HomeCanadaThird anniversary of Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations

Third anniversary of Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations

“Hostage diplomacy is an unacceptable and abhorrent practice. It threatens international peace and security and contravenes international law. It inflicts immeasurable harm on victims and their friends and families. It must stop. “Canada remains deeply committed to putting an end to the use of people as bargaining chips in diplomatic relations. The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement to mark the third anniversary of the launch of the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations:  “Canada has convened an Independent International Panel of eminent jurists from around the world to examine the international law implications of arbitrary detention. I eagerly anticipate the outcomes of its work, including its recommendations on how to respond to this practice. February 15, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada  “Canada is deeply grateful to the growing community of endorsers of the declaration, which now stands at 75. This support is a testament to the strengthening global commitment to ending the use of arbitrary detention for political leverage. “Canada will also continue to work closely with its partners to promote collective international responses. Together, we can make the world safer for all our citizens.”  “We stand in solidarity with those who remain arbitrarily detained, and we continue to listen to and support the victims and their families. We also remain committed to working with the international community, including civil society, to put an end to this practice.

Quick facts

  • The declaration reaffirms established principles of human rights, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
  • On the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2023, Canada hosted a high-level dialogue on arbitrary detention in state-to-state relations alongside Costa Rica, Malawi and the United States.
  • On February 13, 2024, Global Affairs Canada collaborated with the United States Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Center for Strategic and International Studies to host an expert panel event, which examined the international security dimensions of hostage diplomacy.
  • The Independent International Panel, chaired by Charles Jalloh, comprises widely respected senior jurists with expertise in relevant areas, such as human rights law, the law of state responsibility, consular law and diplomacy. Its membership represents the world’s legal systems and reflects its geographic and cultural diversity, as well as reflecting gender equality.

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