#COP9FCTC LIVE 9 November 2021

#COP9news #THRworks

DAY 2 UPDATE #2 19.40 CET

It’s the end of day two.  We have no more news on what happened at COP9 this afternoon. Our supposition is that the issues which have most concerned THR consumers – whether discussion and decisions on “novel products”  will be postponed to COP10 and whether the Bureau’s recommendations on Observer status are accepted –  have now been covered.  

We will await the official Journal tomorrow to see if any decisions are recorded in there.  (See this page for all the COP9 main documents)

We haven’t heard that the consumer groups who applied for observer status have had it granted – so we assume those applications have been denied.  It is a shocking failure of transparency and basic decency that at the end of Day 2, after so much discussion, applicants for Observer status are still left hanging waiting to see if they will be permitted to observe.  Especially as these groups are mostly run by volunteers.  If this was COP26 we would all have passes and be free to wander around.  See Clive Bates’ recent post for more on the awful lack of transparency at FCTC’s COP: https://clivebates.com/prohibitionists-at-work-how-the-who-damages-public-health-through-hostility-to-tobacco-harm-reduction

However, the FCTC secretariat tweeted earlier to say that accredited press are permitted to observe.

INNCO has today released a timely dossier on Bloomberg, World Health Organisation and the Vaping Misinfodemic.   Our update this morning noted that amongst the now published provisional list of participants to COP9, there were no consumers but many individuals working for Bloomberg funded organisations.  

That’s it for today – we will be back tomorrow with whatever information we can glean from the uber secretive and paranoid COP9.

DAY 2 UPDATE #2 13.10 CET

Agenda item 1.1 has finally been adopted.  This means – we think – that discussion and decisions on some issues – including some involving “novel” products – are deferred until COP10.  For more on what will be deferred see the provisional agenda (annotated).  

The decision on whether to accept the Bureau’s recommendations for which groups should get Observer status has probably now been made, but – as far as we can tell – no decision has yet been communicated to the applicants.  

COP should now be breaking for lunch.  See today’s Journal for the schedule.  

There is far more exciting content being streamed on sCOPe – head over to their YouTube channel  to catch that.

DAY 2 UPDATE #1 10.50 CET

Good morning, and welcome to day 2 of the unofficial virtual public gallery for FCTC COP9.  

Our last update on day 1 left you with the news that an impasse had been reached on approving the agenda. We understand there have been technical problems with the virtual conference and a whole day was spent on just the one agenda item.

Discussions on item 1.1 are continuing this morning to enable Parties to come to some sort of consensus.

Overnight, the Framework Convention Alliance released their day 2 COP9 Bulletin which you can read here. In a shameless example of bullying, the FCA gives a theoretical award to those Parties who supported actions they approve of, and attempts to shame other Parties by giving them the “Dirty Ashtray” award (see below), in this case for raising amendments which they are entitled to do as Parties to the Conference. https://fctc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/COP9-Bulletin_Day-2_9NOV21.pdf

Here is a reminder of items for the Plenary today from the published journal.

https://untobaccocontrol.org/downloads/cop9/journals/FCTC_COP9_Journal_2_EN.pdf

Once item 1.1 is resolved, the next decision will be on whether to accept the Bureau’s recommendations for which groups should be granted Observer status.  

The provisional list of participants is now published, 2 days into the conference. It is astonishing that this information was not made public sooner. Looking through the list, we see no consumers, but lots of representatives from Bloomberg funded organisations.


https://untobaccocontrol.org/downloads/cop9/additional-documents/FCTC_COP9_DIV1_EN.pdf


Only one consumer group – to our knowledge – had been officially given the names for their delegation before COP started.  


A robust statement came out in a video from the Philippines last night, with a call for active participation from all Parties and inclusive consultation with all stakeholders. It stated that the Philippines will not be banning e-cigarettes and recognises the fundamental differences between various tobacco and nicotine products.

sCOPe is streaming 24 hours a day for the week that COP9 is on.  Watch sCOPe on YouTube  here, or on Facebook here. The schedule is in CAPHRA’s pinned Twitter post, here.

Follow us on Twitter to get notifications of new updates.

#COP9FCTC LIVE 8 November 2021 #COP9News

DAY ONE UPDATE #7 AT 18.20 CET

Debate is in a deadlock over a draft decision on the deferral of decisions to COP10 written by the FCTC Bureau. It includes wording that would allow the Bureau discretion to expand the remit of an expert working group which could mean dragging novel and emerging products into articles of the FCTC that they have no business being in. Some Parties are being persuaded by the Bureau to support their land grab but others argue that not only should no substantive discussion take place, but also no decisions of this kind should be made on the current incomplete and preliminary WHO reports, and that discretion should remain with the Parties, not the Bureau.

