Lankan Prez arrives in India on Saturday to attend Tobacco meet

RSTV Bureau
File Photo of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

File Photo of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will arrive here tomorrow to take part in a global conference on tobacco control which is being hosted by India for the first time.

Sirisena will take part in the Seventh Session of the Conference of Parties (COP7) to World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to be held from November 7 to 12.

The COP7, which will lead into a Delhi Declaration for supporting measures for tobacco control, will be inaugurated by Union Health Minister J P Nadda.

“President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, is a special invited speaker at the conference,” the Health Ministry had said recently.

Sirisena was Minister of Health of Sri Lanka until November, 2014 when he announced his candidature for the 2015 presidential election.

Sirisena will arrive tomorrow evening after which he will meet President Pranab Mukherjee. He will attend the CoP7 on November 7 and depart in the evening.

It is the first occasion that a COP meeting is being held in India and signals a strong commitment of the government to increase international co-operation and awareness of the WHO FCTC globally and especially in the WHO South-East Asia Region, the Ministry said.

Around 1,500 delegates are expected to participate in the conference from around 180 countries along with other observers in official relations with the WHO FCTC Secretariat in Geneva.

The WHO FCTC is the first global evidence-based public health treaty that recognises the right of all people to the highest standard of health.

The treaty was developed by countries in response to the globalisation of the tobacco epidemic. There are at present 180 Parties to the Convention.

India has been the forerunner in ratification of this public health treaty and was the seventh country to ratify the Convention in 2004.