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UN PANEL ON DISAPPERANCES CALLS FOR APPROVAL OF CONVENTION ON ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES AT NEXT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

31 March 2006

The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances issued the following statement today:

“The United Nations Working Group calls for the adoption of the draft International Convention for the Protection of all Persons against Enforced Disappearances. The Working Group recommends that Member States do everything necessary to ensure that the draft Convention comes before the General Assembly for adoption at the Assembly’s sixty-first session in 2006. It should be brought forward as quickly as possible for approval and opening for ratification.

The United Nations draft convention represents significant progress in international law for the protection of persons from enforced disappearance, in particular by providing a clear definition of an individual act of enforced disappearance for the first time in a universal treaty. This definition is entirely consonant with the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances”.

The Working Group was established by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1980 to assist the relatives of disappeared persons in ascertaining their fate and whereabouts. The panel also monitors the compliance of States with their obligations under the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The Working Group is composed of five independent experts: Professor Stephen J. Toope (Chairperson-Rapporteur), Professor J. 'Bayo Adekanye (Vice-Chairperson), Saied Rajaie Khorasani, Darko Göttlicher, and Santiago Corcuera.

For more information on the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, please refer to the web site: http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/disappear/index.htm

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