PROI initiative against tobacco industry interference endorsed by 54 organisations

panelOn 16-17 June Association PROI from Bosnia and Herzegovina threw light on the fact that a recent summit gathering the officials from Western Balkans in Montenegro was sponsored by JTI. Along with the violation of the FCTC Article 5.3 PROI is concerned with the participation of World Bank representatives in the event.

The summit of ministers of finance, governors and directors of tax administrations of the region, “Regional Financial Stability in a New Global Environment” was held from 16 to 17 June in Bečići in Montenegro. The summit became a tobacco industry platform for lobbying against effective public health policy and cost-effective tobacco control measures and as a result, media reports following the event warned about the “negative effects” of tobacco taxation in Western Balkans and the “need to slow down the increasing excise duties on tobacco in Bosnia”.

PROI has already sent appeals to Bosnian officials and on 12 July 2017 the association sent a letter of concern to World Bank officials regarding violation of FCTC Article 5.3 , urging them to address the inappropriate situation and take the necessary steps to uphold the spirit and principles of Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC in decisions regarding participation in future events and conferences. PROI was supported by 54 public health and tobacco control organisations from across Europe, many of the ENSP members and friends. Thank you all for your support.

Submitted by: Andrea Glahn, 12 July 2017