Remarks in a UN Third Committee meeting on the Committee Against Torture

Sofija Korac
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
October 14, 2019


Thank you, Chair. The US applauds the adoption of a mechanism to prevent, monitor and follow up to cases of reprisal against civil society organizations, human rights defenders, victims and witnesses after their engagement with the treaty body system.

The United States has no tolerance for torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. We hold ourselves to our founding principles and will continue to hold others to their international obligations.

We demonstrate our commitment to the fight against torture by funding support programs and organizations that provide assistance to torture victims, as well as taking seriously our obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

We emphasize that torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are unacceptable, counterproductive and destructive to any community that allows such abuse.

The United States urges all countries to strengthen their capacity to prevent torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including through the establishment of accountability mechanisms.

We’d like to end by asking the committee chair the following question: What effect has the problem of reprisals against those who work with the UN, including UN rapporteurs and NGO staff, had on the daily work of the Committee? Thank you, chair.