Europe to lead the abolitionist way
European institutions have decided to press a resolution against the death penalty at the next General Assembly and to mark an official European Day against the Death Penalty on October 10th.
At its last meeting on June 18th and 19th, the European Union’s Council of Ministers decided to go ahead with an Italian-sponsored proposed resolution on a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty at the United Nation’s next General Assembly.
The EU will need to join with partners from other continents to present the resolution as a truly international initiative.
The Assembly, which includes delegates from all UN member states, will begin its 2007 session in September. After years of hesitation due to insufficient international support, the EU now feels the resolution can secure a majority of their votes. The EU parliament had already called for a similar move last April.
Parliamentary representatives from member states of the Council of Europe, a wider organisation comprising 47 countries, also supported the idea of a worldwide moratorium on June 26th. The Parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe released a report that describes the moratorium as a way of “saving lives” and “demonstrating to the public in retentionist countries that an end to state-sponsored killings does not lead to any increase in violent crime”. It then adopted a text in support of the UN resolution.
European institutions have also decided to follow into the footsteps of the World Coalition by making October 10th – marked since 2003 as World Day against the Death Penalty – the European Day against the Death Penalty.
The official launch of the European Day will take place at an EU summit in Lisbon on October 9th, in conjunction with a World Coalition press conference announcing the World Day.