WFPHA President Michael Moore, made a statement to the Western Pacific Region of the WHO (WPRO) on behalf of the WFPHA during the week of October 9-13, 2017.

 

Chairperson, Excellences, Distinguished Colleagues, 

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and pay my respects to their elders past and present.

WFPHA is an NGO composed of multidisciplinary national PHAs. This year we celebrate 50 years of bringing together PHAs globally to advocate for better public health.

We believe that health systems and public health functions should be treated as global public goods. This goal can be achieved through political, social, environmental and economic change across all sectors for better and more sustainable health.

Health Promotion is one of three goals along with Protection and Prevention. Our vision for health, A Global Charter for the Public’s Health, was developed in collaboration with WHO, and in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The World Federation works with public health professionals and over 100 of their associations worldwide for better health outcomes for all and to improve and sustain planetary health.

We strive ourselves, and we encourage others, to fully apply the mechanisms available to government, industry, private enterprise, academia and civil society to embrace health promotion, prevention and protection. In line with the SDGs we endeavor to promote equity and social inclusion and work with others to protect the health of our planet as fundamental to human health. Harnessing knowledge, skills and priorities through strong community engagement is fundamental to achieving these goals.

Public health is dependent on many sectors. We call on all governments to work with a wide range of professionals to immediately develop further public health functions and quality health and other systems as global public resources.

We call on you to hold all sectors accountable for the health impacts of all policies and actions, consistent with their responsibilities in striving to achieve the reality and the intent of the SDGs.

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Currently, 113 organizations that represent global health, human rights, consumer protection, and the medical field demand that Philip Morris International cease the production, marketing, and sale of cigarettes.  Tens of millions have died unnecessarily as a direct result of tobacco use.

In 1954, Philip Morris promised to “stop business tomorrow” if it became apparent that cigarettes are harmful to health.  Since then, an overwhelming amount of scientific proof has determined that there is no safe level of tobacco consumption and that cigarettes provide no necessary benefit to their consumers.  However, despite this evidence, sales and consumption continue.

The right to health and the right to life should be upheld. Thus given the deadly nature of tobacco smoke and the extremely addictive nature of nicotine, companies should immediately cease the actions that cause or contribute to the impacts.

Why do companies continue to sell these harmful products? The only possible explanation is that they feel they can still profit from doing so. That decision – to continue a business model that one has admitted is irresponsible – is unacceptable.  In addition, to continue profiting from a product that one knows will kill a significant proportion of their customers when used as intended is monstrous.

We all have it in our immediate power to change the fate of millions of people, perhaps hundreds of millions. Do the right thing by immediately ceasing the production, marketing and sale of cigarettes.

Read the full letter here.

 

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The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), World Medical Association (WMA), International Council of Nurses (ICN), and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) welcome the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which was adopted on July 7th, 2017.  This treaty includes 122 non-nuclear-weapon states.

The TPNW prohibits the development, testing, production, possession, stockpiling, use, or threatened use of nuclear weapons on the basis of their catastrophic health, environmental, and humanitarian impacts.  This is a significant step towards eliminating the most destructive weapons ever created.  

The TPNW parties must now work diligently and urgently in order to bring the nuclear-armed and nuclear-dependent states into compliance with this norm. We urge all states to sign the treaty after it opens for signature at the United Nations in New York on September 20th, 2017.  Thereafter, it must be ratified as soon as possible so it can enter into force.

As highlighted in the GlobalCharter, the WFPHA is committed to protecting the public. This includes protection from the health impacts of nuclear weapons. The WFPHA also call on governments to hold all sectors accountable for the health impacts of their policies and actions, consistent with the intent of the social determinants of health and their responsibilities to strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

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On September 6, 2017 The World Federation of Public Health Associations, along with other Organizations, NGOs and professionals involved in Global Public health, signed a joint letter that was Submitted to the Director General of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urging him to endorse and establish a WHO process to implement a Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH).
FCGH aims to create a right to health governance framework. It would be a global health treaty based on the right to health and closing national and global health inequities. It would provide standards to ensure health care and underlying determinants of health, such as clean water and nutritious food, for all, along with an international and domestic financing framework to secure sufficient, sustained funds, while addressing the social determinants of health.
You can read letter to Dr. Tedros requesting his support to advance this proposed global treaty, which would make it legally-binding on governments to assure that everyone’s right to health is realized here.
 
 
 
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