Towards torture-free trade: examining the feasibility, scope and parameters for possible common international standards

In resolution 73/304, the General Assembly recognized that the absence of common international standards on the import, export and transfer of goods used for (a) capital punishment, (b) torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment contributes to the availability of these goods and enables such practices. It acknowledged the growing support across all regions for concluding an international instrument, negotiated on a non-discriminatory, transparent and multilateral basis, to establish such common international standards. The Assembly also acknowledged the importance of international trade and the need to ensure that the establishment of common international standards should not create barriers to international trade in other goods.

In paragraph 1 of resolution 73/304, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to seek the views of Member States on the feasibility and possible scope of a range of options to establish common international standards for the import, export and transfer of goods used for (a) capital punishment, (b) torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and to submit a report on the subject to the General Assembly at its seventy-fourth session.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on behalf of the Secretary General, addressed a note verbale to all Member States and a questionnaire inviting them to share information on relevant regional and national legal frameworks and to express views on the type, feasibility and scope of common international standards for trade in these goods.

Contributions from States