“ For them and because of them and their suffering families, our Coalition exists to knock at doors of all States urging them to sign, ratify and implement the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (The Convention), ” stated Mary Aileen D. Bacalso, Focal Person of the ICAED and Secretary-General of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances.
The forty member-organizations of the ICAED from around the globe are conducting various creative ways of paying homage to the disappeared. In so doing, they reiterate their calls to their respective governments to finally accede to the anti-enforced disappearance Convention and recognize the competence of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances. It is the body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the anti-disappearance treaty by States Parties. The ICAED believes that the Convention is a very powerful tool to put to a stop the crime of enforced disappearances and to combat impunity.
To date, 88 States are signatories and 29 are States Parties with only 12 that recognize the competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances. Bacalso further noted that: “ The number of States Parties to the Convention pales in comparison with the global extent of the crime, thus, intensification of campaign and lobbying to garner wide support to the Convention is imperative. Hence, for States to be true to the universality, indivisibility and indepence of human rights, they must speed up the process of signing and ratifying this important treaty that provides the right to truth and the right not to be subjected to enforced disappearances.”
As the international community commemorates the International Day of the Disappeared, the ICAED vows to intensify its efforts at the national, regional and international levels to concretize its mandate of campaigning for as as many States ratifications as possible and ensure universal implementation of the Convention.
This year is the first United Nations (UN) official commemoration of the International Day of the Disappeared. In 2010, the UN called on its system and other international and regional organizations as well as civil society to observe the Day starting 2011. Recognizing the global magnitude of the crime as reconfirmed by the annual reports of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the UN joins the families of the disappeared who have been commemorating this day for already almost three decades.
MARY AILEEN D. BACALSO
Focal Point, ICAED
c/o Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances
Rooms 310-311, Philippine Social Science Center
Commonwealth Ave., Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Tel. No. 00-63-2-4907820