Quite a bit happened with COP10 since we last posted. Here we bring you up to speed:
“The upshot is that, with less than 2 weeks to go, the WHO has booked a convention centre in which to hold COP10 but has no-one to organise it. Delegates may be arriving in Panama City all dressed up but with nowhere to go.” Even bigger big trouble in little Panama
So, it came as no surprise to us when on 9 November it was announced that COP10 would be postponed. The Secretariat’s press release stated that the postponement was at the request of Panama and “due to the current security situation in Panama”. However, Copwatchers will find it hard to believe that the problems with the COP10 contract, and the whiff of corruption around it, had nothing to do with the decision. See Vaping Today’s recent article, here, for an in depth analysis of the various issues.
A ‘de minimis’ virtual session was held on 23 November. The main agenda item addressed the need to raise money to fund the resumed in person COP10 [you’ll remember that the Panama government had refused the consortium planning COP an extra $2 million, not long before the postponement was announced]. This Decision document shows how the $1.1m needed to finance the rescheduling will be raised: https://storage.googleapis.com/who-fctc-cop10-source/Decisions/fctc-cop-10-3-en.pdf
The Journal for the de minimis session is thin, but it does give these ‘official’ hashtags for COP10: #COP10FCTC and #COP10 (both hashtags are currently dominated by consumer advocates for tobacco harm reduction).
A few days later – the money now being in place – the new dates for the in person COP10 in Panama were announced: Monday, 5 February to Saturday, 10 February 2024
A huge bonus for those who appreciate transparency (not you, FCTC Secretariat) is that the delegates list for the de minimis session had to be published:
Usually we have to wait until after COP to see who the delegates are – despite them all being funded out of the public purse! Publishing the list in advance means that delegates can be contacted by the actual public. It offers a rare opportunity for those who are most affected by the decisions taken at FCTC COP to have a say. So, get writing, people!