WHO WE ARE
The Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control (GGTC) is a combination of the academic discipline, diversity, and global reach of the School of Global Studies, Thammasat University and the decades-long experience of Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)’s leaders in countering tobacco industry interference to move tobacco control measures forward at the country, regional, and global levels.
At the GGTC, we want to solve the single greatest obstacle to tobacco control implementation: tobacco industry interference.
With the tobacco industry’s dynamic approaches, governments are caught off guard, advocates are on a reactionary mode, and intergovernmental organizations are unaware.
The most potent tool to counter the tobacco industry’s tactics exists and it is embodied in Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC and its Guidelines for Implementation.
Article 5.3 provides that “In setting public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from the commercial and vested interests of the tobacco industry.”
Life-saving tobacco control measures are stunted if the tobacco industry continues to interfere. The UN General Assembly, in its 2011 high level meeting on Non-Communicable diseases, recognized the fundamental conflict of interest between public health and the tobacco industry. The UNDP has adopted a policy to reject funding from the tobacco industry, and the UN Global Compact had excluded the tobacco industry from its participants. But there is more to be done.
WHO FCTC SECRETARIAT’S KNOWLEDGE HUB FOR ARTICLE 5.3
With the support of the Ministry of Public Health Thailand, GGTC was designated by the FCTC Secretariat to serve as the Knowledge Hub for Article 5.3 to support implementation of the Convention’s obligation on protecting against tobacco industry interference.
The COP7 requested the Secretariat to establish a Knowledge Hub for Article 5.3 that coordinates the work of experts to develop international cooperation, including cooperation with other Knowledge Hubs, as appropriate, and with the Observatories; is responsive to regional economic groupings in the development of innovative ways to engage non-health sectors nationally, regionally and globally; assists Parties upon request in developing strategies to counter tobacco industry interference in bilateral, regional and global relations to promote global awareness of Article 5.3; supports Parties in developing strategies to counter the tobacco industry’s misleading information related to the WHO FCTC and tobacco control; and promotes mechanisms, including technical assistance and tools, to assist country-level implementation of Article 5.3.
GGTC is committed to work with the Secretariat, among others, to develop, analyse, synthesize and disseminate to the Parties to the Convention knowledge and information through online materials and training, including in meetings and missions.
Our mission as GGTC and as Knowledge Hub for Article 5.3, is to provide the world with strategies and tools to counter tobacco industry interference and promote policy coherence in tobacco control at the national, regional, and global levels. In the spirit of strengthening tobacco control in order to save lives, GGTC aims to be the leading resource center for actionable tools and whole-of-government strategies to overcome challenges brought on by the tobacco industry and those seeking to represent its interests
OUR PARENT ORGANIZATIONS
The School of Global Studies, housed in Thammasat University, one of Thailand’s oldest and premier university, is a new and innovative academic initiative and a front runner in global health and social innovation within Thailand, Southeast Asia, and beyond with a track record of excellent research on determinants of the public’s health, student centered teaching, and academic service relevant to community needs.
SEATCA is a WHO World No Tobacco Day awardee, that has two decades of success in assisting developing nations in countering tobacco industry interference (TII). Its pioneering employment of multi-sectoral regional meetings has led to development of anti-TII policies from non-health sectors, including for example the Philippine Civil Service Commission’s “Protecting the Bureaucracy against TII” and the Indonesian Ministry of Education’s Tobacco CSR Ban. SEATCA’s multi-disciplinary expertise, campaign strategy and collaborative actions have been instrumental in monumental policy shifts, including the exclusion of tobacco control measures from the inter-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) of the Transpacific Partnership Agreement and removal of TI sponsorship from the International Trade and Investment Center. It initiated the TI Interference Index, a global civil society index on TII intensity, which serves as the most potent advocacy tool in challenging TII in the region. Started in ASEAN, the index has now been adopted by the Pacific Islands and EMRO countries and is being considered by governments and NGOs in SEARO.