Tuesday 28 April 2020

Pretend public health conference postponed due to real public health problem

The World Health Organisation's big, biennial anti-nicotine conference has a habit of being disrupted by genuine public health crises. In 2014, its secretive Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Conference of the Parties in Moscow started in the week that Ebola became a major epidemic. When they took the roadshow to New Delhi in 2016, the city was blighted by such heavy pollution that Britain's anti-smoking queen Deborah Arnott had a cough for weeks.

2018's conference in Geneva managed to avoid a plague of locusts, but the curse has returned this year...

In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic and its impact on the conduct of international global conferences and travel, the Bureaus elected by COP8 and MOP1, after consulting the host country, have decided that convening the Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC (COP9) and the Second Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (MOP2), scheduled for November 2020, is no longer possible.

As a result, the Bureaus, in consultation with the host country and the Secretariat, decided during their Third Joint Meeting on 21 April 2020 to postpone the sessions of COP9 and MOP2 to the following dates:

COP9: 8–13 November 2021
MOP2: 15–17 November 2021.

The meetings will convene on those dates in The Hague, Netherlands. 

As these prohibitionist jamborees are mostly paid for by the British taxpayer, perhaps we will get a rebate this year?

There isn't much to add to Dick Puddlecote's analysis so go read that.

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