Vanuatu joins Global Alliance on Torture-Free Trade

Vanuatu Foreign Affairs Minister Ralph Regenvanu Picture: VANUATU DAILY POST

NEW YORK, 26 SEPTEMBER 2018 (VANUATU DAILY POST) – Vanuatu has officially joined the Global Alliance on Torture-Free Trade.

Representing Vanuatu at the 1st Ministerial Meeting of the Alliance in the United Nations Headquarters, Minister of Foreign Affairs International Cooperation and External Trade, Ralph Regenvanu, made a statement announcing Vanuatu’s intention to join this Alliance, before signing a document to officially join.

“The Vanuatu Government remains committed to the ban on torture in all its forms under international law and is concerned that, despite this international ban, materials used for capital punishment, torture and other cruel, inhumane treatment continue to be traded around the world,” he stated.

“Vanuatu condemns the production, trade and the utilisation of material used to support and facilitate such cruel practices and believes that concerted global efforts are needed to further contain such trade.”

Regenvanu confirmed the Vanuatu Government is “prepared, ready and willing to join and contribute to international efforts to take effective actions through legislation to impede trade in material meant for capital punishment, torture and other cruel treatment, and it is for this reason that Vanuatu is joining the Global Alliance for Torture-Free Trade”.

Vanuatu has already signed and ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture some years ago.

Launched in September 2017 on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Alliance for Torture-Free Trade is an initiative of Argentina, the European Union and Mongolia. Almost 60 countries from all over the world have signed up to it so far and a number of others were expected to join during the Ministerial meeting on September 24th.

According to a press statement from the Alliance for Torture-Free Trade,over the past few decades, more and more countries worldwide have committed themselves to eradicating the death penalty, torture, and inhuman and degrading treatment through the development of United Nations conventions and protocols.

“Yet, despite the improvements, many continue to systematically carry out torture and the death penalty, using products that are traded and shipped internationally,” it stated.

The Alliance focuses on four main areas.

Its members agree to work towards controlling and restricting exports, including putting in place export bans. They also aim to set up a platform for customs authorities to monitor trade flows and identify new products on the market.

Members have committed themselves to making technical assistance available to help countries put legislation in place and exchanging practices for efficient enforcement.

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