22 June 2022, New York – Statement on behalf of the Global Alliance for Torture-Free Trade by H.E. Enkhbold Vorshilov, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Mongolia, Presentation of the Report of the Group of Governmental experts ‘Towards torture-free trade: examining the feasibility, scope and parameters for possible common international standards’
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the 63 members of the Global Alliance for Torture-Free Trade.
We welcome the Report of the Group of Governmental Experts entitled ‘Towards torture-free trade: examining the feasibility, scope and parameters for possible common international standards’ and we thank the Chair for his presentation.
The international community is united in its condemnation of torture. 173 states have ratified the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and have thereby pledged to take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under their jurisdiction.
The trade in goods used for torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment has been a longstanding concern at the UN. The first UN Special Rapporteur on Torture addressed the issue over 30 years ago and since then, the United Nations and several regional organisations, such as the African Union Commission and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, have recommended action.
The presentation of today’s report represents a major milestone in the global efforts to end the trade in goods used for capital punishment and torture. The report clearly shows how the absence of common international standards on the import, export and transfer of goods used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is a contributory factor that facilitates the availability of these goods and enables such practices. The report makes compelling arguments for considering the benefits of the elaboration of an international instrument negotiated on a non-discriminatory, transparent and multilateral basis, and it outlines useful and credible options in this regard.
We fully support the recommendation to bring the process forward to the UN General Assembly. It is important that the General Assembly considers the options presented in the report and makes decisions in order to continue the process towards the establishment of common international standards on the trade of goods used for capital punishment and torture.
As we are preparing to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June, this is a very important step towards protecting others from falling victim to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
We stand ready to engage with all partners and reaffirm our abiding commitment to achieving a world without torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
 Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, North Macedonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu and European Union.