Thursday 21 August 2014

Who's Paying WHO?

As we count down the days until the tobacco kontrol klan's next excuse to waste our money - the Sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC (aka COP6) to be held in Moscow later this year - it's been very interesting to look through some of the material which has been placed online in advance.

For the uninitiated, this is a regular event where state-funded anti-smokers from all over the world congregate to think up even more pointless batshit ideas like plain packaging. The last one was in South Korea in 2012, at which topics such as a global tobacco tax and classifying e-cigs as tobacco products were seriously considered.

These two subjects are almost certain to crop up again. In fact, the proposal on e-cigs is a gimme seeing as the WHO has been desperately trying to hide its own documents by sending cease and desist letters to websites which dare to report their plans.

So who pays for this stuff, I hear you ask? Well, you do, mostly. The Framework Convention Alliance (of which ASH is a member, by the way) has produced a budget and workplan in advance of their endorsement of the gay and passenger airline-bashing Russian state.

The document itself charts how the amount spent has more than doubled while funding from VACs - that's supporting governments to you and me - has not. In fact, the sums demanded by the WHO have often been ignored, with 20 countries not having paid a penny. It's good to see from the breakdown that the UK is in arrears by over £300k from a total of around £8m, but if you're from the USA you should thump your chest and sing the star-spangled banner as your government has refused to recognise the FCTC and has therefore paid the princely sum of bugger all. Ever.

This all causes a bit of a problem for the professional anti-smoking community, because dictating to the world - to pay for their cars, holidays and mortgages - comes at a big cost and cannot be restrained by silly concepts like living within their means.

Therefore, they have been forced to raise cash elsewhere, as they describe here.
The FCTC budget has more than doubled over the last seven years, increasing from $8,010,000 for the 2006-2007 biennium to $17,290,000 for 2014-2015
The total amount of Voluntary Assessed Contributions(VACs), however, did not follow this trend. VACs rose by only 12 percent in this period, while the number of Parties increased by over 50 percent. In practical terms, the larger number of Parties led to an expansion of the workplan, for which resources had to be fundraised.
Or, put in a table ...

It does kinda beg the question ... who is paying for that other 47.4% which the WHO euphemistically calls "extrabudgetary funds"? By my reckoning, it amounts to in the region of $8.5 million.

Hmm, I wonder who these phantom donors could be, huh? Sadly, even the FCA don't appear to know.
Detailed information on the fundraising strategy of the Secretariat and its progress is not available.
I'd have thought that such information is pretty darn important when we're talking about a conference which is trying to enforce rules on 176 different jurisdictions without a single vote having been cast in their direction. Because, if you're chipping in that amount of cash, I'd expect you'd demand a certain amount of control over the agenda, wouldn't you? But then, transparency has never been the FCTC's strong point.
Activities related to assistance with FCTC implementation have so far been funded exclusively by extra-budgetary income.
Activities such as proposing global tobacco taxation and classifying e-cigs as tobacco products which would advantage sellers of alternative nicotine delivery systems to tobacco and vaping, do you think they mean?

I suppose we shall have to wait and see, shan't we.


Chris Price said...

Seems fairly obvious that about half of the tobacco control funds come from pharma, the main commercial beneficiary. The WHO's denial / obfuscation makes that seem even more likely. On the other hand perhaps it came from BAT :)

Zillatron said...

Well, it's quite obvious where the funding for their "local" representations come from. Everywhere they have firmly nisted themselves in "Centers for Cancer Research", And spread their metastases to other "heath" organisations. And they all are funded by the government (aka taxes) and a lot of gracious donations from the purely altruistic pharmafia ...

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Now that's an interesting theory! ;)

Dick_Puddlecote said...

It's interesting that this particular demonisation of e-cigs can safely be dismissed as coming from the likes of BAT. The FCTC won't even let them watch, let alone take any cash from them. Without that blurring of blame (which I'm sure tobacco control are quite happy about), the real culprits are less difficult to spot.

Ivan_Denisovich said...

The UK government should never have signed the FCTC. It is surrender of power to an unelected, unaccountable organisation that lacks credibility and by its own admission is corrupt. Millions of people die from TB, which can be prevented by a cheap vaccine whilst the WHO spends a fortune on a social engineering project that history tells us will fail.

