International Federation for Human Rights FIDH

Received by mail from HREA:

Press release of The International Federation for Human Rights (english, or french, or espanol), publishes on February 2, 2007:

An international coalition of families of the disappeared and of human rights NGO’s welcomes the announcement of the first signatures of the United Nations Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances, 22 pages. (See also UN teaties/ voir aussi traités NU).

A ceremony will take place on February 6 in Paris, at the initiative of the French government. Families of disappeared persons from Argentina, the Philippines, Indonesia, Bolivia and South Africa will be present to celebrate this historic occasion.

The Convention against Disappearances was adopted unanimously on 20 December 2006 by the 61st General Assembly of the United Nations, more than 20 years after the first proposal was drafted by families of the disappeared from Latin America in 1983.

On Wednesday, 6 February 2007 at 3pm, France and Argentina will be amongst the first to sign the Convention during a special ceremony at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the presence of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Louise Arbour, and family members of the disappeared.

Families’ organisations and international human rights NGO’s from all over the world are uniting to campaign for the ratification of the Convention, emphasizing the importance of this new international instrument in the fight against enforced disappearances. The new convention reinforces existing international law, codifying rights of victims to truth, justice and reparation. It also creates a new body, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, which will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Convention by States Parties. The Convention will come into force upon ratification by 20 countries.

The international coalition of families of the disappeared and of human rights NGO’s call on all States to sign and ratify this Convention so that it can become effective as soon as possible. They are confident that it will have the support of many states in Africa, Asia and Europe and in Latin America.

(HREA is an international non-governmental organisation that supports human rights learning; the training of activists and professionals; the development of educational materials and programming; and community-building through on-line technologies).

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