It seems clear discussions will be deferred to COP10, but what form those discussions will take and what products the discussions will be about is effectively being decided here. 

No final decision is expected tonight as Parties will most likely discuss further amongst themselves and their regional groups. 

Join us for more live updates on day 2 tomorrow. 

sCOPe live is streaming 24 hours a day throughout this COP week, so do visit their YouTube channel to catch some of that.  

DAY ONE UPDATE #6 AT 16.00 CET

  1. Parties are still discussing wording of a potential draft decision to adopt the provisional agenda, including the recommendations of the Bureau to:
  • defer substantive discussions on novel and emerging products to COP10 along with items identified for deferral in pre-COP documents
  • note the reports provided for information and defer discussion and decisions on those to COP10 
  • extend the mandate of the current expert Working Group with a view to discussing an updated report at COP10

In particular, debate surrounds whether or not to maintain the terms of reference contained in a decision made at COP8. It is being driven by the desire of the Bureau to be in charge of the ‘apparent’ expert group, a group that has shown itself to be extremely biased against novel products. The Bureau is rallying countries to support its efforts to grab authority over the work plan for the expert group, despite the fact that it should be determined by the COP – the national governments.

2. FCTC JOURNAL N° 1 – Monday 8 November 2021 was published earlier, this includes the expected schedule for the day, and links to documents.   

3. Clive Bates has just published a new blog on access and exclusion at COP9.  It features a side by side comparison with the approach taken by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The WHO tobacco control treaty meetings are closed bubbles of cultivated groupthink – a comparison with the UN climate change treaty

DAY ONE UPDATE #5 AT 13.20 CET

Discussion for 1.1: We are hearing that Parties are debating amendments to the omnibus decision, that would ensure that substantive discussions on novel and emerging nicotine products are deferred to COP10. The Secretariat is proposing that the mandates for expert groups 9 and 10 are extended.

Proceedings have taken a break with no decision yet taken.

Discussion of the Bureau’s recommendations for which groups should be allowed in as Observers will follow.

DAY ONE UPDATE #4 AT 12.25 CET

We are hearing that the meeting may not even be quorate, because attendee numbers are so low.  

The president of the conference of the parties Mr Esmaeil Baghaei Hamameh opened proceedings with a statement that you can view on this page: https://fctc.who.int/who-fctc/governance/conference-of-the-parties/ninth-session-of-the-conference-of-the-parties

He stated that “although the technology on which we rely at this time is not always kind to us, I promise you that we will use every means to ensure that technical nuances rob no-one of their voice” 

Although this would appear to be a commitment to openness and transparency, there has been no option for the public to make their voice heard, and we now hear that the press feed has been cut, so accredited media are no longer able to view proceedings.

The Framework Convention Alliance has published its daily bulletin which states that “substantive discussions will be deferred to an in-person COP10, and rightly so”. Parties should ensure that this does, indeed, happen. View the bulletin here: https://fctc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/COP9-Bulletin_Day-1_8NOV21.pdf

And, Christopher Snowdon writes:

“The WHO’s secretive international tobacco conference COP9 starts today, online only and with the public barred from watching, let alone participating. COPWATCH will be doing its utmost to find out what’s going on. Keep an eye on it.”

https://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2021/11/the-secret-tobacco-conference-starts.html

DAY ONE UPDATE #3 AT 11.40 CET

One of the video statements posted at the weekend was from Korea, and looks to be suggesting substantive discussions should take place on reduced risk products at COP9.

They propose to “Expand the definition of tobacco products, stipulated in the article 1F of the WHO FCTC, which does not include tobacco products manufactured from tobacco stems, woods, and synthetic nicotine, etc., to proper regulate novel and emerging tobacco products.” 

This means Korea expects COP9 to serve as a starting point for discussions on expanding the definition of tobacco products. It is important that other Parties adhere to the FCTC Secretariat recommendation to postpone discussions until COP10 so that Korea’s proposal will fail. 

Watch the Korea statement below.

DAY ONE UPDATE#2 AT 11.00 CET

To give you a flavour of the diverse range of opinions towards tobacco harm reduction that will be taken to COP9 by the Parties, the FCTC has been publishing short video statements from Health Ministers of countries which will be sending delegations.

