World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Chief: Death penalty has no place in 21st century

‘Death penalty has no place in 21st century,’ declares UN chief

2 July 2014

The death penalty has no place in the 21st century, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared today, calling on all States take concrete steps towards abolishing or no longer practicing this form of punishment.

“Together, we can finally end this cruel and inhumane practice everywhere around the world,” said Mr. Ban in opening remarks to the special event “Best practices and challenges in implementing a moratorium on the death penalty,” co-organized at UN Headquarters by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN.

The special event is being held, according to a concept note on the proceedings, “in the spirit” of the aims of the annual resolution of the UN General Assembly on “Moratorium on the use of the death penalty” first adopted in 2007. That broad and inclusive text does not impose the abolition of the death penalty but rather proposes a moratorium on executions – de jure or de facto – with a view to abolishing the death penalty in the future.

At today’s event, which was moderated by Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonovic, Mr. Ban noted that the Assembly will soon take up the resolution again. The efforts generated by the text have won a progressively broader margin of support from Member States, representing a variety of legal systems, traditions, cultures and religious backgrounds.

“[Yet], I remain very concerned, however, about shortcomings with respect to international human rights standards in countries that still apply the death penalty,” he said, adding that he is particularly troubled by the application of the death penalty for offences that do not meet the threshold under international human rights law of ‘most serious crimes,’ including drug-related offences, consensual sexual acts and apostasy.

The UN chief went on to express concern about legislation in 14 States that permits the death penalty on children as well as the new phenomenon of sentencing large groups of individuals to death in mass trials.

Against such a backdrop, he said that over the past two years, OHCHR has convened a series of important global panel events on the death penalty, focusing on wrongful convictions, deterrence and public opinion, and discrimination. Specifically, discriminatory practices in the imposition of the death penalty further reinforce the calls for its universal abolition.

Looking ahead to the next session of the General Assembly, he therefore called on all States to take action in three critical areas: ratify the Second Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty; support the resolution on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty; and take concrete steps towards abolishing or no longer practicing this form of punishment.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news