Maldives hosts Pre COP Regional Workshop for the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties (FCTC) on Tobacco Control by WHO
WHO Regional Workshop for the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties (FCTC) on Tobacco Control was held in the Maldives from 21st to 22nd September 2016. Participants included experts on tobacco cessation and control from WHO South East Asia and all over the world whom will also be participating in the COP7 meeting in Delhi, India from 7th-12th November 2016. Distinguished speakers at the ceremony include Dr Thamarangsi Thaksaphon (Director, NDE WHO-SEARO), Dr Arvind Mathur (WHO Representative), Dr Vera Luiza De Costa E Silva (Head of the Convention Secretariat) and Mr Hassan Mohamed (Vice President of the Bureau of the FCTC).
Chief Guest His Excellency Minister of Health Mr Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim joined the inauguration ceremony held at Paradise Island Resort reinforcing the political significance of the meeting. In his inaugural address, he voiced his concern due to the alarming numbers of smokers in the Maldives, with the problem becoming more prevalent amongst youth and adolescents. The Minister expressed that gatherings, especially those of experts and professionals, are one of the most effective and powerful methods of finding solutions to the problems that are seemingly impossible to solve. He believes that the future generations of Maldives can be smoke-free with new policies, awareness campaigns and with the involvement of political support of His Excellency Vice President Mr Abdulla Jihad who had graced the Advocacy Forum on Tobacco the night before.
WHO Representative Dr Arvind Mathur celebrated Maldives’s many milestones and the several Regional Meetings that it has hosted within the past year. He valued the efforts of Regional and Global WHO colleagues, Government of Maldives and WHO Country Office team and praised the Minister of Health for his active involvement and collaboration with the country office to make tobacco elimination a reality. Dr Mathur also thanked and commended Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for WHO South East Asia for developing flagships that has benefited many in the Maldives and around the region. He believed that with the extended support from Regional Director, Excellency Vice President and Minister of Health; the health sector of the Maldives would continue to be stronger and more resilient.