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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2679

The Article 5.3 of the FCTC of the WHO is strengthened

By Manjari Peiris

The European Ombudsman strengthens its policy on Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

According to the Article 5.3 of the FCTC, the Parties to the treaty shall act to protect the public health policies with respect to tobacco control from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with the national law of the respective country.

The guidelines include a number of important principles regarding the way public officials and those entrusted with the regulation of tobacco interact with representatives of the tobacco industry.

When dealing with the tobacco industry or those working to further its interests, the Parties should be accountable and transparent. They should ensure that any interaction with the tobacco industry on matters, related to tobacco control or public health is accountable and transparent.

The guidelines also recommend, inter alia, that the Parties to the Convention should establish measures to limit interactions with the tobacco industry and ensure the transparency of those interactions that occur.

The guidelines do not apply only to those setting and implementing public health policies with respect to tobacco control, but also to persons, bodies or entities that contribute to, or could contribute to, the formulation, the implementation, administration or enforcement of those policies.

As a body that investigates complaints about maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union, the European Ombudsman is particularly keen to ensure strict compliance with the overall ethical framework that applies to EU officials including, transparency, conflicts of interest, revolving doors and accountability.

In complying, therefore with Article 5.3 of the Convention and its implementing guidelines, the Ombudsman has thus decided to proactively publish online:

* Any planned meetings of herself, members of her Cabinet, and her staff with representatives of the tobacco industry (including lawyers, advisors, consultants and lobbyists acting on behalf of tobacco companies.)

* The list of participants of such meetings, and

The minutes drawn up after a meeting has taken place

The Ombudsman and her staff in line with the Ombudsman’s commitment to strengthen further transparency and maintain an open dialogue with stakeholders, will only interest with organizations and self-employed individuals acting on behalf of the tobacco industry who already feature in the Transparency Register jointly set up by the Commission and the European Parliament.

Before any meeting request can be agreed. The Ombudsman and her staff will remind representatives of the tobacco industry of the above rules.

- Asian Tribune -

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