The Good – UK: “We will continue to move smokers to less harmful products, including NRTs and regulated e-cigarettes, under robust regulatory framework to prevent young people and non-smokers from using them”

The Bad – European Commission: “”We will update the Council Recommendation on Smoke-Free Environments to take account of novel products.”

The Ugly! – Brazil: “Industry reinventing itself through new products such as electronic cigarettes, heated tobacco cigarettes, and vaporizing instruments targeting young people.”

You can look for your country’s statement here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZE59PNPVa9fxODX84IJNTg/videos 

DAY ONE #1 

Welcome to COP WATCH LIVE. This is the first in a series of articles we are running every day this week, to bring you news and views on #COP9FCTC.  We will be reporting on what we can discover about what is going on in this secretive meeting and also highlighting some of the unofficial fringe events.  

We will bring you updates throughout the day, so do keep checking back here.  

What do we expect from the first day of #COP9

The Preliminary Journal, published on 26 October, suggests that this morning will see whether the Bureau’s recommendations for who is granted or denied Observer status are accepted.  This is important for tobacco harm reduction supporters  because consumer groups INNCO and NNA UK had both applied for Observer status, and the Bureau had recommended rejection of their applications – see this document. You will notice that there are 5 possible reasons for denying Observer status, but the Bureau has not specified which reason applies to which organisation.  Will the Parties do the right thing this morning, and allow the key stakeholders in?  

More on transparency – the Preliminary Journal also indicates that the “provisional list of participants will be available and posted on the WHO FCTC website”.   Bizarrely, although tax payers worldwide fund this conference we have to wait until it starts to find out who will be representing us there.  

COP9 documents, including the provisional agenda, are all here:

https://fctc.who.int/who-fctc/governance/conference-of-the-parties/ninth-session-of-the-conference-of-the-parties/main-documents

FRINGE EVENTS

sCOPe will be streaming 24 hours a day for the week that COP9 is on.  Watch sCOPe on YouTube  here, or on Facebook here. The schedule is in CAPHRA’s pinned Twitter post, here

INNCO is holding an event in Parliament Square, in the UK, from 10am GMT – link for Facebook event.  

Do read Clive Bates’ Prohibitionists at work: how the WHO damages public health through hostility to tobacco harm reduction.  Published last night, it’s a harsh but fair analysis of where it’s all going wrong.

What do we know about #COP9?

#COP9  #COP9FCTC  #COP9news #THRworks

Where and when?
FCTC’s Ninth Conference of Parties (COP 9) will be held from 8-13 November 2021, following a postponement from 2020 due to COVID-19.  

This COP will be virtual, with the FCTC website noting that Special Procedures need to be adopted so that the Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the WHO FCTC can pursue its work in a virtual format”.  COP involves a lot of participants from all over the world, so this is likely to be difficult to manage.  

Where can we watch it? 
We can’t. In stark contrast to the United Nations COP on climate change, held in the UK this week, FCTC’s COP is shrouded in secrecy. Most of the public will be unaware that COP9 will be taking place or even what it is, COP9 discussions will not be broadcast online and the public are barred from even observing. It will be interesting to see if this secrecy can be maintained this time, given the virtual format.  See our
https://copwatch.info/whats-wrong-with-fctc-cop/ article for a transparency comparison between the United Nations COP on climate change and FCTC’s COP.

Exclusion of key stakeholders
In the last decade no consumer group representing smokers or users of safer nicotine products has been admitted as an observer to FCTC’s COP.   Regrettably, it looks as though consumers will stay unrepresented at COP9 too, as the Bureau has recommended that THR consumer groups INNCO and NNA UK applications for observer status are rejected.  The recently published preliminary journal suggests that these recommendations will be voted on by the Parties at item 2 in the first plenary meeting on 8 November, so there is still hope that the Parties will do the right thing. 

From COP4 onwards, the public gallery has been closed in the opening session, excluding the media and the public.  For COP9, there has been no option for the public to register for the event but there is a registration form for accredited media, see: https://fctc.who.int/who-fctc/governance/conference-of-the-parties/ninth-session-of-the-conference-of-the-parties

What will be discussed? 
Due to the virtual nature of the meetings” the Secretariat has recommended that several issues are deferred for discussion until COP10, in two years time.  However, this is only a recommendation and only one party would need to ask for discussion at COP9, for that discussion to take place.   

