OCTOBER 13—18, 2014
Moscow, Russia

The Minister of Healthcare of the Russian Federation Veronika Skvortsova met the new Head of the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva

The Minister of Healthcare of the Russian Federation Veronika Skvortsova met the new Head of the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva.

The meeting on 23 July, 2014 was focused on discussing the progress in current preparations for the Sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC (COP6), which will be held in Moscow from 13 to 18 October, 2014.

In the opening address, the Minister of Healthcare Veronika Skvortsova congratulated Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva on her new post of Convention Secretariat Head. The Minister noted that “decreasing tobacco consumption is one of the most important directions in the fight against non-communicable diseases, a direction that our country is especially focused on”.

“We are gradually enacting measures aimed at protecting the health of our citizens from the harmful effects of second-hand smoking and the consequences of tobacco consumption and we hope that in the next five years, we will be able to significantly decrease the rate of mortality and non-communicable diseases incidence, in part due to these measures,” the Minister stated.

Veronika Skvortsova also noted that the anti-tobacco legislation enacted in 2013 in Russia is showing noticeable results. “The methods of implementing the anti-tobacco legislation, along with other issues, will be thoroughly analysed at the Sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC. The preparations for the session are currently progressing at full speed ahead,” Veronika Skvortsova announced. The Minister also noticed the importance of this session as well as Russia’s intentions to ensure that the event will be appropriately organised and “extremely comfortable for its participants”.

The new Head of Convention Secretariat Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva in her turn expressed profound gratitude for the efforts being undertaken by the Russian Ministry of Healthcare to prepare the Sixth session of the Conference of the Parties. “We would like to express our gratitude for your work and we are ready to offer all necessary assistance from our side,” stated Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva.

This is the fourth introductory visit to our country made by the Convention Secretariat during the preparation for the COP6. Within the framework of the two-day visit to Moscow, the delegation was introduced to the interim preparation progress.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation: Director of the Department of Health Protection and Sanitary-Epidemiological Human Well-Being Marina Shevyreva, Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Public Relations Oleg Salagay and Chief of the Communication Projects division within the Department of International Cooperation and Public Relations Anna Grosheva. The delegation of Convention Secretariat included Ms. Julie Bénichou, the External Relations and Governance Manager.

About WHO FCTC

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the central point of the global fight against tobacco consumption and the most successful international healthcare agreement in the entire human history. The WHO FCTC now includes 179 parties and encompasses over 90% of the global population. The sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC are the largest and most significant international events in the fight against tobacco consumption that are held biennially. The Russian Federation is the first country in Eastern Europe to hold a session of the Conference of the Parties, which will attract around 1,500 participants from 195 countries including ministers, deputy ministers and health ambassadors. The decisions taken during the conference will lay the foundation for the fight against tobacco consumption and second-hand smoking throughout the world for the near future.