Remarks at a Meeting of the Third Committee on the Committee Against Torture

Gregory McElwain
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 15, 2018


The United States prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment without exception or equivocation. Torture is contrary to the founding principles of our country and to the universal values to which we hold ourselves and the international community.

As a nation that played a leading role in bringing the Convention Against Torture into force, the United States remains a leader in the effort to end torture around the world and to address the needs of torture victims.

Torture is prohibited by customary international law and under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including Common Article 3, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which the United States is a party.

We continue to support the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture and programs that provide assistance and counseling to torture victims.

We continue to remain dedicated to supporting efforts of other nations, international, and nongovernmental organizations to eradicate torture through human rights training for security forces, improving prison and detention conditions, and encouraging the development and enforcement of strong laws that prevent and punish this abhorrent practice.

The United States calls on countries to act on their obligations and commitments to prevent torture, investigate all credible allegations of torture, and hold accountable any individuals found responsible for such acts.