On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

As delivered by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Michele Siders
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
July 21, 2017

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

On June 26, we marked the 30th anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Convention Against Torture. The United States joins other participating States in recognizing June 26 as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. I would like to affirm the United States’ abiding commitment to achieve a world without torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. The United States stands in solidarity with victims of torture throughout the OSCE region, and around the world.

Torture is an assault on human dignity and is abhorrent. We renew our pledge to continue the fight against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. The United States is the largest contributor to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, and supports a broad range of programs that seek to rehabilitate and reintegrate torture victims. We also back efforts to eradicate torture through human rights training for security forces, and by improving prison and detention conditions around the world.

To the governments, civil society organizations, survivors, and others working worldwide to end torture, we express our gratitude for your efforts. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights for its tireless work to support implementation of the obligations contained in the U.N. Convention Against Torture and our shared OSCE commitments. ODIHR’s valuable work on combating torture makes us stronger and more secure.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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