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SENDING OUT SMOKE SIGNALS
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The fifty-sixth World Health Assembly, recalling its resolutions ...calling for the development of a World Health Organization framework convention on tobacco control in accordance with Article 19 of the constitution of WHO; determined to protect present and future generations from tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke; noting with profound concern the escalation in smoking and other forms of tobacco use worldwide; acknowledging with appreciation the report of the chair of the intergovernmental negotiating body on the outcome of the work of the inter-governmental negotiating body; convinced that this convention is a groundbreaking step in advancing national, regional and international action and global cooperation to protect human health against the devastating impact of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke, and mindful that special consideration should be given to the particular situation of developing countries and countries with economies in transition; emphasizing the need for expeditious entry into force and effective implementation of the convention;

Adopts the convention attached to this resolution; notes in accordance with Article 34 of the convention, that the convention shall be open for signature at WHO headquarters in Geneva, from June 16, 2003 to June 22, 2003, and thereafter at the United Nations headquarters in New York, from June 30, 2003 to June 29, 2004;

calls upon all states and regional economic integration organizations entitled to do so, to consider signing, ratifying, accepting, approving, formally confirming or acceding to the convention at the earliest opportunity, with a view to bringing the convention into force as soon as possible;

Urges all states and regional economic integration organizations, pending entry into force of the convention, to take all appropriate measures to curb tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke;

Urges all member states, regional economic integration organizations, observers and other interested parties to support the preparatory activities referred to in this resolution and effectively encourage prompt entry into force and implementation of the convention;

Calls upon the United Nations and invites other relevant international organizations to continue to provide support for strengthening national and international tobacco control programmes;

Decides to establish...an open-ended inter-governmental working group that shall be open to all states and regional economic integration organizations...to consider and prepare proposals on those issues identified in the convention for consideration and adoption, as appropriate, by the first session of the conference of the parties; such issues should include:

Rules of procedure for the conference of the parties ...including criteria for participation of observers at sessions of the conference of the parties...

Options for the designation of a permanent secretariat and arrangements for its functioning...

Financial rules for the conference of the parties and its subsidiary bodies, and financial provisions governing the functioning of the secretariat...

A draft budget for the first financial period...

A review of existing and potential sources and mechanisms of assistance to parties in meeting their obligations under the convention...

Further decides that the open-ended inter-governmental working group shall also oversee preparations for the first session of the conference of the parties and report directly to it;

Resolves that decisions that had been taken by the inter-governmental negotiating body on the WHO framework convention on tobacco control concerning the participation of non-governmental organizations shall apply to the activities of the open-ended inter-governmental working group;

Requests the director-general:

To provide secretariat functions under the convention until such time as a permanent secretariat is designated and established;

To take appropriate steps to provide support to member states, in particular developing countries and countries with economies in transition, in preparation for entry into force of the convention;

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