Global Tobacco Treaty Takes Effect


Press Release

Source: Corporate Accountability International

Global Tobacco Treaty Takes Effect

Monday February 28, 7:45 am ET
Government Officials and Health Advocates Overcome Years of Tobacco Industry
Lobbying and Interference
On Historic Occasion, NGOs Call on Bush Administration to Act on Treaty and
Join Global Community

GENEVA, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ — At a ceremony organized by the World Health
Organization (WHO), government officials and health advocates gather in
Geneva today to celebrate the global tobacco treaty’s entry into force.
Formally known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the
treaty took effect yesterday, 27 February 2005. Initiated by WHO to address
the global tobacco epidemic, the treaty bans tobacco advertising, promotion
and sponsorship, and protects public health policy from tobacco industry
“This treaty will save millions of lives, change the way giant tobacco
corporations operate, and set an international precedent for prioritizing
health over the interests of Big Business,” says Kathryn Mulvey, Executive
Director of Corporate Accountability International (formerly Infact).

Across the globe, corporate accountability and health advocates are marking
this historic milestone with public events, and calling on their governments
to ratify and implement the treaty. Members of the Network for
Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals (NATT) in more than 15 countries
around the world, including Colombia, El Salvador, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius,
Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and the US, are generating momentum behind the treaty
as it becomes international law.

In a protest outside the White House last Friday, activists shamed the Bush
Administration for its failure to submit the FCTC to the US Senate for
ratification. The US signed the FCTC in May 2004, but remains notably absent
from the list of countries that have ratified. Throughout negotiations, the
US took positions that would benefit tobacco giants like Philip
Morris/Altria. The US has a long history of signing but not ratifying
international humanitarian agreements.

“February 2005 is a landmark month for international cooperation on critical
issues of protecting people and our natural resources, and the US is missing
the boat. As both the global tobacco treaty and the Kyoto Protocol take
effect with the US on the sidelines, we are calling on our government to
join with the global community in prioritizing people’s lives over the
profits of giant corporations,” says Mulvey.

The 57 countries that have ratified the FCTC are: Armenia, Australia,
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cook Islands,
Denmark, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland,
India, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Madagascar,
Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar,
Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Peru,
Qatar, San Marino, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon
Islands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and
Tobago, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and Viet Nam. Many more
ratifications are expected in the coming months.

Corporate Accountability International, formerly Infact, is a membership
organization that protects people by waging and winning campaigns
challenging irresponsible and dangerous corporate actions around the world.
For over 25 years, we’ve forced corporations-like Nestle, General Electric
and Philip Morris/Altria-to stop abusive actions. Corporate Accountability
International, an NGO in Official Relations with the World Health
Organization (WHO), played a key role in development of the FCTC. The
Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals (NATT) includes more
than 100 NGOs from over 50 countries working for a strong, enforceable
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. For more information visit

Patti Lynn
Mobile phone in Geneva: +41.76.547.3476

Kathryn Mulvey
Mobile phone in Geneva: +1.617.306.0920

David Lerner/Riptide Communications

Source: Corporate Accountability International