Death penalty: UNGA75 Third Committee adopts new resolution on moratorium

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NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 20 – The Third Committee of the General Assembly adopted this week by a large majority the resolution on the universal moratorium of executions. “Italy welcomes this important step – commented the Italian Permanent Mission to the United Nations – and will continue to work for the protection of human rights, intensifying dialogue with all UN member states to make progress on the path to the ultimate goal: the abolition of the death penalty “.

For the European Union the adoption by the Committee was “a further step in the right direction for human rights and dignity”. The resolution on the moratorium is periodically submitted to the vote of the General Assembly. It was ratified for the first time with 104 votes in favor, 54 against and 29 abstentions on 18 December 2007. The UN passed similar resolutions in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018.

The difference between moratorium and abolition is that in the first case the states suspend the application of the death penalty, while keeping it in their own legal institutions (thus being able to apply it again in the future without legislative changes), while in the second case this penalty would be totally abolished by national laws. Although the promoters of the moratorium want to achieve abolition, the path of the moratorium (less limiting for the sovereignty of individual states) was chosen to convince undecided countries. (@OnuItalia)