Tobacco Control by States Upheld

An amicus brief from WHO and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Secretariat provided an overview of global tobacco control, including the role of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The tribunal relied on the brief in its decision.

The World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes has confirmed that tobacco control measures applied by the government of Uruguay did not violate the terms of an investment agreement between Uruguay and Switzerland, which means that an international tribunal has upheld the sovereign authority of states to protect their citizens' health through tobacco control, the Geneva-based World Health Organization announced July 13.

WHO said the decision was informed by a joint submission or amicus brief from it and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Secretariat that provided an overview of global tobacco control, including the role of the framework convention. The brief offered the public health evidence underlying Uruguay's tobacco packaging and labeling laws and state practices in implementing similar measures.

The tribunal relied on the brief in its factual and legal analysis in the decision, according to WHO, and noted that "public interest involved in this case," the amicus brief would "support the transparency of the proceeding."

"The tribunal's award affirms that Parties to the WHO FCTC can confidently implement the Convention and its Guidelines to protect present and future generations from the devastating consequences of tobacco consumption," WHO reported.

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