MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: World leaders strengthen committment to human rights protection

The three day Summit which closed on Friday, has included many states signing and ratifying treaties which safeguard the fundamental rights of people.

'People in countries that have ratified human rights treaties are today better protected than they were when the Summit began on Wednesday,' Amnesty International said. 'The momentum created by this historic occasion must continue - all states should sign and ratify these human rights treaties as soon as possible. States which have already ratified the treaties with reservations limiting the protection offered by these treaties should withdraw them immediately.'

Amnesty International noted that ratification or accession to a treaty is only the first step in guaranteeing the rights of their citizens. 'States must comply fully with the treaty and cooperate with its monitoring bodies and mechanisms, including submitting timely and factual reports to the bodies and fully implementing their recommendations in response to state reports and individual cases.'

In particular, Amnesty International welcomed signature and ratification or accession to treaties which protect particular groups of people, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two Protocols, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and its Protocol and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The organisation also welcomed signatures and ratifications of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. 'Following the Summit the world is now closer to the 60 ratifications required to establish an International Criminal Court, which will prosecute people accused of the worst crimes known to humanity: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.' 100 states have now taken the first step towards ratification by signing the Statute.

Background Amnesty International called on states to sign and ratify or accede to the following human rights treaties at the Millennium Summit (for further information on which countries signed and ratified or acceded to these treaties, please contact the UN Treaty Section, Office of Legal Affairs: Tel. No.: 212-963-5048, Fax No.: 212-963-3693, Email: treaty@un.org or check the UN website: www.un.org/millennium/index. html)

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