Framework Convention Alliance Reaches the Globe with Message of Tobacco’s Devastating Effects

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco use kills more than five million people each year.  Among the five greatest risk factors for mortality, tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death[1].  Working to reduce global tobacco use, as well its health, social, economic and environmental consequences, Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) supports implementation of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in countries across the world.  Whether through the promotion of graphic tobacco warnings on cigarette packages or through the advancement of tobacco tax increases worldwide, FCA provides recommendations to help strengthen the impact of the FCTC.

One Voice, Multiple Ears

FCA’s diverse membership includes more than 350 organizations in more than 100 countries.  FCA continually monitors the status of FCTC convention implementation and enforcement in FCTC Parties, and arms its members with materials to strengthen treaty adoption in their communities via multimedia campaigns.  Examples of recent campaigns include negating the illicit trade of tobacco products worldwide via creating a separate protocol to the FCTC, and fostering the adoption of global tobacco controls for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.  FCA members can access and use these materials as needed to help promote tobacco control to their own local constituents.

To provide these critical resources to this global community, FCA works with Alboum to publish all materials in at least three major languages:  English, French and Spanish.  Beyond the ongoing resources supplied, FCA collaborates with its individual members on a case-by-case basis to determine need for additional materials.  FCA also engages with Alboum to provide these localized materials – such as press releases, backgrounders, or advocacy letters – in the language required to reach each specific audience’s needs.  Marty Logan, FCA Communications Manager commented, “Combatting interference from the tobacco industry is a major focus right now for FCA and across the globe.  We’re expecting a lot of interest from our member communities in translating campaign materials to their constituents’ language.  We trust Alboum to turn these ad hoc requests around quickly and accurately.”

Global Gathering for Maximum Impact

WHO and representatives of FCTC Parties gather regularly to discuss global tobacco control issues and make critical decisions about implementation and the future direction of the FCTC.  With Observer status to these meetings, FCA spends much of each year preparing for these important global events – the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body on a Protocol on Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products and the biannual Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC.

In preparation for the critical discussion, debate and decision-making that occur at these events, FCA publishes approximately 15 policy papers featuring recommendations on agenda items.  These papers seek to foster communication, collaboration and consensus among event attendees and treaty delegates both leading up to the meetings and onsite at the events.  FCA translates this major documentation in the six official UN languages:  Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Individuals across the globe look to FCA to get up-to-the-minute details on the critical week-long event proceedings at these meetings.  To support this requirement, FCA produces daily morning newsletters highlighting the previous day’s major decisions and discussion topics.  FCA provides Alboum the English versions of the newsletter by 11 p.m. each evening.  Alboum subsequently translates the front page overnight in time for morning publication each day.  These newsletters are available onsite at the events for treaty delegates and online for the broader global community.

Critical Message, Lives Saved

Because the impact of tobacco control literally results in lives saved, FCA’s global community requires materials presented in a way that their local audiences can truly understand.  Logan noted, “Our diverse audiences demand accuracy in all of our materials.  We trust Alboum with our global credibility to ensure precision in translation.  As a result, we’ve never had any complaints from our global community – an essential indicator that our critical messages are never lost between languages.”

FCA relies on Alboum to not only translate language accurately, but also ensure that critical meaning is not lost between languages.

Alboum facilitates FCA to further its mission of promoting tobacco control messages around the world.  As a result, FCA is empowered to reach an increasingly greater global audience about the dangers of tobacco – and achieve its goal of helping to reducing tobacco use worldwide.

[1] World Health Organization, Why Tobacco Is a Public Health Priority,

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“Alboum provides reliable, consistent and highly-technical translation services – quickly and effectively. With the same dedicated translators working with us again and again, we can trust in their deep understanding of our mission.”

Marty Logan