DAY 3 UPDATE #3 19:10 CET
A quiet afternoon for us. Our highlight has been to read through the draft First report of Committee B, which was published this afternoon, and which mysteriously grew some extra pages, after it was first posted.
In the report we learn:
- That they wish to establish the “total amount of Assessed Contributions of Parties for the financial period 2022–2023 at
US$ 8 801 093” (page 2)
Good luck with getting that out of cash strapped governments!
- That they have a target for 2023 of getting just one new application for Observer status (page 8):
They could have doubled their target today, if they had accepted NNA UK and INNCO’s applications.
- How much they are budgeting for staffing costs – this is the biennial cost of the most highly paid person (page 15):
- That team building retreats are on the agenda for the Secretariat (page 14)
Do read the full document. There is a lot more in it than we have shown here and, for a COP9 document, it’s quite entertaining.
In terms of the agenda, as far as we know they have not yet reached item 7, which is where the location for COP10 will be decided. But, we’ll need to wait for the publication of the ever delightful FCA bulletin and Journal 4 tomorrow for confirmation of where they are up to.
Keep an eye on this page for those, and other documents.
The African Harm Reduction Alliance has posted this compelling plea from Dr Kgosi Letlape to COP9 delegates to resist WHO “groupthink”. It is really worth the one minute of your time it will take to watch it:
Three of our favourite tweets from today:
sCOPe is still livestreaming some really interesting content – click here to see that and join the chat if you wish to. The Day 4 content has just started.
Good Night, COPWATCHERS, we’ll be back tomorrow morning.
DAY 3 UPDATE #2 11.55 CET
Unusually for COP meetings, some journalists have survived into at least the second day according to the FCTC. Sadly, when searching for news on COP9 we are unable to find any articles except those written by THR advocates who are, of course, not admitted. If you see anything written by one of these “accredited journalists”, do let us know on our contact form.
The FCA bulletin gave the first mention of the “Omnibus decision”, despite that not yet being available to the public (it is, now – see here). If you can overlook some of the nauseating language, the bulletin has a (we assume accurate) summary of #COP9 day two. The FCA is, again, trying to influence COP9 through its tasteless awards.
Journal 3 of COP FCTC is here: https://untobaccocontrol.org/downloads//cop9/journals/FCTC_COP9_Journal_3_EN.pdf
This confirms that “substantive discussions of and decisions” on some of the agenda (including the items which concern “novel” products) will be deferred to COP10, in 2023:
“The Committee was reminded that for the reasons discussed in the opening Plenary under Agenda item 1, the five reports under agenda items 4.1 and 4.2 would be provided for the information of the Parties, with substantive discussions of and decisions on these items deferred to COP10. This approach had been agreed by the COP, as reflected in decision FCTC/COP9(2).”
This decision to postpone those substantive discussions and decisions means that there is a lot less for Parties to get through. Will COP finish early?
Has someone has been up to dirty tricks to silence the consumer voice?
SCOPe report that they are back on air, having been temporarily taken down.
sCOPE is streaming some fantastic content – head over to their YouTube channel to watch it.
DAY 3 UPDATE #1 10.00 CET
Good morning and welcome to Day 3 of our COPWATCH updates.
OBSERVER STATUS DECISION
Overnight, the Observer decision has been published. It comes as no surprise that COP has accepted the Bureau’s recommendations. Applications from THR consumer groups have been rejected while several Bloomberg grantees implacably opposed to safer nicotine alternatives are welcomed with open arms (as well as their being spectacularly over-represented in the Participants list)
No explanation has been given for the rejections – there are 5 possible reasons (see 3, here). Adding insult to injury, the rejected applicants have not been notified. They are presumably expected to find out by sitting around and refreshing the official documents page. Especially wrong when – as Louise Ross points out below – these groups are largely run by volunteers.
‘At the New Nicotine Alliance, we were disappointed and surprised not to receive any notification that our application for an observer place at COP9 had been rejected. We are a small educational charity, managed by volunteers, dedicated to informing and educating the general public, healthcare professionals and policy-makers about safer alternatives to smoked tobacco, and we have no ties with any industry. Decisions made at COP affect ordinary people, and we believe we had a legitimate reason for applying. But we were not permitted to observe, and only found out by default.’
Louise Ross, Interim Chair, New Nicotine Alliance
And, here is the reaction from INNCO:
“INNCO has applied, and been rejected Observer Status at COP9. Again. We were rejected at COP8. As usual, no explanation was given. We assume that they assume that anyone who advocates for safer nicotine must be in league with the devil (Big Tobacco). Or maybe this hints that they’re aware that their dogma is flawed, and simply need to make sure everyone with lived-experience who might contradict that dogma is excluded from the conversation. Whatever… Our rejection is a violation of our human rights: Our right to have a seat at the table on policy decisions that affect us and 98 million adults worldwide who use safer nicotine to avoid toxic forms of tobacco.”
Charles Gardner, Executive Director, International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations