– The United States, Spain and Montenegro have affirmed their commitment to global torture prevention by becoming the most recent States to sign up as friends of the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI). The CTI is a multi-State initiative seeking the universal ratification and better implementation of the UN Convention against Torture by 2024.
At a CTI New York meeting with more than 60 representatives from 35 UN Member States, the Foreign Ministers from Denmark and the United Kingdom, and representatives from Chile, Ghana, Indonesia, Morocco, Germany, France, Honduras, and Norway expressed their strong support for the Initiative and its commitment to the eradication of torture worldwide.
On the US decision to join the global coalition of supporting States, Assistant Secretary of State, Tom Malinowski said:
“There has been an encouraging rate of ratifications but ratification is not enough. A strong will is needed to ensure that commitments are kept. The US shows its commitment by joining the CTI Group of Friends today and we intend to be an active member”.
Kristian Jensen, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Denmark reaffirmed his Government’s commitment to the Initiative:
“I am a firm believer in the right of every person to decide his or her own life and future. Torture is one of the most degrading attacks on exactly that right. Denmark remains fully committed to the global fight against torture and wish for a strong cooperation with Governments from all corners of the world sharing this commitment”.
The Chair of the United Nations Committee against Torture, Claudio Grossman, also spoke of the ongoing challenges in eliminating torture faced by all regions of the world, adding that initiatives such as the CTI could be a real force for change:
“There are many utilitarian reasons to ratify the Convention against Torture but the most important reason is that it is the right thing to do.”
Major CTI activities were highlighted during the meeting, including regional events in Indonesia, Morocco, Poland, Costa Rica and Ghana. The Director of Global Affairs of Morocco, Mr. Amine Belhaj described such meetings as important: “both in influencing change on the ground and as a stepping stone to greater engagement between States and with the CTI more generally.”
Noting the growing international support for the CTI, Ambassador Martha A. A. Pobee, Permanent Representative of Ghana, encouraged all UN Member States to demonstrate their support for global torture prevention by joining the CTI Group of Friends.