Interactive Dialogue with Alice Jill Edwards, Special Rapporteur on Torture
Statement as delivered by Ellen Colleran
Human Rights Council – 52nd Session
March 14, 2023
Thank you Mr. Vice President.
Thank you, Special Representative Edwards, for your report.
The international community made clear in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Today, the prohibition of torture is recognized and accepted as applying to all states, at all times, in all places.
It is incumbent on all countries to ensure accountability for acts of torture, and for those with diaspora populations to uphold their obligations related to non-refoulement.
As President Biden has said, “Torture, wherever it occurs, is a stain on our moral conscience. We all must redouble our efforts to end such inhumane practice for good.”
We continue to see progress. We commend the human rights defenders who risk their lives to make torture a thing of the past.
We encourage member states to contribute to the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. The United States is the largest contributor, contributing $8 million in 2022.
Question: Special Representative Edwards, what obstacles prevent worldwide implementation of your recommendations, and what can be done to overcome them?
I thank you.