- Pauline Keller
[The New York Times] Where are the solutions?
Today, during the fifth session of negotiations at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the French delegate highlighted the importance of thorough investigations into the country's prisons to monitor the treatment of prison inmates and reduce mistreatment.
The representative of France emphasizes the need for a common ground for psychological assistance for all nations. Furthermore, building on the interview made by the representative of China, the nation continues to deny their accusations of facilitating torture in their prison system.
After China highlighted the possible double standards of the United States of America after pointing out the number of torture victims in the American incarceration system, the US delegate responded by asserting the differences between the nations. The representative of the USA strongly asserts that the government has recognized its previous mistakes and improved its behaviors going forward. They accuse China of denouncing accusations against them and continuously violating human rights. The US emphasizes that China's inability to comply with UN guidelines implies that the country expects other nations to follow its example or disregard its misconduct. The representatives of the United States of America and France express that they perceive China's statements as propaganda and announce that they will not tolerate a continuation of such behavior. As a reply, the representative of China accuses the ambassador of America of spreading lies and false accusations; in addition, China is disappointed in the other nations. China accuses the other committee members of blindly following America's lead in blaming China. As today's negotiations come to an end, the United Kingdom urges the delegates to move towards creating practical solutions that bring substantial improvements to victims of torture. The representative of France reminds the delegates of the proposals previously given by the country, including mandatory investigations and surveys examining systemic power abuse by guards and police. In support of France, a multitude of other countries came forward by saying they openly condemn every country that continues to use torture.
At the current point of discussion, the Office of Drugs and Crime has encountered difficulties with finding a solution to the problem at hand. After a conference, filled with accusations, miscommunication and a clear division between western and eastern world, we can only hope that the delegates will be able to find common ground in the upcoming days.
- Pauline Keller, Correspondent for The New York Times