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The Danish resolution against torture was unanimously adopted by 193 member states in the UN General Assembly

23.11.2015  16:01

Following lengthy and intense negotiations, the resolution was adopted by all the 193 UN Member States on the 17th November 2015. The substance of the resolution strongly emphasises the prohibition against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The adoption of the resolution is important since several States have still not ratified the UN Convention against Torture.

Background
The resolution is an omnibus resolution emphasising the fight against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. For years the fight against torture has been a priority for Denmark. Through this leadership role, for which Denmark has been internationally recognised, we seek to strengthen and expand the resolution every time we submit it. In this year’s resolution we have focussed on four initiatives.

Firstly, we have re-ordered and in some cases merged some of the paragraphs of the resolution. This is done to make the resolution a more practical tool for institutions and practitioners who are promoting the fight against torture.

Secondly, this year’s resolution has a particular focus on the obligations of States towards those individuals who are sentenced to death. These individuals must be treated in accordance with the international obligations of the States, which include the absolute prohibition against torture. The increasing focus on capital punishment in the global fight against torture makes this amendment timely and relevant.

Thirdly, the resolution stresses that the prohibition against torture is not only absolute and non-derogable. It must also be territorially unlimited.

Lastly, the Convention against Torture Initiative is welcomed by the resolution. The Initiative was introduced by Denmark together with Chile, Ghana, Indonesia and Morocco in 2014. The overall aim of the Initiative is to achieve universal ratification of the UN Convention against Torture by 2024. Further information about the Initiative.

Denmark will continue the fight against torture by presenting a thematic resolution against torture in the UN Human Rights Council at its 31st session in March 2016. 

Read the resolution here.

For further information on the Danish resolution on torture please contact:
Julie Garfieldt Kofoed, Second Secretary
The Permanent Mission of Denmark to the UN
E-mail: julkof@um.dk

Rasmus Nexø Jensen, Head of section
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Human Rights Department
E-mail: rasjen@um.dk