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Angola ratifies global accord against torture and ill-treatment

Friday, October 4, 2019

4 October 2019, Geneva: Angola becomes the latest State to ratify, without reservations, the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) on 2 October 2019, adding to the strong regional push towards universality across Africa. 

By ratifying the Convention, Angola becomes the 169th State party worldwide, and the 51st in Africa. Ahead of its Universal Periodic Review scheduled for this November, Angola has fulfilled its promise to ratify UNCAT, and will be able to respond positively to the previous recommendations made by UN Member States, after having signed the Convention in 2013. Angola has also lived up to its candidature pledge as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, 2018-20, setting a positive example for others.

The Secretary of State for Human Rights and Citizenship, H.E. Ana Celeste Januário, underlined the meaning for Angola in ratifying UNCAT as a way of:

"strengthening the legal system of promotion and protection of human rights at the domestic level, and to meet its commitments at the international level, in particular as a Member State of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations for the period 2018-2020."

CTI is pleased to have recently supported Angola through a joint seminar on the UN Convention against Torture, held in Luanda on 27-28 of August, in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. This seminar was an opportunity to exchange with different government departments and ministries as well as civil society on institutional, legal and practical frameworks against torture and ill-treatment, and to share good practices as well as how to overcome some continuing challenges. The seminar was aimed at assisting Angolan stakeholders to design various measures for the effective implementation of the Convention from an early stage.

Speaking on Angola’s ratification, H.E. Ramses Joseph Cleland, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ghana to the United Nations in Geneva and CTI Core State, stressed:

“The decision of the Government of Angola to ratify the UN Convention against Torture, together with other global human rights instruments, is proof of Angola’s commitment to democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the fair and effective administration of justice. The CTI Core States congratulate Angola and reiterate CTI’s offers of support for implementation.”

As Angola becomes the newest State party in Africa, there is a growing prospect that the continent could soon become the first after Europe to achieve universal regional ratification of the UN Convention against Torture. Positive momentum has been building in the region, notably as seven African States have ratified UNCAT since 2014 when the CTI was launched.[1]

In addition to UNCAT, Angola also ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

States that are interested in assistance with ratifying and/or implementing the Convention can get in touch directly with the CTI Core States through their diplomatic representations in Geneva or New York, or via the CTI Secretariat at info@cti2024.org.

Background:

CTI, launched in 2014, is made up of Chile, Denmark, Fiji,* Ghana, Indonesia and Morocco, and is supported by a full-time Secretariat based in Geneva. CTI is based on constructive dialogue, international cooperation and technical assistance.

*Fiji joined the Initiative as a Core State in February 2019.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a State peer review process in which the human rights record of every State in the world is considered as part of the Human Rights Council, based in Geneva. States have the opportunity to respond to recommendations by other States. Of the top five recommendations put to States during the second cycle, two relate to ratifying UNCAT or torture prevention more generally. For more information, see https://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/upr/pages/uprmain.aspx.

 

[1] These are, in addition to Angola, the Central African Republic, Comoros, Eritrea, The Gambia, São Tomé & Príncipe and South Sudan.

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