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Sunday, 23 October 2016

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, August 30th.

 
 


30 August
 
The classic image of a victim of enforced disappearance is that of a person being deprived of liberty, taken to a secret place of detention, and being kept there without any further contact with the outside world. Yet victims of enforced disappearances are also the parents, children, partners or friends of those who have disappeared; anguished women and men desperately seeking any information, even if only a clue, that will lead them to their loved ones.
According to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, a victim is also “any individual who has suffered harm as the direct result of an enforced disappearance”. With the support of their communities, human rights defenders, and non-governmental organizations, these victims seek and demand adequate responses from the authorities. They have a right to know the truth regarding the circumstances of these disappearances, the progress and results of any investigations, and ultimately, the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones.
All States have an obligation to investigate, prosecute and punish enforced disappearances, as well as to provide redress to its victims. However, victims often face a lack of responsiveness or outright hostility from the authorities to which they reach out. The Committee on Enforced Disappearances and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the two main United Nations expert mechanisms in this realm, have received accounts of reprisals such as arbitrary arrests, threats, and intimidation against relatives, or against the human rights defenders, lawyers, and non-governmental organizations that support them.
On this International Day, I call on States to acknowledge that family members and friends of the disappeared are also victims, and to guarantee their right to full protection from any form of reprisals. I also urge all Member States to sign, ratify or accede to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which includes specific provisions against the ill-treatment or intimidation of witnesses, relatives, and persons participating in the investigation of enforced disappearances.
Let us all show solidarity with the victims and their relatives as they strive to realize their right for truth and justice.
 
Ban Ki-moon
 
FORUM: International Day of the Disappeared on August 30
Hundreds of thousands of people have vanished during conflicts or periods of repression in at least 85 countries around the world.
 
 
 
 
News :
 
“Every minute counts” – UN experts raise alarm over short-term enforced disappearances International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances - Tuesday 30 August 2016
GENEVA (26 August 2016) – Two United Nations expert groups on enforced disappearances called on States worldwide to prevent and eradicate enforced disappearances, including short-term enforced disappearances, and to ensure that relatives of persons deprived of their liberty are informed accurately and promptly of their detention.
Speaking ahead of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances also expressed their concern at allegations of intimidation and reprisals against victims of enforced disappearances and those who report their cases.
“There is no time limit, no matter how short, for an enforced disappearance to occur. Every minute counts when a person is put outside the protection of the law. And when a person is disappeared, every anguished minute spent by his or her relatives without news of that person is a minute too long.
Reports and complaints have been received of people being briefly detained by State authorities, who then refuse to acknowledge their detention, nor allow them to make contact with their family members or their counsel, depriving them temporarily of any kind of legal protection.
Under these circumstances, and whatever their duration, these detentions amount to enforced disappearances, for which the States concerned bear international responsibility. 
States have the obligation to disclose the whereabouts of persons who are deprived of their liberty; to hold them in officially recognized places of detention; and to promptly provide accurate information on their detention to their family, their counsel, or other persons with a legitimate interest.
The relatives of persons who have disappeared have the right to know the truth regarding the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones. Unfortunately, their claim for truth and justice often gives rise to intimidation and reprisals. We have received worrying reports of acts of retaliation against relatives, witnesses and human rights defenders who report cases of enforced disappearances to the authorities, or who bring them to the attention of the Working Group or the Committee.
As we commemorate the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, we encourage all victims and their relatives to continue engaging with the UN human rights mechanisms* and to make use of the avenues available against any form of intimidation and reprisal. These include the San José Guidelines against intimidation and reprisals adopted by the treaty bodies, and the framework for action on alleged acts of intimidation and reprisal, adopted by the Special Procedures mandate holders to strengthen their ability to provide a systematic and coordinated response to this phenomenon.
We also reiterate our call to all States to ratify or accede to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, as a fundamental first step towards the prevention, and the ultimate termination, of the inadmissible practice of enforced disappearances.”



(*) How to submit urgent actions:
To the Committee on Enforced Disappearances:
To the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances:
Guidelines against Intimidation or Reprisals (“San José Guidelines”)
Special Procedures framework on addressing reprisals on enforced disappearances :
 
 


#ARTICLE7 on Enforced Disappearances
 
 
 

International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2016, August 29

International Day Against Nuclear Tests, 29 August.
Día Internacional contra los Ensayos Nucleares, 29 de agosto.
Journée internationale contre les essais nucléaires, 29 août.
禁止核试验国际日, 8月29日.
Международный день действий против ядерных испытаний, 29 августа.
اليوم الدولي لمناهضة التجارب النووية, 29 آب/أغسطس


August 29

Message by the President of the United Nations General Assembly on the International Day against Nuclear Tests 2016, August 29th

Through its resolution 64/35, the General Assembly designated 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests. It was on this day, 25 years ago, that the Semipalatinsk nuclear weapon test site in Kazakhstan, one of the largest nuclear weapon test sites in the world, was closed. To mark this 25th anniversary and to contribute to the call of Resolution 64/35 to enhance awareness and education about the effects of nuclear test explosions and the need for their cessation, I will convene an informal plenary meeting on 31 August 2016,from 10:00 to 13:00, in the Trusteeship Council Chamber (the programme of the event will be circulated in due course). This year we are also marking the 20th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the 10th anniversary of the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone treaty. The CTBT helps to prevent nuclear explosions that would cause unimaginable damage to the environment and human health. It must also be seen, however, as an important tool in our endeavour to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. In this regard I would also like to add my voice to the call to the states that have not yet done so to sign and ratify CTBT to enable its entry into force. In addition, moratoriums on nuclear testing have had a positive impact on the international security environment. Tests conducted by the only violator in this century were strongly condemned by the international community and I join in that condemnation. Finally, this day we should also remind ourselves of the need for continued systematic and sustained efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally and to fulfil the ultimate objective - general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. After all, the Iranian nuclear deal with the international community demonstrates that if there is political will, there are solutions.
 
