Ms. Meena Syed from The Norwegian Mission to the UN in Norway's seat during the voting on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty. 
Photo: Norway UN Mission/Ragnhild H. Simenstad.Ms. Meena Syed from The Norwegian Mission to the UN in Norway's seat during the voting on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty. Photo: Norway UN Mission/Ragnhild H. Simenstad

The fight against the death penalty gaining ground

11/19/2012 // Never before have so many of UN's Member States joined the fight against the death penalty.

Monday the UN General Assembly urged Member States to stop executions as a step towards abolishing the death penalty.

The draft resolution was adopted with a record high number of 110 states voting in favour. 39 countries voted against the resolution, while 36 abstained to vote. That is one more vote in support and two fewer in opposition compared to the last Assembly vote in 2010. The resolution was co-sponsored by 91 UN Member States from all regions of the world, the highest number yet. All amendments attempting to weaken the resolution was rejected with a robust majority.

Read the entire resolution here.

There is a global trend towards abolition of the death penalty. The question is no longer if we will reach full abolition of the death penalty, but when.

“This is a very welcome development,” said Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

Read the Press Release from the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs here.

Norway holds the presidency of the Support Group of The International Commission against the Death Penalty (ICDP). Norway also led the initiative to get support for the resolution, in collaboration with a group of countries from all continents. This is the fourth time the resolution is adopted, and each time it has gained increased popularity.

“There are still a large number of cases involving use of the death penalty that go unreported. The text that was adopted today also calls on states to show greater transparency with regard to their use of the death penalty. In the long term, this could foster an open debate based on facts,” said Mr Eide.

The fight against the death penalty is one of the main priorities of Norway's human rights policies. 150 of the UN's 193 Member States refrain from using the death penalty.  But still 20 countries carried out executions in 2011.

Norway urges countries who still practices capital punishment to abolitish it or to limit the use, and insists that the minimum international standards are followed.

The results of the voting on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty. Photo: Norway UN Mission/Maja Kjennerud.

You can also slide through our real time coverage on Twitter and Flickr on the voting of the resolution here:


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