CTI Annual Forum 2017: UNCAT and SDG16: Improving administration of justice

On 12 December, the CTI will hold its 2017 Annual Forum in New York at the United Nations. The Annual Forum provides an opportunity for CTI’s Friends and other invited guests to address specific regional and thematic challenges in the ratification and/or implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), as well as to provide input and advice on the overall strategic direction of the CTI. It is the first time the Forum will be held in New York.

The focus of the 2017 Annual Forum will be why and how UNCAT opens doors to the administration of justice and the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.

SDG 16, alongside UNCAT ratification and implementation, are centred on and share the goals of developing strong rule of law, good governance and administration of justice. In turn, they facilitate effective law enforcement, enhanced security, and well-managed places of detention. These instruments and platforms further promote domestic resilience, tackle structural and societal violence, and build and reinforce positive relationships between Governments and their citizens.

The UNCAT is a key instrument that helps guide States through an incremental process of improvement by providing concrete practical steps to prevent torture and ill-treatment or punishment, while giving States adequate flexibility to tailor these steps to their own domestic context. The realisation of the CTI’s stated aim to secure universal ratification and improved implementation of the Convention by 2024 can, as such, be seen as concrete practical action towards the realisation of the SDGs, and vice versa.

A facilitated discussion on why and how UNCAT advances the administration of justice as envisaged as part of SDG 16 will be the highlight of the Forum. The discussion will take place within CTI’s working methodology of not naming and shaming, but rather seeking to explore concrete measures and good practices, and sharing experiences and challenges.

  • What are some of the ways in which States have integrated their work towards strengthening the rule of law and administration of justice – for example in the detention and police sectors – with the global focus on the SDGs?

  • What are some of the benefits of ratifying UNCAT, and the challenges, and how is this linked to the SDGs?

  • How can the momentum towards the realisation of SDG16 and UNCAT ratification and implementation be harnessed further for mutual benefit?

Furthermore, as CTI seeks to update its two-year strategy of 2016-17, the Forum will be an opportunity to offer guidance and direction to the CTI core States on areas where positive action can be taken.

The event is by invitation only.