Combating Illicit Tobacco Trade: Preparing the Ground for Future International Protocol to WHO Tobacco Control Convention

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Elena Papangelopoulou

Representatives of over 30 countries, the European Commission, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations met in Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 5 and 6, 2007, in a regional conference about illicit trade in tobacco products. The meeting was aimed at preparing for a meeting in Geneva which is scheduled for February 2008. At that meeting, representatives of 151 countries will meet under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to begin negotiations on an international Protocol to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The Protocol will be specifically aimed at eliminating the illicit tobacco trade. The European Commission, in particular its Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) played a leading role in the original negotiation of Article 15 of the Framework Convention which deals with illicit trade. The WHO Framework Convention is the first global health treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO. It entered into force on February 27, 2005 and currently has 151 parties...[more]