United Nations headed for new moratorium resolution

International standards

on 15 November 2010

The Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (photo) has adopted a draft resolution calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty on November 11 in New York.
The text “calls upon all States that still maintain the death penalty … to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty”. It also asks retentionist countries to publish data on their use of the death penalty and to respect the rights of those sentenced to death.
107 UN member states voted in favour of the resolution in the committee vote, 38 voted against it and 36 abstained. Only 106 countries had supported a similar resolution in 2008, 46 had voted against it and 34 had abstained. In 2007, there were 104 votes in favour, 54 against and 29 abstentions.
Bhutan, Kiribati, Maldives, Mongolia and Togo changed their vote to back the moratorium.

“Courageous choice”

Mario Marazziti, a spokesman for World Coalition member organisation Community of Sant’Egidio, said: “The Community of Sant’Egidio has worked directly with the change in two countries, Mongolia and the Maldives, which have switched from the opposition front to the abolitionist front. The courageous choice of those important countries is a particular cause for satisfaction and proof that the change is also coming from Asia and from countries with a Muslim tradition.”
Amnesty International, also a member of the World Coalition, welcomed the vote too. “This third resolution by the UN General Assembly in favour of a moratorium on executions is yet another milestone in the campaign to end premeditated killing by the state,” said José Luis Díaz, Amnesty’s representative at the UN in New York.
The UN General Assembly in December will take a final vote on the resolution at its plenary session in December.

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