The 1st of October 2018 marked a historical milestone for ACBF as it was granted the Observer status during the Conference of Parties (COP8) in Geneva Switzerland.
The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the World Health Organization –Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the governing body of the WHO FCTC. Its main mission is to review the implementation of the Convention on a regular basis and take the decisions to support its effective implementation. The COP holds its regular sessions biennially.
The Rules of Procedures (ROP) of the FCTC recognize Parties and Observers as stakeholders. The Observers include various categories of organizations described in Article 29, 30 and 31 of the ROP. Article 30 of the Rules of Procedures states that “Any international intergovernmental organization may apply to the Secretariat for Observer Status, which may be granted by the Conference of the Parties, the 17th and 18th preambular paragraphs as well as Article 5.3 of the Convention.” Under this status, the intergovernmental organization may participate in public meetings of the COP and its subsidiary bodies.
The Observer status will allow ACBF to take part in all FCTC related activities as a full-fledged organization and to contribute to the development of tobacco control in the African region and beyond by bringing the vision of capacity building in tobacco control to make it sustainable. The Observer status, will include participation in the following meetings/events:
- Public meetings and events of the Conference of Parties,
- Working Groups,
- Intergovernmental Negotiation Body established by the COP if any.
The observer status enhances ACBFs visibility and credibility in the global landscape.