COP Live Day 5 update #1
The COP Journals are informative for what business COP is expected to get through that day and for a report on the previous day. Today’s Journal is here:
From the Journal we learn that ‘Implementation of Articles 9 & 10’ (agenda item 6.1) is still unresolved; Committee A will be dealing with it yet again today. We reported on this several times this week. If you are in Committee A and you are reading this – do look at page 5 of Clive Bates’ Commentary on the annotated agenda for a succinct outline of the issues.
Committee A is also discussing ‘Novel and emerging tobacco products’ (agenda item 6.3) today. Again, if anyone from Committee A is here, do read pages 9-11 of Clive Bates’ Commentary on the annotated agenda for his expert view on that.
Both Committees have had evening sessions added, in order to get through their business. It is good to see that the agenda items are being properly discussed, and the WHO and Secretariat’s proposals are not just being waved through.
According to the Programme of work in today’s Journal, the plan is to clear agenda items up to and including item 8. That would leave what are basically announcements for the plenary / closing session tomorrow. According to the Preliminary Journal, tomorrow’s plenary session will be held either in the morning or in the afternoon:
We just hope that Red Bull is on hand – there is still a lot of business to get through.
The thorny issue of harm reduction at COP10
It is evident that the prohibitionists at COP are getting a hard time over the issue of tobacco harm reduction (THR). Many of the statements made by Parties in the livestreamed debate referenced it, suggesting trouble ahead for those who want harsh restrictions applied to safer nicotine products. The NGO’s are on the back foot. The European Respiratory Society (ERS) felt compelled to put out a statement on THR this week, asserting that ‘it cannot recommend “harm reduction” as a population-based strategy to reduce smoking and aid quitting’. (Sorry, ERS, the ship has already sailed: there are millions of us globally who have left smoking behind, thanks to THR.)
GATC published an article titled ‘Harm reduction is at the heart of the treaty’ in their latest bulletin. Those of us who practise THR would agree that harm reduction is central to the treaty – after all, it is covered in article 1 d of the FCTC:
Image credit: @vapingit
However, that is all we can agree with in GATC’s article, in which they appear to misunderstand what harm reduction is about, let alone THR.
We hope that COP will heed St Kitts and Nevis, who in the livestreamed debate said that:
‘the tobacco control community should not reject the idea of harm reduction per se but we should learn from the best practices of proven public health oriented measures while preventing the tobacco industry from hijacking that important term’
Guyana is in GATC’s bad books today, for ‘repeated grandstanding, time-wasting interventions that ignored legal advice on the content of the FCTC and rules of procedure of the COP’.
Yesterday we had included Guyana in our Interesting country statements article, noting that they had called for a ‘serious and evidence-based discourse on harm reduction’. A clue to GATC’s displeasure?
Country statements – videos
sCOPe has compiled a YouTube playlist with the videos of the statements made by countries in Asia Pacific. Watch (and share!) those from here:
CoP 10 Country Statements – Asia Pacific
Some of the interesting articles we have seen recently:
WHO FCTC asked to disclose full information on smoke-free products
Tobaccoharmreduction.net has these reports from earlier in the week:
Navigating Tensions: Pragmatism vs. Ideology at COP10’s Midpoint
SHIFTING POLICY GOALS: CHALLENGES IN TOBACCO CONTROL AT COP10 SESSIONS
Unofficial COP events
It’s the last day of Good COP. The event so far has been excellent. Check out the agenda here:
That’s all from us, for now