All the published COP9 papers, including the provisional agenda, can be found on this page:
https://fctc.who.int/who-fctc/governance/conference-of-the-parties/ninth-session-of-the-conference-of-the-parties/main-documents

Some of the reports relating to tobacco harm reduction betray a heavy bias against safer alternatives to smoking.  When we find comprehensive critiques of those we will share them on this site.   
UPDATE 7.11.21 Clive Bates’ excellent Prohibitionists at work: how the WHO damages public health through hostility to tobacco harm reduction includes some discussion about papers for COP9, under: 4.2 Papers to support COP meetings.

How can we follow COP9?
COPWATCH will be issuing COPLIVE articles while COP is on, so please read and share those. Remember to use the official hashtags:  #COP9 and #COP9FCTC when sharing.

sCOPe is another COP9 related consumer initiative, they will be streaming while COP is on so please watch and share their activities too.  Subscribe here to watch the sCOPe live stream

The Preliminary Journal – 27 October 2021 includes the information that “The programme and timetable of meetings will appear in the Journal of the Conference, which will be issued on a daily basis”. The Journal also includes a “tentatively envisaged” working schedule for day one – which will be “subject to the decision of the Conference”.

The Framework Convention Alliance will be distributing a daily bulletin, more on those here.

Engaging with @FCTCofficial and #COP9 on social media
Use official FCTC hashtags – such as #COP9 and #COP9FCTC –  when discussing COP on social media, find those in the COP9 MOP2 communications toolkit and the Preliminary journal.

Consumers are also likely to be using #THRworks, #sCOPe21, #Voice4Choice, #Commit2Switch

Further reading on this site: 

Glossary 

What is FCTC COP? 

What’s wrong with FCTC COP?

Other links:

FCTC’s COP9 page

Guide for Participants COP9 & MOP2

COP Preliminary Journal – 27 October 2021

FCA COP/MOP Bulletin

THR consumer groups who applied for Observer status at COP9
International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO)

New Nicotine Alliance UK 

Consumer live streaming event during COP9:
sCOPe YouTube 

Some of the recent articles on COP9: 
WHO busted for manipulating key tobacco conference

Good COP Distracts From Bad COP – Concerns Grow

To the World Health Organization (WHO) and delegates of the Ninth Conference of Parties (COP9) regarding the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

100 experts speak up in favour of harm reduction

COP 9 Tabac : l’OMS interdit tout débat sur ses positions anti-vape

A Tale of Two COPs

Three possible reasons for WHO decision to keep alternatives out of tobacco talks

LED candles in favour of harm reduction

#COP9FCTC #THRworks

Participate in the Campaign “LED Candles” in favour of harm reduction

Google translation of Anesvap’s page, here

Dear All:

The organizations that support tobacco harm reduction have come together to ensure that we are not ignored again during the 9th Conference of the Parties of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which will be held from 8 to 12 of November. 

The idea is that, as of November 8  (the day on which COP-9 begins), this original campaign for tobacco harm reduction will start, both physically and virtually. It is about letting us see / hear with LED candles (those little ones with a battery that cost two dollars): for this we ask you to send us a photo or a video – speaking or not – holding one or more LED candle. They can be individual photos / videos or, even better, in a group. Above all, the candles must NOT be made of wick and so there is no combustion, as we intend to symbolize the role of technology in reducing the harm from smoking, which allows us to use nicotine without the smoke produced by combustion, thus allowing us to continue enjoying it, without killing us. In addition, it will be a tribute to all those people who have left us because of smoking and if they had had access to these products, they would surely still be with us. 

As of November  8, we will begin to disseminate the photos and videos that you send us on our social networks and in those of all the organizations related to our cause –  so we ask that you send them to us well in advance. Obviously, you can also share them on networks yourself using the hashtag #THRworks, together with which they will also use the hashtag: # COP9FCTC, so that our messages can sneak into theirs. If you want to participate through us, please send your photo or video to one of these two addresses: 

info@elvapeosalvavidas.org
info@anesvap.es


Thank you very much in advance!

What’s wrong with FCTC COP?

COP9 #THRworks

Here is a brief list of what we think needs to change. What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Visit the links at the end to explore these issues in more detail. See our Glossary for short explanations of the acronyms.

The WHO approach to tobacco control is not working

  • There are still 1.1 billion smokers worldwide, the same number as in 2000.
  • FCTC methods are failing and, so long as harm reduction is denied to smokers, FCTC’s methods will continue to fail.
Read More »

#sCOPe Livestream Event

sCOPe is a round-the-clock international broadcasting event taking place throughout COP9. The five-day livestream, from 8 to 12 November, will feature world-leading THR experts and consumer advocates for safer nicotine products. sCOPe will be simulcast on YouTube and Facebook. Despite being shut out of COP9, vapers have vowed they will not be silenced. Organisers are calling on vapers and consumers of other safer nicotine products to promote and mobilise around sCOPe.

