Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

9 December 2007

UN set for key death penalty vote

UN set for key death penalty vote

The world is set to take a giant leap towards the abolition of the death penalty worldwide in a crucial UN vote.

The vote is expected to endorse a decision to establish a moratorium (a suspension) on executions worldwide. It is due to take place between the 18 and 19 December, at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

Amnesty International continues to campaign hard to gain support for the final resolution from more than 100 states.

The passing of this resolution will be a turning point in campaigning against the death penalty. 133 countries (two-thirds of the world) have abolished the death penalty either in law or practice. In 1948, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, only eight countries had abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

A significant milestone on the path to a death penalty-free world was already reached on 15 November, when the resolution was adopted successfully by the UNGA’s Third Committee. The vote resulted in 99 countries in favour and 52 against, with 33 abstentions. This week's vote will confirm the resolution by the UNGA in a plenary session.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception. The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights - the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

Amnesty International calls on all countries still using the death penalty to establish an immediate moratorium on executions and stop the death penalty once and for all.

Read More

Breakthrough UN resolution on global moratorium on executions (News, 15 November 2007)

Stop the death penalty: Worldwide abolition now (Feature, 31 October 2007)

External links (Amnesty International is not responsible for the content of external sites):

Help the UN General Assembly endorse a global moratorium (World Coalition website)


Death Penalty 
United Nations 

@amnestyonline on twitter


21 August 2014

Children accused of being members of armed groups in the conflict in Mali are languishing in adult jails while human rights abuses continue.

Read more »
15 August 2014

The number of killings perpetrated by the police is on the rise again in the Dominican Republic whilst legislation intended to fix the problem stalls and stagnates in Congress... Read more »

29 August 2014

The execution of two men in Japan on Friday flies in the face of growing calls in the country to halt the use of capital punishment, said Amnesty International.

Read more »
29 August 2014

Russia’s official branding of a civil society organization as a “foreign agent”, an expression akin to “spying”, for speaking out on Ukraine is a sign of the country’s... Read more »

29 August 2014

Peaceful activist Mohamed Bachir Arab has been held in secret since he was arrested by the Syrian intelligence forces on 2 November 2011. He is one of Syria's many "disappeared... Read more »