Wow this took me by surprise! As you may be aware the COP10 (Conference Of the Parties) FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) meeting organised by WHO (World Health Organisation) was due to take place between the 20th and 25th of November in Panama.
Anyway to cut a long story short the FCTC have published a press release stating that it has been postponed until 2024.
We have plenty of resources to help you understand the COP10 here.
What Has Happened?
There has been talk of disputes in Panama regarding the huge payment to the consortium organising the meeting – the government has been heavily criticised for spending such large sums when other areas of the country’s economy are struggling.
According to the COPWATCH website, the Panamanian news outlet “La Prensa” has reported that this contract has now been terminated…
“The Cabinet Council approved annulling the $5 million contract signed between the Ministry of Health (Minsa) and the Cop 10 Consortium to organize a biannual anti-smoking conference of the World Health Organization (WHO).”
So the situation was that there was a convention centre booked for the COP10 but nobody to organise it!
Also there are protests and demonstrations in Panama due to the state awarding a rumoured $400 Billion contract with a Canadian Mining company enabling the exploitation of 3 square miles of Panamanian Rainforest for Copper.
Apparently there are reports of 30,000 protesters gathering and clashing with police in Panama City.
Plus this has had the side effects of causing fuel, gas and food shortages.
FCTC Press Release
Below is the text copied and pasted from the FCTC statement – you can also view it in full here – “COP10 and MOP3 Postponed to 2024“…
COP10 and MOP3 postponed to 2024
9 November 2023 – News release
The Tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and the Third session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP3) to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products postponed to 2024.
Following communication received from Panama, the host country of the Tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and the Third session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP3) to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (Protocol), it is no longer possible to conduct COP10 and MOP3 in November 2023, as scheduled.
The sessions are expected to be held in Panama, as early as possible in 2024, at dates to be confirmed.
The postponement of COP10 and MOP3 is due to the current security situation in Panama.
The Convention Secretariat will communicate further details in relation to COP10 and MOP3, as soon as available.
The Convention Secretariat continues to support the Parties to the WHO FCTC and the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products with implementing their obligations under the treaties and to protect their present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.