Maldives hosts regional workshop preparing Parties for COP7

It was the turn of the South East Asian Region to gather as part of preparations for the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). A series of regional meetings have been arranged around the world during September and October. This two day event, 21-22 September, was convened in the Maldives.

Among the distinguished guests attending the opening ceremony was the Minister of Health of the Maldives, H.E. Mr Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim who welcomed the delegates to the country and the regional event.

The Parties involved in the workshop included; Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste. Indonesia attended as a WHO Member State. There were also representatives from WHO’s regional and country offices, along with invited experts to help discussions on agenda items.

The meeting provided the opportunity for Parties to review progress on the implementation of the WHO FCTC, with focus on how it was influencing national tobacco control measures. Parties of the South East Asian region were also introduced to the COP7 provisional agenda and they developed a common position on issues of regional importance.

At the close of the event Dr Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva said, “It was important for me to attend this regional meeting because COP7, this year, is being held in this region, in India. It is gratifying for the Convention Secretariat to collaborate with the Government of India for all our preparations for COP7.”

The event was co-organized by the Convention Secretariat and the WHO Regional Office (SEARO).