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CTI briefs EU Member States on collaborating to end torture

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Geneva, 19 May 2020: The Secretariat of the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI) participated in an e-briefing for European Union Member States this morning, organised by the EU Delegation in Geneva, in partnership with the Permanent Missions of Denmark and Germany, where participants discussed closer cooperation on global efforts to prevent and respond to torture and ill-treatment.

In September 2019, the EU adopted an updated version of the EU Guidelines on EU Policy towards Third Countries on Torture and other ill-treatment (12107/19) (EU Guidelines), which notes that the EU is a “a strong supporter” of the CTI and its goals of universal ratification and implementation of the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT) (para. 15). Alongside a range of concrete pro-active measures to help strengthen and effectively implement existing international standards against torture and ill-treatment, the revised guidelines make a specific call for EU Member States to urge third countries to ratify or accede to the UNCAT as well as the Optional Protocol and to remove reservations.

In light of this EU guidance, the briefing was an opportunity for CTI to explain more about its progress and activities in achieving global ratification and to hear suggestions for how deeper cooperation could be advanced.

Dr. Alice Edwards, Head of the CTI Secretariat, speaking at the session, welcomed the energetic participation of many EU Member States in CTI’s annual suite of events, seminars and conferences, and thanked them for this strong support and solidarity for the shared desire to see an end to torture and ill-treatment worldwide. Edwards further referred to the positive examples amongst EU Member States in implementing the Convention, 35 of which have been collected in CTI’s UNCAT Implementation Tools, which are resources for States and share good practices from all geographical regions. All EU Member States are party to UNCAT.

International cooperation and regional exchanges are at the heart of CTI, and that includes the EU as an important partner for CTI. An invitation was extended to all EU Member States to become “friends” of the CTI.

Background

CTI, launched in 2014, is an inter-governmental initiative, promoting the universal ratification and implementation of the UN Convention against Torture. The CTI is being spearheaded by the Governments of Chile, Denmark, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia and Morocco, and is supported by a full-time Secretariat based in Geneva. CTI fosters constructive dialogue and international cooperation between States, and offers technical and capacity building support to governments. The CTI Group of Friends is open to all UN Member States and serves as a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas on how to overcome obstacles to ratification and implementation of the UNCAT.

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