Moratorium on executions now!
The 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is now considering a third resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. The resolution, which was adopted by 107 votes in favour, 38 against with 36 abstentions at the Third Committee of the General Assembly on 11 November, is now expected to be endorsed at the plenary session in late December 2010.
The first resolution, which called on retentionist countries to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, was adopted with strong cross-regional support by the UNGA on 18 December 2007. This ground-breaking development was followed a year later by the reaffirmation of the calls and principles outlined in the 2007 resolution through the adoption of a second UNGA resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
Although not legally binding, UNGA resolutions carry considerable moral and political weight. These resolutions are a reminder of member states' commitment to work towards abolition of the death penalty and promotion and protection of human rights. They consitute also an important indication that the global trend toward abolition of the death penalty is unmistakable and increasing.
Amnesty International calls on countries that still use the death penalty to establish an immediate moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolishing capital punishment.