Cablegate: Framework Convention On Tobacco Control

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.






E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
(FCTC): Canadian response to demarche

Ref. SECSTATE 106632

1. Health Canada's response concerning reftel demarche
was unequivocal: Canada will not support deletion of
FCTC Article 30 at the upcoming World Health Assembly
(WHA). In Canada's view, the text of the Convention is
now in its final form and it is too late in the process
to revisit the text and remove the reservations clause.
End summary.

2. Health Canada's Director General of International
Affairs, Ed Aiston, delivered an unequivocal message to
ESTH Counselor and ESTH Specialist on the question of
Canadian support for our proposal to delete article 30
of the FCTC. The Canadian position is: The text of the
Convention is now final; Canada will not support
opening of the text and deletion of Article 30.

3. Aiston remarked that delegates at the WHA are
generally not those officials who negotiated the FCTC.
As a consequence, opening the text and managing the
consequences in this different milieu, is of concern to
Canada. Aiston noted in particular that the text
contains a number of fragile compromises that Canada
would not want to have reexamined and possibly
subjected to change at the WHA. Aiston also pointed
out that Canada has concerns that removal of the
reservations clause could allow some countries to
dilute the impact of the FCTC. (Aiston made clear to
us that he would not put the United States in that
group.) Finally, the draft final text has already been
submitted to the relevant ministers for their review.

4. The prior delivery of the demarche to officials at
the Department of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade (DFAIT) yielded a polite audience. They
indicated that generally the GoC was flexible on the
issue of reservations. But they made it clear that
Health Canada is where the decision resides on the
FCTC. Ross Snyder, Deputy Director of UN Specialized
Agencies Division, and Shelley Whiting, Deputy Director
of the United Nations, Human Rights and Economic Law
Division, received our demarche, but noted that they
believe that the current draft final text contains
references to constitutional limits in Article 13 that
address USG concerns about infringement of
Constitutionally-guaranteed rights. They also noted
their worry that our effort to revisit Article 30 could
embolden Germany to once again raise its concerns with
the advertising proscriptions of the FCTC.

5. Comment: Although Aiston delivered an unwelcome
message from the GoC, he prefaced it with remarks that
one of Canada's objectives had been to see the United
States sign and ratify the FCTC. Canada, he noted, had
worked hard in the negotiations as a good faith partner
and had made compromises to achieve results amenable to
American participation. Indeed, Aiston added, Canada
had made its best efforts during the negotiations phase
to get rid of the reservations clause. That effort
was, however, unsuccessful and Canada considers it is
now too late to revisit the issue. End comment.


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