UN. THIRD COMMISSION APPROVES NEW PRO-MORATORIUM RESOLUTION
November 20, 2008.
The Third Commission of the United Nations’ General Assembly approved, for the second consecutive year, the draft resolution on the 'Moratorium on the use of the death penalty.' 105 countries voted in favour, 48 against, with 31 abstentions. Compared to the resolution approved by the same commission in 2007, there was an increase of 6 favourable votes, a decrease of 4 votes against, and two less abstentions. "The UN vote records a positive trend towards the abolition of the death penalty around the world over the last ten years. It also rewards our efforts to end, through the moratoria, the aberration of a nation becoming Cain in order to defend Abel," Sergio D'Elia, Hands Off Cain Secretary, commented.
The resolution was introduced at the Assembly by the Chilean representative, under the name of a coalition or representative countries from all continents. There were 89 co-sponsors of the resolution this year, two more than the previous year. Countries for the death penalty presented 7 amendments. This included two affirming the principle of the internal sovereignty of nations, that if approved would have weakened the political strength of the text. They were all denied by a widening majority with respect to last year. In substance, the text (which is much more concise than the one in 2007) concentrated on the moratoria. It also relaunched the previous year’s resolution, favourably saluting the decision of countries that put into practice the moratoria. Reminding the Assembly of the global trend towards the elimination of the death penalty, the text welcomes the relevant Report by the Secretary General.
The definitive approval of the text by the General Assembly is scheduled for mid December, and the text establishes that the Assembly will return to discuss it within two years.