Dragonmum said...

Pharma funding of the WHO is on record somewhere, because I've seen and quoted it many times - for the life of me I can't remember where it is, so back to my bookmarks! Shall I start with "Scandal at the WHO"?

Thomas Haugen said...

Please do find what youre looking for, so the missed can be unmissed..

Dragonmum said...

In the past decade the WHO, in order to boost funds at
its disposal entered into what it calls "public private partnerships."
Instead of receiving its funds solely from member United Nations governments
as its original purpose had been, WHO today receives almost double its
normal UN budget in the form of grants and financial support from private
industry. The industry? The very drug and vaccine makers who benefit from
decisions like the June 2009 H1N1 Pandemic emergency declaration. As the
main financiers of the WHO bureaucracy, naturally the Pharma Mafia and
their friends receive what has been called "open door red carpet treatment"
in Geneva.

In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine in Germany,
epidemiologist Dr. Tom Jefferson of the Cochrane Collaboration, an organization
of independent scientists evaluating all flu related studies, noted the
implications of the privatization of WHO and the commercialization of health:

"one of the extraordinary features of this influenza
-- and the whole influenza saga -- is that there are some people who make
predictions year after year, and they get worse and worse. None of them
so far have come about, and these people are still there making these predictions.
For example, what happened with the bird flu, which was supposed to kill
us all? Nothing. But that doesn't stop these people from always making
their predictions. Sometimes you get the feeling that there is a whole
industry almost waiting for a pandemic to occur.

SPIEGEL: Who do you mean? The World Health Organization

Jefferson: The WHO and public health officials, virologists
and the pharmaceutical companies. They've built this machine around the
impending pandemic. And there's a lot of money involved, and influence,
and careers, and entire institutions! And all it took was one of these
influenza viruses to mutate to start the machine grinding...

When asked if the WHO had deliberately declared the Pandemic
Emergency in order to create a huge market for H1N1 vaccines and drugs,
Jefferson replied,

"Don't you think there's something noteworthy about
the fact that the WHO has changed its definition of pandemic? The old definition
was a new virus, which went around quickly, for which you didn't have immunity,
and which created a high morbidity and mortality rate. Now the last two
have been dropped, and that's how swine flu has been categorized as a pandemic."

Conveniently enough, the WHO published the new Pandemic
definition in April 2009 just in time to allow WHO, on advice of SAGE and
others like Albert "Dr Flu" Osterhaus and David Salisbury, to
declare the mild cases of flu dubbed H1N1 Influenza A to be declared Pandemic

That's just an example, but it's not the one I'm looking for

The Thought Gang said...

Wait, what... $17.9m.. for 176 'parties'. So that's a cool $100k per 'party'.

That should be my kind of party, for sure.. but these people are professional puritans.. how the fuck do people like that spend $100k on a party? Just how many fat-free quinoa salads do they need?

Sure, I'm interested in where the money is coming from.. but not as much as I am in where it's going.

What the.... said...

DP, these may be of interest:

Junican said...

I think that the budget is for all FCTC activities for the next year.

Junican said...


Karyyl said...

The swine flu might not have had a super-high mortality rate, but those that died were the young and the pregnant, those with normally-high immune systems. Dying from having GOOD immunity is a hallmark of something to be afraid of, in the medical world -- it recalls the Spanish Influenza of 1917. I stood in line from 2am to 7am for my pregnant daughter and I am not at all sorry -- there were child deaths and pregnant women who died within my state and adjoining states and Mexico, which also adjoins my state. WHO needs to stop trashing their own credibility, because one of these things WILL break out someday, that's just the way nature deals with overpopulation, and when it happens, we need to have someone we can BELIEVE. (WHO health workers have also died of Ebola, so they have good people whose sacrifices are being thrown in the toilet by their Tobacco group's corruption.)

Karyyl said...

The Gates Foundation is mostly providing vaccines and birth control without requiring the associated clinics to withhold family planning, to make up for the U.S. Government's policy of witholding vaccines from clinics that fully support women's health. CTFK, however, is a fully-controlled grandchild of Johnson & Johnson.