Onward to Becoming Champions For the Disappeared: ICAED’s Challenge to All UN Member-States
It has been more than 32 years since FEDEFAM, the Latin American Federation of Associations of Relatives of Disappeared-Detainees (FEDEFAM), initiated the commemoration of the International Week of the Disappeared every last week of May. The FEDEFAM, in its first Congress in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1981, envisioned this week as a venue for intensified campaign for justice and peace for all desaparecidos and their families.
As the International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances (ICAED) continues to adopt this endeavor led by families’ organizations for the disappeared in different parts of the world, we also exclaim the need for a unified duty to accord the rights of every citizen not to be subjected to enforced disappearance. The Coalition adheres to believe that the foremost solution to ensure that the number of cases documented and reported will not increase and for cases of the past to be resolved is for all states to accede to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (the Convention).
At the end of 2013, the Convention would be entering its 3rd year since its coming into force. At present, the Convention has 38 States Parties comprising of five states from North America, nine states from South America, 11 states from Europe, nine states from Africa, one state from Oceania, and three states from Asia. However, it is legal to assert that only 15 of these 38 parties, who expressed recognition on the competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) through Articles 31 and 32, have completed the entire ratification process. Hence, the ICAED would like to recognize these 15 states as champions on annihilating the global scourge of disappearance. These states stood up to answer the undying question and screams of “where are you?” which we often hear from families of the victims. These states are firm and committed to the journey in search for the disappeared. Their determination to stand up against the world of misery and for the promise that none of their citizens would shed tears of grief, but instead, tears of joy is worth the ICAED’s commendation.
As we commemorate this year’s International Week of the Disappeared, the ICAED recognizes that so much work has yet to be done. The ICAED, led by all families’ organizations for the disappeared, will never falter until we achieve our dream of having a world without disappearances. We look forward to the much-cherished dream of universal accession to the Convention in the soonest possible time.
We thus, call unto all UN member-states to sign and ratify without any reservations. We also emphasize the importance of the duties of the CED and for this reason we call on the 23 States Parties to recognize the latter’s competence.