INDONESIA - Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi said that Indonesia would finally accede to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) before the end of this year, a major step in the fight against prevalent smoking addiction.
"The treaty accession will be completed through a presidential decree. The President has agreed [to accede to the treaty]. God willing we will accede to the treaty before the end of the year," Nafsiah said.
As previously reported Nafsiah said that three ministries, namely the Trade Ministry, Industry Ministry and the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry, had previously rejected the accession, and added that it would hurt tobacco farmers and reduce the state's income in tobacco excise, which had a big contribution to the state budget.
"All three ministries have agreed to accede to the treaty. They have agreed that the accession is solely aimed at protecting the public," Nafsiah told reporters on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of National Health Day on Friday.
According to Nafsiah, the government is currently drafting the text to be submitted to the Foreign Ministry before being signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
In 2003, all WHO member states, including Indonesia, approved a World Health Assembly resolution that mandated the establishment of a framework convention on tobacco control.
According to Nafsiah, Indonesia has been very active in formulating the FCTC in 2002-2003, yet Indonesia is the only ASEAN member country that has not ratified the treaty.
The treaty is aimed at promoting public health by monitoring tobacco use, protecting people from tobacco smoke, enforcing bans on tobacco advertising as well as raising taxes on tobacco products.