CTI Ambassadors thank first responders on Int'l Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The CTI Ambassadors hosted a gathering of Geneva-based Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, which falls on 26 June every year. This year, they called for the recognition of the outstanding work of those supporting victims, communities and societies to rebuild from traumas caused by torture and ill-treatment. These include, among others, first responders, medical personnel, trauma counsellors, rehabilitation service provides and lawyers.

Opening the gathering, H.E. Ambassador Morten Jespersen of Denmark reminded those present that the Day was established to mobilise political support and to raise awareness for the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the UN Convention against Torture. These goals are shared by the CTI. He emphasised the “special role” that diplomats in Geneva can play in “upholding the ideals” of living in “fair, safe and peaceful countries.”

Recounting the traumatic history in Chile, H.E. Ambassador Juan Eguiguren spoke about the reasons why truth and reconciliation processes can help societies heal and move forward. He also mentioned that the UN Convention against Torture had been a “guiding light” for Chile, “helping us to restructure our legal and institutional frameworks to ensure that such violence is never repeated.” Giving victims a voice in rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts was emphasised.

In total, twenty-three representatives of UN Member States participated in the event, discussing how they – as international diplomats – could assist with the fight against torture and ill-treatment.

The full remarks are available here.