Inaugural McCabe Centre Executive Workshop on Law and Noncommunicable Diseases

Friday 6 December, 2019

From 25 to 29 November 2019 in Melbourne, Australia, the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer held an inaugural Executive Workshop focused on the effective use of law to prevent cancer and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

14 participants were selected to attend the workshop, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Offices. Director-level officials represented eleven parties: Cambodia, Kenya, Laos PDR, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Rwanda, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

The aim of the Executive Workshop was to empower senior officials with an understanding of health, trade, investment, human rights and sustainable development; to share lessons learned in relation to NCD legislation development, implementation and enforcement; and to nurture leadership skills for positive global health outcomes.

The McCabe Centre was joined by WHO Regional and Country Office representatives who provided participants with briefings regarding regional priorities for action and technical support available. A representative from the Australian Government Department of Health also shared insights on Australia’s approach to tobacco plain packaging and the Department’s updated guidance for public officials on interacting with the tobacco industry, drawing on article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Participants shared stories of successes and challenges on legal and policy changes to protect and improve public health outcomes in their countries, from law and regulation on smoke-free environments to regulating salt content of packaged foods.

Through its International Legal Training Program supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the McCabe Centre has trained over 180 government lawyers and policymakers from low-and middle-income countries in the effective use of law to prevent cancer and other NCDs.