Fiji Signs Tobacco Protocol
Fiji became the 22nd signatory of the Protocol on the Elimination of Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products at a signing ceremony at the United Nations today. Acting on full powers authorized by the Government of the Republic of Fiji, the Protocol was signed by Ambassador Peter Thomson, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the UN.
The Protocol was adopted during the fifth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in November 2012. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is an international legal instrument that circumscribes the global spread of tobacco products and their use. Fiji was the first developing country to sign and ratify the convention in 2003.
The Protocol requires that a tracking and tracing regime be introduced to assist in the monitoring of supply chains. It requires manufacturers, importers, retailers and growers of tobacco to keep proper records.
In signing the Protocol today, Ambassador Thomson noted that tobacco products currently kill about four million people in the world every year, and that half of these deaths happen to people in productive middle age. He said international efforts to eliminate the illicit trade in tobacco products would assist the global push to save lives that would otherwise be lost through tobacco consumption