A farmers' association today staged protests outside Union Health Ministry and WHO office here demanding boycott of the global anti-tobacco conference to be held in the National Capital next month.
The 7th Conference of Parties (COP7), to be held here on November 7-12, will review the implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) and the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products.
"Showing their resentment towards the WHO-FCTC regulations, farmers today protested outside the Ministry for Health ... The farmers also staged a protest outside the office of WHO demanding transparency in FCTC decision making," the Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) said in a statement.
The farmers' body appealed the Prime Minister and all other ministers concerned to uphold Indian tobacco farmers' respect by boycotting the WHO-FCTC COP7, it said.
"Adhoc decisions on tobacco control at this Conference, as in previous such meetings, will affect the livelihood of millions of tobacco farmers and farm labourers involved in tobacco cultivation in the country," FAIFA said.
Till date, despite making several representations, concerns of tobacco farmers have completely been ignored by WHO. The farmers have also not received the observer status as part of the official Indian delegation in the upcoming conference, it said.
FAIFA urged the Centre to include tobacco farmers in the official Indian delegation to the upcoming conference or else boycott the conference, it said, adding that FAIFA has also written to the UN General Secretary requesting to be invited to the WHO-FCTC conference.
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