Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with Claude Heller, Chair of the Committee Against Torture

Katherine Fennell
Adviser to the Third Committee
New York, New York
October 14, 2022


The United States thanks the Chair, as well as the full Committee, for their important work with State Parties and individual petitioners.

The United States condemns torture wherever and whenever it occurs, and strongly urges governments to abide by their international obligations and end impunity for these crimes.

Nevertheless, governments continue to use torture and other violations of human rights as tools of ongoing repression. The OHCHR report on the human rights situation in Xinjiang describes appalling abuses, including torture of Uyghurs and other religious minority groups by the PRC. Retreating Russian forces have left behind evidence of torture and other war crimes in Ukraine. We also continue to see reports of torture used by authorities in Syria and Iran.

The absolute prohibition of torture is a fundamental importance to the United States, and we take our obligations under the Convention Against Torture seriously. We will continue to work towards a world free from torture.

Question: How can this committee help to ensure accountability for those using torture and other human rights violations as tools of repression?