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Strategising with NGOs and experts on living in a world free of torture

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Geneva, 13 June 2018: This week, the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI) met with 20 leading anti-torture NGOs and other experts to discuss practical steps and ways forward to achieve universal ratification and effective implementation of the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT) by 2024. The two-day retreat was held in Glion-sur-Montreux, Switzerland.

CTI’s retreat provided a platform to propose and share innovative ideas designed to encourage States to ratify the Convention, and to showcase good implementation practices. Participants also discussed influential global and regional trends and challenges that may impact on the mutual vision of living in a world in which torture and ill-treatment are eradicated.

Opening the event, Ambassador Carla Serazzi, Chargée d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Chile to the UN in Geneva, shared CTI’s conviction that collective and clear efforts to end torture are within reach:

       “We – the five States of the CTI – are committed to the ambitious vision we have set ourselves, and through it, to reduce the risk of torture worldwide and to end the suffering it brings to individuals, families and communities.”

The event provided an opportunity to exchange on ratification and implementation challenges, despite differing methods of work and mandates of those organisations participating. Ambassador Serazzi highlighted that there are “many potential areas for dialogue and cooperation that could be beneficial to all of our work.”

During the meeting, participating experts discussed a wide range of issues in the field of torture prevention and rehabilitation including, but not limited to, ways to ensure genuine implementation of the Convention, legal and procedural frameworks, reporting challenges and good practices, how to better engage with regional organisations and actors, capacity building, and the key role of civil society organisations in advocacy and awareness raising campaigns.

In closing the event, Ambassador Ramses Joseph Cleland, Ghana’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, emphasised that “We, as governments, need civil society to support us in tackling some of the challenges.” He thanked those who had given their time to attend, and to share their insights and expertise, among them many CTI Friends. He concluded:

         “I hope this meeting will spur a collaborative dynamic to continue the dialogue and build great networks for support and discussion.”

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