so.
Keith Spinks, the director-general of the ITRC, says, “The WHO is re-interpreting the Convention in an effort to convince signatories to the treaty that banning duty-free sales is mandatory. However, this is not how the final agreed text of the Convention reads.”
The guidelines are part of an undated, informal paper entitled “Requirements of the WHO FCTC to be fulfilled by Parties through action at the national level,” subtitled “Checklist.” The paper defines the required legal actions as “adopting policies, enacting legislation and taking related action to regulate issues such as pricing and taxation of tobacco products, restriction of duty-free sales, protection from exposure to tobacco smoke, restricting or prohibiting advertising, and preventing illicit trade.”
The paper was one of three informal notes described as guideline papers on implementing the FCTC treaty found on the WHO’s Western Pacific Regional Office Web site. They do not appear on any other WHO public site, says the ITRC.
Spinks adds, “This ‘informal paper’ is a clear indication that the WHO intends to use its influence with national governments to press for action against the duty-free trade. I believe this development must finally convince the global industry that it remains under direct threat from the WHO’s tobacco treaty, and that it must continue to fight for its business.”