Sunday 30 October 2016

Crazy Like A #COP7FCTC

As the biennial comedy-fest known as the FCTC's Conference of the Parties approaches (COP7 begins in New Delhi on Monday the 7th), you might like to stick this little nugget in the file marked "you couldn't make this shit up".

You may remember Dr Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva. She is head of the secretariat of the FCTC and the woman who recently praised President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, a man responsible for thousands of extra-judicial murders in his country since May and who has said he would "happily slaughter 3 million drug addicts". In fact, he even has a wish list of those he wants killed and has boasted that we should expect tens of thousands more.

So who better, then, to talk about her commitment to ... erm ... human rights, eh?
Human rights experts hear from the Head of the Convention Secretariat
Human rights experts meeting at the Palais des Nations in Geneva heard how the global tobacco control treaty is increasingly relevant to advances in public health and human rights.  
The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Second Session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group (OEIGWG) on transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises with respect to human rights heard from Dr Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, Head of the Convention Secretariat, to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
Yes, you really did just read that.

It gets more bizarre the further down you read.
The basis of the WHO FCTC is to assert the individual’s right to protection from powerful organizations which, left unchallenged, will knowingly cause harm.
The FCTC is a powerful organisation which will be doing its level best next week to encourage bans on e-cigs and vaping despite being quite aware of their harm reduction potential (for background on the FCTC's appalling pre-COP7 report on vaping products and a devastating critique of it, do go read here).

You could arguably say that could "knowingly cause harm", yes?
The importance of human rights is foundational to the WHO FCTC.
Apart from if you're talking about the murder of thousands of drug users in the Philippines without trial and without even an attempt at establishing credible evidence of guilt, in which case Vera and the FCTC are very happy to turn a blind eye.
Parties to the WHO FCTC acknowledge the individual’s right to the highest attainable standard of health ...
Presumably, "the highest attainable standard of health" involves actually being alive instead of being gunned down in the street by death squads paid by governments such as, oh let me think, the one run by FCTC darling Rodrigo Duterte.
Dr Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva suggested the intergovernmental working group to consider cleansing the public policy arena of corporations whose actions or products threaten human rights.
But deranged blood-thirsty dictators are quite welcome to join the party and will be fully encouraged.

Two years ago COP6 delivered some top drawer moon-howling craziness, but strap yourselves in because already COP7 is promising to excel even the FCTC's own high standards of insanity.

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