Convention on Enforced Disappearance, Statement made by the Spokesperson of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
"I will read the statement made by Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy:
I am pleased at yesterday’s adoption by the UN General Assembly, meeting in plenary session, of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance. This result is the culmination of over 25 years of unceasing efforts by France, together with the families of the disappeared. The importance of this issue led me to preside at a meeting to present and promote the convention during the 61st session of the UN General Assembly.
The text fills a legal void by making enforced disappearance an offence, in peace time and in war time, in other words the fact of kidnapping a person, usually a political opponent or human rights defender, without his relatives ever being informed of his fate. Now, this practice remains a reality unfortunately as can be see from UN data (535 new cases in 2005 and 41,000 unaccounted “disappearances” since 1981).
This new, legally binding instrument will meet the demands for prevention, especially by prohibiting secret places of detentions, and justice by granting victims and their relatives a right to reparations and to the truth.
This decisive breakthrough must now be confirmed by the entry into force of this instrument as soon as possible. That is why I call on all member states to join with me in the ceremony opening the convention on enforced disappearance to signature, which will be held in Paris in the afternoon of February 6, 2007."