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relevant to his mandate, such as the Committee against Torture, the Human Rights Committee,
the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture and the
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. In this respect, he is mindful of the
complementary nature of the mandates and activities of the various bodies that combat practices
of torture and that provide redress and rehabilitation to torture victims.
The Special Rapporteur intends to pay particular attention to follow-up activities which
are indispensable in any human rights promotion and protection system. He believes that such
follow-up activities with respect to individual cases and specific situations (urgent appeals and
allegations) and recommendations of a general nature or made in relation to visits in situ are
crucial, in particular in order to make the activities under his mandate more effective. The
Special Rapporteur notes that, owing to a lack of resources, such activities have in the past not
reached the level that is needed. He therefore hopes that, in the future, sufficient resources will
become available to meet the essential requirements of his mandate. It is evident that in all
circumstances the effective cooperation of States is a necessary condition for the successful
implementation of the mandate.
The Special Rapporteur would like to use this occasion to associate himself fully with
the recommendations his predecessor included in his last report to the General Assembly
(A/56/156, para. 39). He expresses the profound hope that States and other interested national
and international actors will examine the 12 recommendations carefully and make every effort to
follow them up and implement them.
The non-derogability of the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment
In submitting his first report to the Commission, the Special Rapporteur deems it
necessary to underline one particular aspect of the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and
degrading treatment or punishment, namely, the non-derogable nature of this prohibition. It may
be argued that putting emphasis on this issue is to state the obvious and that it is too well-known
to all who are familiar with the precepts and principles of international human rights and
humanitarian law to reiterate. Nevertheless, at a time when in the name of upholding and
defending national and international security interests, the enjoyment of human rights and
fundamental freedoms risks being subject to erosion, it is not redundant to recapture and reaffirm
the basics of human rights protection and notably to re-emphasize that certain rights cannot be
derogated from under any circumstances, including in times of public emergency. This concern
was also a constituent element of the statement issued on the Human Rights Day
(10 December 2001) by 17 independent experts of the Commission on Human Rights.2
The 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights consecrates the imperative
and non-derogable nature of the prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment by not
allowing any derogation from article 7 (prohibition of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading
punishment, or of medical or scientific experimentation without consent), even in time of public
emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially
proclaimed.3 In that respect, the Special Rapporteur draws the Commission’s attention to the
close interconnection of certain provisions of the Covenant that have a bearing on the scope of
the principle of non-derogability. Thus, the Human Rights Committee’s General Comment

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