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.