Leslie Rae-Ferat and Jason Chapman
On November 1, 2022 the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) officially rebranded as the Global Alliance for Tobacco Control (GATC). The Framework Convention Alliance was originally created in 1999 and was later more formally established in 2003.
Today, the Alliance is the only global network dedicated solely to implementing the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and serves as the leading voice of civil society in strengthening and accelerating progress. Since its inception, the Alliance has worked diligently alongside hundreds of civil society groups and organizations across the world to help develop, ratify, and implement the WHO FCTC.
Over the past 20 years, the FCA has embedded itself in tobacco control networks throughout the world and established relationships with key stakeholders and decision-makers at all levels. Through its network of experts, the Alliance provides leadership and expertise on and to the Conference of the Parties (COP) on the WHO FCTC and to the Meeting of the Parties (MOP) on the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. The Alliance also engages in intersessional COP/MOP priorities that work to accelerate WHO FCTC implementation.
For the past two decades, the FCA has played a major role in monitoring industry interference and working with partners and stakeholders to ensure that the industry’s attempts at interfering with tobacco control in international fora like COP/MOP do not succeed. These efforts are important as we know the industry seeks to influence the future direction of global and national tobacco control by securing a seat at the decision-making table.
The Alliance has a proven track record of success in guiding and influencing major strategic priorities including The Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control 2019-2025, promoting sustainable financing for tobacco control, and improving the alignment of tobacco control with global health and development.
As the Framework Convention Alliance rebrands to the Global Alliance for Tobacco Control (GATC), in the years to come we plan to build on our track record of success and strengthen our relationships with other leading issues such as non-communicable diseases, national development, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
About the FCA Transition to the GATC
Working in international tobacco control means operating in a rapidly changing environment. To accelerate progress on WHO FCTC implementation, we must always be working to attune the Alliance and work to meet emerging needs.
In recognition of this fact, the FCA started a consultation process with its membership and Board of Directors in 2020 to determine how it should adapt to the new and emerging tobacco control landscape. Given the increasing shift in focus toward accelerating WHO FCTC implementation and new standards and best practices for alliance-based organizations, the FCA began the process of evaluating and updating its governance and several organizational practices in order to modernize operations and work.
As part of the transition to the GATC, the Alliance is undertaking three major activities:
- Creation of a new medium-term GATC Strategic Plan. The plan builds on past strategic priorities and outlines how we plan to accelerate WHO FCTC implementation and further embed tobacco control in the global health and development agendas.
- Incorporation of the Alliance in Canada
- Rebranding of the Alliance under the new name Global Alliance for Tobacco Control
About the new GATC name
Our new name, the Global Alliance for Tobacco Control, was selected as it better communicates the essence of who we are and what we do. This is especially important in today’s environment as we seek to establish relationships with a wider range of partners and stakeholders, especially those outside of the tobacco control community.
How We Are Evolving
The consultation process clearly indicated the crucial role the Alliance plays in coordinating and convening civil society and that it is critical that the Alliance continue in this capacity in the future. Based on this feedback, the fundamentals of who we are and what we do is not changing as we transition to the Global Alliance for Tobacco Control.
As part of our transition to the GATC we are making some modifications to our operations (governance and membership structure) to help modernize the way we work, make us more responsive and adaptive to change, and help us integrate more efficiently and effectively with other leading priority areas. All the updates we making to the GATC are designed to ensure the Alliance has a stronger foundation and that the GATC is well-positioned to support accelerating WHO FCTC implementation for years to come.
We strongly encourage the tobacco control community to review our GATC 2022-2025 Strategic Plan to learn more about the Alliance’s future priorities and how our work aligns with The Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control 2019-2025.
We would like to thank all our FCA members for their dedication and support over the past 20 years and look forward to working alongside all our stakeholders and partners in creating a world in which every person can live a healthy and equitable life that is free from the devastating health, social, economic, and environmental consequences of tobacco.
Leslie Rae-Ferat is the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Tobacco Control (formerly the Framework Convention Alliance)
Jason Chapman is the Communications and Campaigns Manager for the Global Alliance for Tobacco Control (formerly the Framework Convention Alliance)