The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has asserted that the ratification of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) must consider national interests.
In a limited meeting to discuss the FCTC ratification at the State Palace on Tuesday, Jokowi acknowledged Indonesia was the only country in Asia that had not yet ratified the agreement. According to the WHO, 180 countries representing about 90 percent of the world’s population had ratified the FCTC as of July 2013.
The President said, however, that he did not want to just follow the trend by ratifying the convention only because many other countries already did.
"We have to really look at our national interests, especially our citizens who have been affected by tobacco-related health problems, and also for the sake of the future of our young generation," Jokowi said.
On the other hand, the President said, Indonesia must also consider the livelihoods of tobacco farmers and workers employed in the industry.
"The solution taken needs to be comprehensive and must be reviewed from all perspectives. Thus, what we will decide must bring benefits for all people,” he said.
The FCTC contains several provisions regarding smoke-free areas, packaging and labeling, pricing and taxing and prohibition of advertising and promotions, including through sponsorship. It also has provisions regarding illegal cigarettes and assistance for tobacco farmers and cigarette workers. (ebf)
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