EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The tobacco industry’s goal to profit despite the deaths and diseases it causes is inherently irreconcilable with the United Nation’s (UN’s) goal towards sustainable development. The tobacco industry’s products continue to kill up to 8 million people annually, and the tobacco industry’s business leads to a net loss to the world economy. And yet, the tobacco industry remains the single greatest barrier to the adoption of lifesaving measures under the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the implementation of which is embodied in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Target 3A.
Association with the UN General Assembly (UNGA) or UN bodies, allows the tobacco industry to clean its sordid corporate image, to gain legitimacy and credibility, to sell more lethal products, and to detract attention from the harms caused to health and the environment. Hence, the tobacco industry will continue to associate itself with the UN/SDGs as part of its corporate affairs strategy; use third parties to access UNGA/ SDG events; and co-opt delegates to speak on behalf of the tobacco industry to promote tobacco partnerships.
Recognizing the importance of strengthening the implementation of the WHO FCTC in order to achieve the SDGs and SDG 3A in particular, the UN Secretary General discouraged the receiving of funds from or partnering with the tobacco industry and encouraged all entities in the UN system to adhere to the model policy for preventing tobacco industry interference, in accordance with Article 5.3 of the FCTC.