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Saint Kitts and Nevis becomes 171st State party to UNCAT

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Geneva - It is with great pleasure that CTI welcomes the accession of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). It officially became the Convention’s 171st State party on 21 September 2020, after depositing its accession instrument at the United Nations in New York, on the occasion of the 75th UN General Assembly and right after its Independence Day on 19 September.

By its accession to UNCAT without reservations, Saint Kitts and Nevis has expressed its absolute rejection of all forms of torture and ill-treatment, standing alongside the international community in its will to eradicate such practices, and showing its commitment to comply with international human rights standards. This laudable step will, without doubt, be recognised positively during the country’s upcoming Universal Periodic Review in January 2021**.

Saint Kitts and Nevis did not only become the 171st State party worldwide, but also the ninth State party in the Caribbean*, another important step forward which continues the progress generated by CTI’s global campaign for universal ratification.

 “St Kitts and Nevis is pleased to have joined the ranks of the other like-minded countries in being party to the United Nations Convention against Torture. As a country, we firmly reject all forms of torture and other inhumane treatment, a position which is also unambiguously reflected in our country’s constitution. With St Kitts and Nevis taking this step, we hope it would encourage other countries, who have not yet acceded to this Convention, to do likewise”, declared the Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Civil Aviation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

The CTI Core States - Chile, Denmark, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia and Morocco - launched their initiative in 2014 with the explicit ambition that all UN Member States would join the important fight against torture and strengthen national capacities, so that people worldwide can live in safety and peace. The UN Convention against Torture is a key vehicle and framework to help guide States towards stable governance, responsible law enforcement and fair and efficient justice. The Caribbean has been a region of focus for CTI, which has been building on existing good practices and legal traditions to increase capacities and provide technical assistance.

Chile and CTI are highly encouraged by Saint Kitts and Nevis’ accession to UNCAT”, said H.E. Frank Tressler, Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations in Geneva and CTI Core State representative, at the announcement of the news. “We congratulate the Government for taking action and showing that the fight against torture is an unremitting priority. I am confident that many other Caribbean States will do the same, and that the region will soon achieve universal ratification and cooperate to effectively implement this core human rights treaty”, he added.

CTI invites Saint Kitts and Nevis to join its Group of Friends, now made up of over 40 governments, and will include Saint Kitts and Nevis in its upcoming activities in the region as the country begins implementing the Convention.

*The other Caribbean States parties are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Background:

CTI, launched in 2014, is an inter-governmental initiative, promoting the universal ratification and implementation of the UN Convention against Torture. 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. CTI is encouraged by a Group of Friends, which 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.

CTI’s Advice Hub can be contacted confidentially for technical advice at advicehub@cti2024.org.

Covid and ratification

For States wishing to ratify or accede to UNCAT during Covid-19 closures, please find advice here on the facilitated procedure made available by the Treaty Section of United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (OLA).

**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.

For any questions, feel free to contact the CTI Secretariat at advicehub@cti2024.org.

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