What does the Convention Secretariat do?

The Convention Secretariat is a global authority concerning the implementation of the WHO FCTC. It also works to promote the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.

The role of the Convention Secretariat is to counterbalance the deadliest industry in the world so that resources can be directed to where they’re most needed, and not in mopping up the human costs of the tobacco industry’s irresponsible behaviour.

The Convention Secretariat is an entity hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva and cooperates with relevant departments of WHO and other competent international organizations and bodies, and non-governmental organizations accredited as observers to the Conference of the Parties.

The work of the Secretariat is governed by Article 24 and other relevant articles of the Convention, as well as by the Rules and Procedure and decisions of the COP. The Convention Secretariat has its own workplan and budget, and reports to the Conference of the Parties on its implementation.

Areas of work

Its main functions aim at:

1. Serving governing and subsidiary bodies

  • Prepare, convene and support COP sessions every other year
  • Get agenda documents ready in advance of the Conference
  • Review applications for observers and preparing reports for the COP Bureau
  • Support the work of the COP Bureau
  • Provide regular updates on the implementation of the workplan and ad hoc issues

2. Supporting the development of protocols and guidelines

  • Assist the preparation of instruments supporting implementation of the Convention
  • Organize meetings and making necessary arrangement for consultation processes
  • Support intergovernmental working and experts groups
  • Facilitate the work of independent panels of experts established by COP

3. Assessing progress and sharing knowledge

  • Conduct the biennial reporting cycle
  • Develop the Global Progress Report and the WHO FCTC Indicator Compendium
  • Prepare in-depth analyses linked to priorities identified by Parties
  • Manage the WHO FCTC Coordination Platform
  • Coordinate the work of Knowledge Hubs and Observatories on tobacco industry’s tactics

4. Assisting to Parties in implementing specific provisions of the Convention

  • Technically support Parties upon request
  • Carry out joint needs assessments and provide post-mission assistance
  • Identify challenges and best practice to enhance global and regional cooperation
  • Promote regional workshops on different issues
  • Support Parties engaged in legal action

5. Promoting international cooperation

  • Enhance cooperation with IGOs and NGOs observers to COP
  • Promote South-South and Triangular cooperation
  • Collaborate with the UN Interagency Task Force on NCDs
  • Implement multisectoral assistance with other UN treaty bodies such as on human rights
  • Promote the Convention within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

6. Raising awareness and mobilizing resources

  • Make use of social communication channels to raise awareness about the WHO FCTC
  • Increase the visibility of the Convention internationally at Conferences
  • Print and distribute technical publications
  • Provide staff and financial management
  • Implement fundraising initiatives