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15th Symposium Of the GCC on Tobacco and Trade

15th Symposium Of the GCC on Tobacco and Trade

15th Symposium Of the GCC on Tobacco and Trade

31/5/2014

  Ministry of Health represented by the National Committee for Tobacco Control and in collaboration with the Executive Board of the Health Ministers' Council for Cooperation Council States, will launch today's morning the Fifteenth Symposium of the GCC on Tobacco and Tradeat Muscat Holiday Hotel, Under the auspices of H.E. Sayyid Saud bin Hilal Al-Busaidi, the Minister of State and Governor of Muscat, with the attendance of H.E. Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid Al-Saidi, the Minister of Health, and number of undersecretaries.

  The Symposium aims at familiarizing the participants about the commitments of the GCC to the agreements of the World Trade Organization in developing and implementing the tobacco control policies. The program of the symposium will includes the challenges faced by the GCC on reduction of the tobacco consumption and its relation with the GCC International and bilateral Trade, the impact of trade liberalization on the global tobacco pandemic, the components of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco products and Trade issues in the context of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and its guidelines, an overall view about the World Trade Organization and its related resources, and the role of the Free Trade Agreements on tobacco control.

 Furthermore, the symposium will highlight the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994 and its effects on tobacco control, and aspects related to the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).

 The Sultanate will host during 25th to 27th of March 2014 the Fifteenth Symposium of the GCC on Tobacco Control under the theme of "Tobacco and Trade" at Holiday Hotel-Muscat, under the patronage of H.E. Sayyid Saud bin Hilal Al-Busaidi, the Minister of State And Governor of Muscat.

 The symposium will be held as part of the combined efforts between the GCC States for tobacco control, in which it aims to familiarize the participants about the World Trade Organization and its related resources, the role of the Free Trade Agreements on tobacco control, the commitments of the GCC to the agreements of the World Trade Organization in developing and implementing the tobacco control policies, as well as challenges faced by the GCC on reduction of the tobacco consumption.

 The discussions will be regarding the bilateral trade of the GCC and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994 and its effects on tobacco control, the impact of trade liberalization on the global tobacco pandemic, an overview of the components of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco products and Trade issues in the context of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and its guidelines.

The symposium will review the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights as well as the challenges facing the plain packaging of tobacco products. The discussions will include also the investment, how to coordinating the priorities of tobacco control policy in the next trade agreements and ensuring compliance with the trade agreements when formulation of the tobacco control policies.

 The participation in this symposium will be from different concerned sectors, for instance, GCC ministries of health, financial and commercial, customs, WHO, several of scientific and international experts from various universities, participants from different sectors in the Sultanate, members of the National Tobacco Control Committee as well as other national sectors.

 Furthermore, the tobacco use is one of the bigger challenges in public health around the world, in which it is the major cause that could be prevented among the causes of diseases worldwide. Tobacco smoke is the leading cause of illness like, cardiovascular, respiratory diseases, coronary heart disease and lung cancer, in which it is killing more than six million people a year according to WHO.

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the world's foremost tobacco control instrument. The first treaty ever negotiated under the auspices of WHO, it represents a signal achievement in the advancement of public health. In force only since 2005, it is already one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties in the history of the United Nations, with more than 172 Parties. In this regard, the Sultanate has joined to the WHO FCTC in accordance to the Royal Decree No. (20/ 2005), issued on 22nd of February 2005.

From the keenness of the Sultanate to proceeding its efforts in tobacco control, a National Smoking Control Committee has been formatted by the Ministerial Decree No. 3/ 2002. Thereafter, the committee has been reformatted according to the Ministerial Decree No. 12/ 2006 to be the National Tobacco Control Committee chaired by the Undersecretary of Ministry of Health for Health Affairs with 17 members from various ministries, authorities and related international organizations. The Committee aims to developing the national policies for tobacco control, proposing laws, regulations and decisions, developing the necessary strategies, implementing the commitments and obligations provided in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) as well as providing the support for awareness, training, researches and studies.



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