H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the United Nations General-Assembly.
 

 
Statement by the U.N.Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon on the International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2016, August 29th.
 
For nearly a decade as United Nations Secretary-General, I have witnessed many of the worst problems in the world as well as our collective ability to respond in ways that at times seemed impossible. Our ambitious new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change have demonstrated the power of political will to break longstanding deadlocks. On this International Day against Nuclear Tests, I call on the world to summon a sense of solidarity commensurate with the urgent need to end the dangerous impasse on this issue. Today marks a quarter of a century since the closure of the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan, ground zero for more than 450 nuclear tests. The victims there are joined by others scattered across Central Asia, North Africa, North America and the South Pacific. A prohibition on all nuclear testing will end this poisonous legacy. It will boost momentum for other disarmament measures by showing that multilateral cooperation is possible, and it will build confidence for other regional security measures, including a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. When I visited Semipalatinsk in 2010, I saw the toxic damage – but I also witnessed the resolve of the victims and survivors. I share their determination to strive for a world free of nuclear weapons. Since its adoption 20 years ago by the General Assembly, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty has yet to enter into force. Given the catastrophic risks posed by nuclear weapons to our collective human and environmental security – even our very existence – we must reject this stalemate. I urge Member States to act now. Those States whose ratification is required to bring the Treaty into force should not wait for others. Even one ratification can act as a circuit breaker. All States that have not done so should sign and ratify because every ratification strengthens the norm of universality and shines a harsher spotlight on the countries that fail to act. On this Day, I call on all countries and peoples to work for the CTBT’s entry into force as soon as possible so that we may advance toward a nuclear-weapon-free world.
 
Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General.
 
 
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is shown the CTBTO's Operations Centre
Challenges in addressing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and related materials
 
 
News :
 
- Workshops, training and exercises; The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

Conférences Audio/Video :


Live broadcasting: International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2016 - United Nations General Assembly, informal meeting and Panel discussion. - 31 Aug. 2016.

- Informal meeting to mark the observance of the International Day against Nuclear Tests. The opening segment will be followed by a moderated panel discussion on the theme “Strengthening the global norm against nuclear tests – CTBT@20”.  Close International Day Against Nuclear Tests - Gerneral Assembly, informal meeting and panel discussionTweet Thumbnail The Week Ahead- starting 29 August 2016 UN Web TV

 
° Mogens Lykketoft, President of the United Nations General Assembly at the informal meeting to mark the observance of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2016 . The opening segment will be followed by a moderated panel discussion on the theme “Strengthening the global norm against nuclear tests – CTBT@20”. UN Web TV

° Kim Won-soo, High Representative for United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, on behalf of Secretary-General at the informal meeting to mark the observance of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2016.
The opening segment will be followed by a moderated panel discussion on the theme “Strengthening the global norm against nuclear tests – CTBT@20”. UN Web TV

° CTBTO chief calls on world to say "never" to nuclear testing

The endeavour towards a world free of nuclear testing is “all about what we want to prepare for the future generation,” according to Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). In an interview with the UN News Centre, to mark the International Day Against Nuclear weapons testing (observed by the UN General Assembly today, 31 August, 2016), Dr. Zerbo highlighted the world's technical and political achievements since the adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996. Decrying the fact that the Treaty is yet to be ratified by eight countries, the Executive Secretary urged the international community to mobilise political will in expediting the Treaty’s entry into force. UN Web TV #IDANT
 
 
Events :


Observance  in 2016.
 


 
The Meeting is convened by H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the United Nations General Assembly.

Date: Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m....
Venue: Trusteeship Council, United Nations Headquarters


Opening Statements by:
•H.E. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the General Assembly
• Message on behalf of the Secretary-General to be delivered by Mr. Kim Won-soo, Under-Secretary General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
•H.E. Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Permanent Representative of Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations
High-Level Panel on “STRENGTHENING THE GLOBAL NORM AGAINST NUCLEAR TESTS – CTBT@20”.
The official Opening Ceremony will be followed by a High-Level Interactive Panel on the above theme. The distinguished experts will reflect on the progress made to date, current and emerging challenges, and opportunities to strengthen the global norm against nuclear tests.
Moderator
H.E. Cristian Istrate, Chair of the CTBT Prep Com, Vienna
Speakers
•Mr. Kim Won-soo, Under Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
•Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
•H.E. Amatlain Elizabeth Kabua, Permanent Mission of the Marshall Islands to the United Nations
•H.E. Laura Elena Flores Herrera, Permanent Representative of the Permanent Representative of Panama to the United Nations
•Mr. Randy Rydell, Mayors for Peace
The panel will be followed by observations and questions from Member States and observers.
Entry
The Informal Meeting is open to all diplomats, think-tanks, the academic community, civil society and the media. Those without a UN Grounds Pass interested in these events should kindly contact Rsvpkzevents@gmail.com or tel.: 1 (212) 230-1900, ext. 301.