Cancer Society Chief wins scholarship to Geneva

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GENEVA BOUND: Shelley Burich of the Samoa Cancer Society.

GENEVA BOUND: Shelley Burich of the Samoa Cancer Society.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Cancer Society (S.C.S.), Shelley Burich, has been awarded a Framework Convention Alliance (F.C.A.) scholarship to be part of the 8th Session of the Conference of the Parties (C.O.P.8) to the W.H.O. Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (W.H.O. F.C.T.C.). 

To be held in Geneva, it will focus on topics such as the shaping of a medium-term strategic framework, which will determine the actions to be taken by the Parties over the next five years, and the advances and challenges revealed in the Global Progress Report on Implementation of the W.H.O. Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. 

The Framework Convention Alliance (F.C.A.) is a global alliance of over 500 civil society organizations working on tobacco control issues and has been involved with the F.C.T.C. since discussion to develop a treaty began.  The Alliance has been influential to help ensure that decisions taken at C.O.P. sessions are those that will best support the achievement of the public health goals of the Treaty. 

The Conference will also be the starting point for a wider application of the W.H.O. F.C.T.C. not only for tobacco control, but also as an international treaty to support sustainable development, fight climate change and defend human rights. 

The special contribution of civil society, to implementation of the W.H.O. F.C.T.C. is emphasized in the preamble to the treaty and recognized as vitally important in national and international tobacco control efforts. 

As a Civil Society, the participation of the S.C.S. is very important not just for Samoa but for all pacific island nations.

The S.C.S. is a strong advocate for Tobacco Control in Samoa and is well versed with the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (F.C.T.C.). 

The S.C.S. continues to work in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Health Sector to advocate for better health for all. Samoa Cancer Society is also a member of the Framework Convention Alliance (F.C.A.) who strongly supports civil society and N.G.O.’s in matters relating to Tobacco Control. 

“This is the first time a non-government organisation from Samoa is attending this high level meeting and will use the opportunity and experience to network and create new partnerships with other global C.S.O.’s including improving our advocacy skills to be used back home,” said Mrs. Burich.

Samoa’s current position on Tobacco Control from the perspective of an N.G.O. in collaboration with key health stakeholders including the government will be a topic of discussion at the meeting. 

Mrs. Burich’s attendance has been fully funded by the Framework Convention Alliance who has recognized S.C.S’s commitment to tobacco control in the country. 

The meeting will take place in Geneva from 1st to 6th October, 2018 and will follow by the First Meeting of the Parties (M.O.P.) to the Protocol to the Eliminate Illicit Trade of Tobacco Products, which S.C.S. will be attending as well from 8th to 10th October.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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