Second meeting of the expert group on reporting arrangements under the WHO FCTC

Speech by Dr Vera da Costa e Silva

Geneva, Switzerland
11 May 2016

Let me welcome you to the Second meeting of the Expert Group on reporting arrangements. I would like to thank everyone for responding to the Secretariat’s invitation to attend this meeting, where we will examine the reporting process and the utilization of data collected, including the Global Progress Report.

The reporting system of the Convention is now well established. The first implementation reports from the Parties arrived in 2007. These were analyzed by the Secretariat and then used to provide material for the Global Progress Report, which since 2010 has been published on a biennial basis to inform the discussions at COPs.

In 2014, the reporting instrument was standardized and reporting cycles were harmonized with the COP, and from 2016 we have implemented a second reporting cycle in which Parties have to report simultaneously, in designated reporting periods.

Reporting is linked to country assistance, serves as a basis for needs assessments, and for the COP’s review of the progress made in Convention implementation.

In 2012, the COP started considering the establishment of an implementation review mechanism, with a view to strengthening implementation of Parties’ Convention requirements, and in 2014 the COP established this group, with a broad mandate to conduct an overall review of the reporting arrangements of the Convention.

This work will also assist in establishing the reporting system of our second treaty, the Illicit Trade Protocol, once that enters into force.

We have had the opportunity to hear of the knowledge garnered from many other international treaties and thus to learn from their experiences regarding implementation reviews and compliance.

The first meeting of this group (9-11 December 2015) resulted in a positive outcome and addressed all questions as mandated by the COP. We then engaged, under the guidance of the Chair and other members of this group, in additional work which will be presented at this meeting.

This meeting will:

  • Examine the reporting process and the utilization of data collected, including the Global Progress Report
  • Propose ways to simplify and streamline the reporting process, with a view to decreasing reporting burdens on Parties, to increase the accuracy and reliability of information received and to further improve the user-friendliness of the reporting instrument and identify additional sources of information, and promote the use of such information to further assess the level of implementation of the Convention
  • Identify opportunities for the reporting mechanism to better contribute to identifying and addressing the needs of the Parties and to promotion of WHO FCTC implementation at the country level, as well as promoting the visibility of the WHO FCTC
  • Provide recommendations on how the reporting mechanism can build better understanding of the level of implementation of the Convention, and on how the reporting mechanism can serve as a tool to promote compliance by the Parties, including establishment of an implementation review mechanism

The expert group will have an important role in guiding COP on the following:

  • To agree on the establishment of an implementation review mechanism, and to call Parties to nominate candidates to serve in• the committee.
  • To urge Parties to take additional measures, to ensure accuracy, completeness and timeliness of country reports.
  • To call upon the Secretariat to assist Parties in their compliance with article 21 of the Convention.

NOTE: The Implementation Review Committee aims to secure the implementation of and compliance with the obligations of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Composed of up to 12 members, and with representatives from all six WHO regions, it focuses in particular on the special needs of developing countries and countries with economies in transition, and is intended to promote cooperation.