by Essential Action
D.C. Rally One of Seven Major Events Across US Demonstrating Strong Support for World's First Public Health Treaty on Tobacco
Community Leaders, Local Officials, Public Health Advocates Urge Bush Administration to Stop Blocking Progress on Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
Washington, D.C.- As U.S. delegates prepare for the final round of talks on a global tobacco treaty, D.C. community leaders and Congressmen are urging them to put public health first at a downtown rally. At the Department of Health and Human Services, Infact and Essential Action were joined by the American Lung Association, Black Leadership Council for Excellence and activists, all holding banners and demanding a strong global tobacco treaty. Statements were also presented from Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas, Rep. Henry Waxman of California, Senator Durbin of Illinois, and Tom Novotny, former chair of the U.S. delegation to the treaty.
Throughout the treaty talks, the US has been sharply criticized for protecting the interests of tobacco giant Philip Morris at the expense of public health. At major events from coast to coast, activists joined with the national corporate accountability organization Infact to express strong support for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
politicians are releasing statements of support for a strong treaty in
Diana Silbergeld said that activists gathered this morning to call on
the Bush administration to stop blocking progress on the world's first
public health treaty.
Anna White, coordinator of Essential Action's Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control program told the crowd that the W.H.O. projects that tobacco will kill over 10 million people annually by 2025.
time for the world's richest country to stop hijacking the world's first
global health treaty, and let the poorest countries of the world protect
their citizens from predatory tobacco companies' weapons of mass destruction,"
White told the crowd.
before the start of the final round of FCTC talks, Infact is releasing
Cowboy Diplomacy: How the US Undermines International Environmental, Human
Rights, Disarmament and Health Agreements. The hard-hitting report finds
that dthe US has increasingly isolated itself from the global community
on issues of enormous global, humanitarian and environmental consequence.
The release of Cowboy Diplomacy is intensifying pressure on the Bush administration
regarding its position on the FCTC at a time when concerns about US unilateralism
are particularly high.
At a rally
in San Francisco today, former chair of the US FCTC negotiating team and
former Assistant Surgeon General, Dr. Tom Novotny is calling on the Bush
administration to do much more to make the FCTC strong and enforceable.
Novotny, who led the US delegation through two rounds of talks, resigned
from his position in August 2001. His participation in today's events
sends a strong message to the current US FCTC delegation.
is scheduled to be adopted in May, and the US is one of a few wealthy
countries trying to stall the FCTC's progress. The final round of negotiations
on the treaty will take place in February in Geneva. The US is under increasing
pressure to stop putting the profits of Philip Morris ahead of public
health worldwide. In addition to today's event in D.C. rallies are being
held in Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Atlanta.
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Since 1977, Infact has been exposing life-threatening abuses of transnational corporations and organizing successful grassroots campaigns to hold corporations accountable to consumers and society at large. From the Nestlé Boycott of the 1970s and '80s to the GE Boycott of the 1980s and '90s to today's Boycott of Philip Morris's Kraft Foods, Infact organizes to win! For more information visit www.infact.org.
Action, a DC - based corporate accountability group, launched Global Partnerships
for Tobacco Control in 2000 to help support and strengthen international
tobacco control activities at the grass roots level. More than 360 groups
in over 100 countries and 40 U.S. states and territories are currently
involved in the program.