Statement at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Stephanie Greene
Third Committee Advisor
New York, New York
October 12, 2021


Thank you, Special Rapporteur Melzer, for your work on this crucial issue, including your interim report on the importance of accountability to the absolute prohibition on torture and Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The United States condemns torture wherever and whenever it occurs, and we will not waiver in our commitment to eliminate it everywhere. We also stress the importance of rehabilitation and transitional justice, so victims and survivors can transform horror into healing and become empowered rights-holders. The United States is proud to be the largest contributor to the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, providing support to victims and their families.

We welcome your report’s focus on the need for continuous, as opposed to ex post facto, mechanisms to address instances of torture or Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Victims should have access to opportunities to pursue justice and seek accountability. Obstruction of these opportunities undermines human rights and should be opposed by all Member States.

Special Rapporteur, how can Member States most effectively build institutional capacity to implement continuous accountability for torture and Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment?

I thank you for your time.