The Government of Turkmenistan and the UN Country Team committed to a sustained partnership in realization of the newly adopted National Programme on Tobacco Control
Ashgabat, 15 April 2017 - Today the Government of Turkmenistan and the UN Agencies came together to launch the National Programme and Plan of Action on the realization of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control for the period of 2017-2021.
Representatives of national ministries, the Parliament, public organizations, and media led by the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, as well as the UN Country Team highly acknowledged that the National Programme and Plan of Action demonstrate practical application of the political will and leadership of the country to realize tobacco control measures. The country has taken comprehensive pathway towards enhancement of the national public health by reducing tobacco prevalence of smoking among the adult population to the lowest global rate of 8 %. The country aims to become the first tobacco-free country in the European Region with the smoking rate at 5% or less by 2025.
The set of concerted and strategic actions undertaken by the Government included ratification of the first global health treaty on Tobacco Control in 2011, enactment of the comprehensive tobacco control law in 2013, establishment of the multi-sectoral response to shared ambition about a tobacco-free country by 2025; free support and counselling services to the individuals in giving up smoking. The Government also proactively implements the WHO Tobacco Control Project “Implementation of the Ashgabat Declaration: towards the tobacco free European Region for 2015-2018”. Thus, the survey commissioned by WHO provided evidence that these efforts yielded remarkable progress and enabled the country to take up a global leadership in tobacco control efforts.
Besides contributing to the health of the nation, national tobacco control actions also help to reduce health related inequities, advance socio-economic growth, improve living standards of the population and, eventually, gradually achieve the Sustainable Development Growth.
“Within the framework of the Ashgabat Declaration adopted during the 2013 WHO Ministerial Conference on Non-Communicable Diseases, the Government of Turkmenistan has put forth an ambitious objective to become an accelerated force in achieving a tobacco-free European Region. The Government has committed 3 million US Dollars to facilitate the regional cooperation to address this issue. Developed with the technical support of WHO, the National Programme and Plan of Action for 2017-2021 are comprehensive, innovative and multi-sectoral roadmap to streamline important international obligations of the country to enhance wellbeing of the population and its young people”, highlighted H.E. Mr. Nurmuhammet Amannepesov, the Minister of Health and Medical Industry.
The participants of the event recognized that Turkmenistan’s decision to accelerate tobacco control measures would be an important message to national and international community to reinforce the strong link between sports and good health on the eve of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, that the country will host in September 2017. In doing so, all the participants reinforced their commitment in realization of the National Programme and Plan of Action on the realization of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control for the period of 2017-2021.
As was mentioned by Ms. Shaheen Nilofer, UN Resident Coordinator, a.i. and UNICEF Representative, “With sustained political will, technical and professional commitment, we shall continue to make joint progress towards giving health and well-being their rightful places in human development. This is, more about investing in the future of tomorrow, which is about healthier mothers, babies, infants and youth of the country. We, as the UN Country Team, stand ready to support the Government in all its efforts in making the mission achievable and possible through various interventions of the UN system in country.”
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Chary Nurmuhammedov
UN Coordination Analyst