The Convention Secretariat highlights the link between Human Rights and Tobacco Control on the margins of the United Nations Human Rights Council

25 June 2019

Secretariat of the WHO FCTC

The 41st session of the Human Rights Council is convening between 14 June and 12 July 2019 in Geneva. As the United Nations system’s body responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights considers a broad agenda of human rights issues, including the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, the Convention Secretariat emphasizes the mutually reinforcing nature of human rights and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

Today, the Convention Secretariat shared its perspective on the dialogue between tobacco control and human rights at an event organized by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) together with Vaagdhara on the margins of the Human Rights Council.

Mr Nicolás Guerrero, Senior Legal Officer at the Convention Secretariat, pointed out that “ under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties, the governing body of the WHO FCTC, and within its mission to raise awareness about the WHO FCTC, the Convention Secretariat seeks to strengthen the implementation of the Convention through human rights.”

The event raised awareness on the possibilities of using a human rights-based approach to tobacco control and discussed means to promote human rights within the UN human rights system, particularly the right to health.

This participation follows the contribution of the Convention Secretariat to the Global Forum on Human Rights and a Tobacco-Free World, held in Bucharest earlier this year, under the auspices of the Presidential Administration of Romania, and co-organized by ASH, the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention and Healthy Romania Generation 2035 Association. Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, Head of the Convention Secretariat, had stressed the importance of developing a better understanding of the human rights dimensions of tobacco control and reaching out beyond traditional stakeholders to achieve the multifaceted, cross-sectoral objective of the WHO FCTC.