70 countries push for UN moratorium on death penalty
More than 70 countries have co-sponsored a draft resolution in the UN General Assembly calling for a moratorium on executions with the ultimate goal of abolishing the practice, a diplomat said Thursday.
Giuseppe Manzo, a counsellor at Italy's UN mission, said 72 countries were co-sponsoring the draft which was circulated Thursday in the Assembly's human rights committee.
He said the text, which states that the death penalty "undermines human dignity" and that there is no evidence of its "deterrent value", was expected to be put to a vote before the committee in the second half of this month ahead of a vote by the full 192-member assembly.
The draft, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, calls on all states, which still maintain the death penalty "to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty."
It also urges them "to restrict its use and reduce the number of offences for which the death penalty may be imposed" and to respect international standards that provide safeguards guaranteeing the protection of those facing execution.
Italy, which joined the Security Council in January, then pledged to use its two-year tenure to push for a moratorium resolution.