Your voices have been heard! On Tuesday, July 3, 2007 -- during the Conference of the Parties -- the Conference Committee A approved the draft guidelines for Article 8 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, concerned with protection against secondhand smoke. The guidelines were approved with only slight changes to the preamble and received overwhelming support from the delegates to COP2. We expect the guidelines to be adopted by the full Conference of the Parties in the next few days.
On behalf of the Global Smokefree Partnership, we would like to thank all of you for your support of the Global Voices Campaign during these past 100 days. It is clear that the efforts of the tobacco control and NGO communities around the world have contributed significantly to ensuring the Parties support for these best practice guidelines. A virtual toast to all - we did it!
The adoption of strong and effective guidelines is a huge success, but there is more work to be done. We need to continue to monitor and ensure the effective implementation of these guidelines in our countries and jurisdictions. As the Global Voices report demonstrates, smoke-free policies save lives, are cost-effective and popular.
Congratulations once again on this impressive achievement. We hope that you will continue to share news of smoke-free efforts in your countries and regions with us.
If you would like additional information about the Article 8 guidelines adoption process, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a statement read at the Conference of the Parties by Doug Blanke on behalf of the Framework Convention Alliance and the Global Smokefree Partnership:
Thank you, Chair.
Honorable Delegates, colleagues and friends:
The Framework Convention Alliance, the Global Smokefree Partnership, and the hundreds of nongovernmental organizations they represent, join in congratulating the Committee for this historic decision. We salute in particular the Key Facilitators, for their contributions to this success, and the Chair of the Committee for helping the Parties arrive at this extraordinary unanimity.
When we began this journey together, seven years ago, few would have predicted we would come this far, this fast. Already, with the addition this week of England, more than 200 million people enjoy the benefits of smoke-free air, due in large measure to the Framework Convention process. Unanimous adoption of these guidelines by the COP will make that momentum irreversible.
Five hundred organizations from civil society, in one hundred countries, have joined together, as the Global Voices for a Smokefree World, to urge adoption of these guidelines. These organizations, and many others, now stand ready to help you make them a reality. Let us combine our wisdom, our experience, and our energies to clear the air worldwide.
And let each of us remember this occasion, so that, years from now, when we are old, when our children come to us and ask, Grandfather, or grandmother, what was an ashtray? We will smile, and we will remember this meeting in Bangkok.
Thank you very much.