Kristina Mauer-Stender, . Tobacco Control Programme, WHO Regional Office for Europe

After more than a decade from the entry into force of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), it is an opportune time to look back to see where is the WHO European Region in terms of the implementation of the Treaty and what lies ahead.

It is important to recall that the WHO FCTC coming to life was a long process that started in 1996 and finished with the adoption of the WHO FCTC by the World Health Assembly in 2003. The Treaty was not born overnight but was rather a result of complex global negotiations and commitment of countries to stop tobacco epidemic. It is important to remember this as we work in countries to support them to fully implement the Treaty.

In the European Region, the political commitment for the WHO FCTC is strong with 50 Parties out of 53 countries while more needs to be done in order to achieve the full implementation of the Treaty and achieve the global voluntary target in tobacco use by 2025.
Where and how do we move from here keeping in mind the global voluntary target in NCDs by 2025, the new Social Development Goals by 2030? Despite of the slowly decreasing tobacco smoking prevalence in the Region since 2000, based on the modelling we know that the Region will not achieve the 2025 voluntary target in tobacco use by 2025 unless something more will be done to reach the full implementation of the WHO FCTC in countries and in the European Region.

Kristina Mauer-Stender graduated from Strasbourg, France, in 1996 with a Masters in International Public law and Human Rights Comparative law. She joined the WHO in 2003, starting out as Technical Officer of the Tobacco Control Program at the WHO Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen, Denmark. After several successful years, Kristina is now the Program Manager where she advises policy makers from health and other key sectors on tobacco control policies and strategies in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), existing international evidence and good practices.
She is also responsible for providing advise to Health Ministries along with other inter-sectoral partners for enhancement of their capacities to effectively implement the WHO Framework Convention. Kristina works daily with policy makers and other cross-societal partners in around 25 countries in the European Region, occasionally also with 53 countries through regional meetings and consultations. She is also leading the work of the WHO European Office on the vision of the tobacco-free European Region which is a follow-up to the Ashgabat Declaration from 2013 and the Roadmap of actions to strengthen the implementation of the FCTC in the European Region 2015- 2025, commitment of 53 Ministers of Health from September 2015.