Press Release

Global broadcast counters secretive WHO conference

A significant round-the-clock global broadcasting event, featuring world-leading Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) experts and consumer advocates for safer nicotine products, has been announced.

Read More »

One hundred specialists call for #WHO to change stance on tobacco harm reduction

#COP9 #THRWorks

With thanks to Clive Bates for granting permission to reproduce this article and letter. Access the original article: https://clivebates.com/one-hundred-specialists-call-for-who-to-change-stance-on-tobacco-harm-reduction/

Just want the letter? PDF version: EnglishFrançaisEspañol 

100 specialists in nicotine science, policy and practice have come together to call on the 182 parties (countries) to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to take a more positive stance on tobacco harm reduction. The letter pushes back against WHO’s misguided and unscientific drive for prohibition or excessive regulation and taxation of vaping products, heated and smokeless tobacco products, and novel oral nicotine products, such as pouches.

From 8-13 November 2021, the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (COP-9) will be held online. The meeting details are here.

The letter makes seven main points relevant to FCTC parties and then six recommendations. The letter text must speak for itself.

Several signatories have made statements on the letter, or on WHO’s approach to tobacco harm reduction and innovation. These are set out here.

The letter text, references and signature list are included below in English:

Read More »

What is FCTC COP?

#COP9 #THRworks

For an explanation of acronyms and terms please see our glossary here.

The Treaty

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO. It was adopted by the World Health Assembly on 21 May 2003 and entered into force on 27 February 2005. It has since become one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties in United Nations history.

The objective of the FCTC is “to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke”.

The treaty describes “tobacco control” as “a range of supply, demand and harm reduction strategies that aim to improve the health of a population by eliminating or reducing their consumption of tobacco products and exposure to tobacco smoke”.

The FCTC framework includes a range of tobacco control measures to reduce tobacco demand (Articles 6-14) and tobacco supply (Articles 15-17), concerning the production, sale, distribution, advertisement and taxation of tobacco products. Although harm reduction is recognised in the treaty as a tobacco control approach, thus far the COP has not provided any clarity or guidance on specific harm reduction strategies.

Link to download the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Treaty: https://fctc.who.int/who-fctc/overview

Full list of signatories and date of ratification or accession to the FCTC: https://www.who.int/fctc/cop/en/

Out of the 193 Member States of the WHO that participated in the FCTC negotiation, 182 countries have either ratified or acceded to the convention, becoming “parties” to the WHO FCTC. The parties make up the Conference of the Parties (COP), which is the governing body of the WHO FCTC.

Note that some countries have signed the convention but not ratified (e.g. USA and Switzerland). This indicates that they participated in the negotiation of the FCTC and agree to its contents but have not taken the national legal step of constitutional ratification that is unique to every country. 

Currently, there are 15 “non-party” states (countries that are Members of the UN and may have participated in its negotiation but did not sign the FCTC during its year-long open period, or who have only signed but not ratified the FCTC).

  • Six have signed but not ratified (Argentina, Cuba, Haiti, Morocco, Switzerland, the United States). These countries have the option to ratify the FCTC.
  • Nine have not signed (Andorra, Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Malawi, Monaco, Somalia). These countries cannot ratify the FCTC, but instead only have the option to accede to the FCTC.

Both signing and ratifying, or acceding, have the same legal effect and both routes result in the country becoming a Party.

Read More »

#COP9 Campaigns

#COP9 #THRWorks

Information on consumer focussed COP9 campaigns. Let us know in the comments – or via our contact us form – about campaigns we have missed.

New Nicotine Alliance UK is calling for consumers to write to their MPs

The real threat from the WHO and what UK consumers can and should do about it

NNA writes that “The World Health Organisation (WHO) is a threat to vapers, not just in other parts of the world, but in the UK too. Consumers have a role to play in protecting reduced risk products that have benefitted us so much and could do for many more smokers in the future.”

#BACKVAPINGSAVELIVES

Another UK based campaign, #BACKVAPINGSAVELIVES has tools to help you with contacting the Department of Health and MPs to let them know how vaping has benefitted you.  Put your short message into the website form and a postcard will be sent to your MP.   

Go to https://backvaping.co.uk/ to watch the short video and for more on the campaign.

#BackVapingSaveLives campaign objectives