Philip Morris International kicked out of Africa Trade and Customs Week Summit 2022 sponsorship deal.

In September 2022, we were notified that Philip Morris International (PMI) was brandished as one of the sponsors of the Africa Trade and Customs Week Summit that took place in South Africa from 7 to 9 November 2022.

We collaborated with partners in South Africa to write letters to local authorities asking for the withdrawal of PMI from the list of sponsors. As a network, we mobilized our members to sign a petition which we elaborated. We also mobilized our media network whose members produced articles like this, this, this and this, amongst others. These articles were used to target the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa and International Organizations affiliated to the United Nations in tweets like this and this.

PMI was later removed from the list of sponsors in the website of the summit. Also, the sessions it was programmed to sponsor were taken off the summit agenda.

You can download the initial brochure of the summit which highlighted PMI as sponsor summit (page 3), and the initial agenda which indicated the session PMI was sponsoring.

In the petition, CSO partners called for international organisations affiliated to the United Nations and bound by the model policy for agencies of the United Nations system on preventing tobacco industry interference to boycott the summit if PMI is not withdrawn. The World Customs Organisation (which was supposed to give the keynote address to open the summit according to the initial agenda), the International Trade Center and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development were conspicuously absent from the revised agenda of the summit. They probably heeded to the call of the petition and withdrew their participation.

Initial summit brochure highlighting PMI as a sponsor

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Revised list of sponsors on the summit website with the noticeable absence of PMI, UNCTAD and WCO