The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO). It was adopted by the World Health Assembly on 21 May 2003 and entered into force on 27 February 2005. It is one of the most widely embraced treaties in United Nations history and has more than 170 Parties worldwide, including 19 Member States from the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
The WHO FCTC was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic. It is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health. The Convention represents a milestone for the promotion of public health and provides new legal dimensions for international health cooperation.
The development of the Framework Convention continues through decisions made by the Conference of Parties, which has convened four sessions to date. The subsidiary bodies, established by the Conference of Parties, have created guidelines in relation to various Articles of the Convention. These have been finalized and adopted by the Conference during the sessions.
While all the provisions of the guidelines should be implemented at national level in order to fulfil the obligations of the Convention, the evidence-based guidelines aim to assist the Parties in meeting their obligations without compromising their legal or constitutional rights.