An official at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has been elected Head of the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, and Second Vice-President of the third session of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products to be held in Panama in 2023, QNA reported.
Dr Kholoud al-Mutawa, the liaison officer for World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and MoPH head of the non-communicable diseases department was elected to these two positions during the participation of the MoPH in the second international conference on the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, which was held via telematics technology.
During the conference, Dr Kholoud presented what had been achieved in the six countries that joined the protocol, namely Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq and Pakistan.
The conference also discussed a number of important issues for the States Parties to the WHO FCTC, including ways to secure the supply chain of tobacco products, and systems for tracing and determining the origin of various tobacco products. A special strategy to help increase financial resources for expanding the implementation of the protocol was also considered, and an innovative fund was approved for this purpose, in addition to adopting the proposed work plan and budget for the fiscal period 2022-2023 and electing a head of the Convention Secretariat.
The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products provides a comprehensive set of tools to address the illicit trade in tobacco products and seeks to increase co-operation between government agencies in all countries, with close participation from the health sector. The second session of the conference was postponed for one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the conference, which took place days after the conclusion of the ninth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the WHO FCTC, was an important opportunity to discuss the national legislation implemented in states that undermined tobacco industry policies or illicit trafficking.