Committee on Enforced Disappearances established in New-York


On May 31 the Committee on Enforced Disappearances was established in New-York, USA. Among those present during this historical event was We Remember founder Irina Krasovskaya.

The first meeting of the States parties to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was held on 31 May 2011 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The main purpose of the meeting was to elect ten members of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances.

In accordance with article 26 of the Convention, States parties elected by secret ballot 10 members of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances. The members of the Committee are: Mr. Mohammed AL-OBAIDI (Iraq), Mr. Mamadou Badio CAMARA (Senegal), Mr. Emmanuel DECAUX (France), Mr. Alvaro GARCÉ GARCÍA Y SANTOS (Uruguay), Mr. Luciano HAZAN (Argentina), Mr. Rainer HUHLE (Germany), Ms. Suela JANINA (Albania), Mr. Juan José LÓPEZ ORTEGA (Spain), Mr. Enoch MULEMBE
(Zambia), Mr. Kimio YAKUSHIJI (Japan).

Two thirds of the States parties constitute a quorum, and the persons elected to the Committee are those nominees who obtained the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States parties present and voting.

Committee members serve in their personal capacities, and not as representatives of the States parties which present their candidature.
In accordance with article 26, paragraph 4, the following candidates whose names were chosen by lot will serve for a period of two years only: Mr. Mohammed Al-Obaidi (Iraq), Mr. Luciano Hazan (Argentina), Mr. Juan José López Ortega (Spain), Mr. Enoch Mulembe (Zambia), and Mr. Kimio Yakushiji (Japan). The remaining elected candidates will serve for four years.

After the elections, a panel discussion entitled ‘The International Convention on Enforced Disappearances: ending impunity and preventing new victims’, was conducted under agenda. The aim of the panel discussion was to raise the visibility and promote ratification of the Convention.

Besides the representatives of the State parties, delegates of International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances (ICAED) and of family members of the involuntary disappeared persons were present at the event. We Remember president Irina Krasovskaya was also invited to take part in the meeting.

"Today is a very important day for all of us — for my family and my husband who was kidnapped and killed 12 years ago, for We Remembers, for the International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances (ICAED) which includes 40 organizations, for millions other families of disappeared all over the world, — stated Irina Krasovskaya. — It has been a long way for families in finding justice. FEDEFAM started their struggle more than 30 years ago. Later Asian Federation Against Disappearances (AFAD) joined them as well as Euro Mediterranean Federation Against Disappearances (FEMED), We Remember Foundation from Europe and hundreds other organizations from all over the world who try to stop this crime against humanity. The process is far from ending but today we are a step closer to our aim. International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and its new Committee are our big celebration. We hope it will be very strong and successful mechanism to end impunity and to protect people from disappearances.

We also hope finally to find the truth about disappeared people in every country. In my country Belarus four prominent political figures: former Interior Minister, General Yuri Zakharenko, former Vice-Speaker of the Parliament Victor Gonchar, journalist Dmitriy Zavadskiy and businessman Anatoly Krasovsky disappeared in 1999-2000 just before presidential election. Ten years later, December 2010 election brought a new wave of repression in Belarus. More than 700 hundred people were arrested during the election’s night protest, 29 of them were sentenced from 2 to 6 years in prison. Among them is my friend candidate for presidency Andrey Sannikov. He was one of the prominent Belarusians who appealed to UN Security Council with the demand to carry out international investigation of kidnappings in Belarus. After election protest he is sentenced to 4 years in prison. But at least he is not disappeared as other politicians in Belarus before.

Enforced disappearances is the Black Death that destroys mind of executioners and lives of victims. Convention against Enforced Disappearances must become the vaccine that would erase this epidemic from the list of world social illness. On behalf of all families of the disappeared we appeal to those countries who didn’t sign the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances – please, sign it now! For those who signed – please, ratify it immediately with no reservation and with recognition of the Committee to receive individual and interstate complain. Thant will change lives of millions people who believe in the triumph of justice. No disappearances anymore!"