Permanent Missions in Geneva attend briefing on sustainable alternatives to tobacco growing, Art. 17 and 18

20 November 2017

WHO FCTC Secretariat

The Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) organised a briefing on multisectoral approach to the implementation of Articles 17 and 18.

More than 30 Permanent Missions to the United Nations attended the briefing at Palais des Nations in Geneva on Friday the 17th November.

Articles 17 and 18 refer to sustainable alternatives to tobacco growing and the impact of tobacco farming and manufacturing on tobacco workers’ health and the environment. This topic impacts various targets of the Sustainable Development Goals as it affects social, financial, and health aspects of farmers’ lives as well as the environment. It is therefore essential to develop a multisectoral approach that will impact all dimensions of tobacco growing and manufacturing.

In this regard, the 7th Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC requested the Convention Secretariat to work with interested United Nations agencies in promoting the implementation of these articles. UN agencies have since then worked hand in hand with the Convention Secretariat in assisting countries in the implementation of policy options and recommendations in favour of sustainable alternative crops.

Some countries are now considering becoming “tobacco growing free” in order to move in an healthier direction. For example, Sri Lanka has made plans to phase out tobacco cultivation altogether within 5 years while Egypt refused the implementation of tobacco culture within its borders.