CTI releases its biennial Ratification and Implementation Strategy

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Geneva, 2 March 2016 - The Convention against Torture Initiative today released its new Ratification and Implementation Strategy for 2016 and 2017.

The Strategy will steer the work of the CTI over the next two years in achieving its overall vision of universal ratification of the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT), by 2024. The Strategy will also support States parties to reduce the risk of torture as they work actively to implement the Convention’s provisions.

Achieving universal ratification by 2024

“At the heart of the new Strategy is the CTI’s vision to end the risk of torture for all. Ratifying the UN Convention against Torture is an important step for States. Ratification not only expresses their solidarity with this global objective, but it also allows them to receive support on a range of practical measures that can reduce the incidence of torture over the short – and long-term,” according to Dr. Alice Edwards, Head of the CTI Secretariat.

For 2016, it is expected that up to three States will ratify or accede to the UNCAT with a further five joining the Convention in 2017. This will be achieved through a mixture of regional initiatives, as well as bilateral and multilateral diplomatic and technical engagement, in line with the CTI’s spirit of inter-State cooperation, assistance and dialogue. Since the CTI was established, four States have ratified or acceded to the UNCAT. The number of States parties stands at an impressive 158, with 37 States yet to ratify. Diplomatic and technical support visits and missions are planned, alongside an important event on ratification and reporting for countries in the Pacific.

Towards more effective implementation

In order to support States to implement the Convention more effectively, the CTI has identified three thematic priorities, based on feedback received from States and others. The three themes revolve around

  1. Supporting States to adopt or amend national laws in compliance with the Convention,
  2. Supporting States to prevent torture in the first hours of police custody through improved safeguards and investigative interviewing techniques, and          
  3. Improving reporting to the UN Committee against Torture, in particular for newly ratifying States.

Major CTI events are planned for a diverse range of States covering issues in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and for countries in the OSCE region.

Speaking on the Strategy, Edwards explained that: “A number of key events and activities are planned on both ratification and implementation that reinforce the foundational principles of constructive, mutual and respectful exchange between States. Many States have good practices to share with each other. The CTI will continue to provide a platform that allows those important exchanges to happen.”

The CTI Group of Friends are central to reaching the shared vision of the CTI, not  least as they contribute to broadening the platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas. It is hoped that the Strategy will help galvanise further support for the vision of the CTI and the CTI looks forward to working with its Friends in the years ahead. The CTI reiterates its invitation to interested UN Member States to join the Group, along with non-governmental organisations and experts.

Read the Strategy here.

For more information please contact Dr. Alice Edwards, Head of the CTI Secretariat, or Signe Lind, Project Officer, CTI Secretariat,