with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment
71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly

71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly

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WATCH THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR’S PRESENTATION AND INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE BEFORE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY LIVE HERE – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 10 AM EST

THE 71ST SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

During the week of Monday, October 17, 2016, Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez will attend the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the United Nations Headquarters (UNHQ) in New York City. During the session, the Special Rapporteur will present his latest thematic report on the need for the development of a Universal Protocol for investigative interviewing and attendant safeguards that are grounded in fundamental principles of international human rights law and the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment. In the report, the Special Rapporteur identifies a set standards for non-coercive interviewing methods and procedural safeguards that ought, as a matter of law and policy, to be applied at a minimum to all interviews by law enforcement officials, military and intelligence personnel, and other bodies with investigative mandates – including those of suspects, victims, and witnesses. A side-event on this topic will take place on Wednesday, October 19, at 10 AM in conference room 11 at the UNHQ.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference and participate in thematic side-events alongside UN colleagues, State delegates, and civil society partners in New York City. More detailed information about the events that will take place between October 17 and October 19 is available below.

PRESENTATION AND INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE

On Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM EST the Special Rapporteur will address the Third Committee of the UNGA and engage in an interactive dialogue with Member States about his thematic report and other recent activities, including country visits to Sri Lanka and Mauritania. This year’s thematic report to the UNGA focuses on ensuring that States abide by their fundamental human rights obligation to prohibit torture and other forms of ill-treatment during interviews of suspects, victims, witnesses and other persons in different investigative contexts. The Special Rapporteur will present the conclusions and recommendations of this report before the Third Committee. The Special Rapporteur’s presentation and the interactive dialogue will be BROADCAST LIVE by UNTV.

During the interactive dialogue, the Special Rapporteur will be joined by the Chairman of the Committee Against Torture (CAT), Mr. Jens Modvig and the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT), Mr. Malcolm Evans, who will discuss issues related to their mandates.

PRESS CONFERENCE

Following Tuesday’s presentation and interactive dialogue in the Third Committee, the Special Rapporteur will be joined by CAT Chair Mr. Modvig and SPT Chair, Mr. Evans, in a press conference at 1:15 PM EST in room S-237 at the UNHQ. The press conference will be BROADCAST LIVE by UNTV.

SIDE-EVENTS AND MEETINGS

On Monday, October 17, 2016 between 3:00 PM EST and 4:30 PM EST in Conference Room 6 (UNHQ), the Anti-Torture Initiative will host a side-event together with the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice and the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During the side-event, distinguished panelists will discuss “Seeing Into Solitary,” a groundbreaking new study of laws, policies, and practice of solitary confinement in 35 jurisdictions around the world. The study presents a comparative analysis of different aspects of the practice of solitary confinement, such as its purpose and authorization; challenges and appeals concerning, and limitations on, its use; and accommodation, access to the outside world, and the use of physical restraints. For more information about this panel, please refer to this invitation.

On Monday, October 17, 2016 between 6:00 PM EST and 7:00 PM EST, the Anti-Torture Initiative, the Association for the Prevention of Torture, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will co-host a panel discussion and book launch entitled “Does Torture Prevention Work?” at the ACLU National Headquarters in New York City. The panel will discuss the main findings of the first independent, in-depth global study of the impact of torture prevention measures, involving more than 20 researchers in 16 countries, which provide important new insights into the most effective ways to prevent torture and other ill-treatment. For more information about this event, please refer to this invitation.

On Tuesday, October 18, 2016 between 1:45 PM EST and 3:00 PM EST in Conference Room 12 at the UNHQ, the Special Rapporteur will participate in a side-event on the role of anti-torture initiatives in realizing SDG16, which will be co-hosted by the Convention Against Torture Initiative together with the Association for the Prevention of Torture. For more information on this panel, please refer to this invitation.

On Wednesday, October 19, 2016 between 10:00am and 12:00pm in Conference Room 11at the UNHQ, the Anti-Torture Initiative will host a side-event on the Special Rapporteur’s thematic report on the need for the development of a Universal Protocol for investigative interviewing and attendant safeguards that is grounded in the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment. Panelists will discuss prospectives for the development of a set of standards for non-coercive interviewing methods and procedural safeguards that ought, as a matter of law and policy, to be applied at a minimum to all interviews by law enforcement officials, military and intelligence personnel, and other bodies with investigative mandates. For more information about this panel, refer to this invitation.

The Special Rapporteur will also participate in a number of informal meetings with UN colleagues and civil society partners to address an array of human rights issues.