Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

Contact: 202 927-8500

June 13, 2002

FY 02-11

ATF to Host International Conference on Illicit Tobacco
Trade at the United Nations

Washington, DC - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
(ATF) Director Bradley A. Buckles announced today that ATF will host the
International Conference on Illicit Tobacco Trade (ICITT) from July 30
through August 1, 2002, at the United Nations in New York. The ICITT will
bring together representatives from the law enforcement and revenue offices
of 191 Member States of the World Health Organization to discuss and identify
best practices to address illicit tobacco trade around the globe. The
ICITT will advance the international negotiations of the WHO’s proposed
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a new international legal
instrument that could address issues as diverse as tobacco advertising
and promotion, agricultural diversification, illicit trade, taxes and

During the three-day event, WHO Member State representatives will participate
in panel discussions and working groups to identify best practices concerning
tobacco licensing, record keeping, border controls, contraband and counterfeit
cigarettes, and cigarette labeling, tracking, and tracing.

“World governments lose approximately $16 billion in tax revenue
to contraband cigarette traffickers each year, money that would otherwise
fund healthcare and other government services and programs. We expect
our conference will move international law enforcement closer to standard
guidelines that will deny criminals easy profits, and, in turn, also provide
a benefit to public health,” said Buckles.

The FCTC stems from a May 1999 resolution of the World Health Assembly,
governing body of the WHO, which paved the way for multilateral negotiations
to begin on a set of rules and regulations that will govern the global
rise and spread of tobacco products in the 21st century. The FCTC committee
will reconvene in October 2002, when it will consider, among other things,
the suggestions for best practices coming out of the ICITT.