Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to speak at this event and I am grateful to PRI for organising it. PRI has been working in Central Asia since 2001 and the British Embassy is proud to have been their partner for a number of years.
We support the ambitions and intentions of the Kazakhstani government to modernise its justice system, and to implement the National Preventive Mechanism against torture. Indeed since 2008 the British Embassy has supported Kazakhstan in establishing this Mechanism, including through projects carried out in co-operation with the Kazakhstani Government and with civil society. The adoption, in summer 2013, of a National Preventive Mechanism, making it easier to prevent and detect torture within the justice system was a major achievement.
I hope that UK funding will help ensure the successful implementation of NPM projects. I also hope that experience we have already shared on public monitoring of detention facilities has been useful.
I look forward to the time when Kazakhstan’s NPM becomes a successful example to be followed by other countries in the region. It will do this by demonstrating a clear adherence to international human rights standards in the criminal justice system.
In 2014 - 2015, the British Embassy will continue to support the NPM meet objectives such as: enforcing a legal framework to prevent and prohibit torture; increasing existing political will and capacity to prevent and prohibit torture; increased implementation of UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) and OPCAT (Optional Protocol); and supporting the efforts of civil society.
Therefore, on the behalf of the British Embassy, let me thank PRI for its ongoing efforts. I would also like to thank the OSCE and the Human Rights Commission for their support and commitment. Our collaboration to date has been very a successful one and I am certain it will continue to be so.
I hope you find today’s discussions on NPM very useful and stimulating.