Skip to comments.UN Votes Against Death Penalty
Posted on 12/18/2007 1:34:08 PM PST by SwinneySwitch
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday called for a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolishing executions, approving a resolution opposed by the U.S., China and Iran.
The vote in the 192-member world body was 104-54 with 29 abstentions. The resolution is not legally binding but carries moral weight and reflects the majority view of world opinion.
Two previous attempts to have the General Assembly adopt a moratorium on the death penalty - in 1994 and 1999 - failed.
Amnesty International, which campaigned for a resolution, said that since then, the number of countries that have abolished the death penalty in law or practice has risen.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the resolution "a bold step by the international community."
"I am particularly encouraged by the support expressed for this initiative from many diverse regions of the world. This is further evidence of a trend towards ultimately abolishing the death penalty," he said.
The Vatican, a leading opponent of capital punishment, also welcomed the vote. "It shows that despite persistence of violence in the world, an awareness of of the value of life ... is growing in the human family," the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said on Vatican Radio. "This vote is interpreted as a sign of hope and a step forward on the road to peace."
The vote capped a heated debate in the General Assembly's human rights committee.
The resolution was co-sponsored by European Union states and 60 other countries, and spearheaded by Italy whose foreign minister, Massimo D'Alema, hailed its adoption as "an important step" to end capital punishment.
"The campaign should continue," he told reporters. "We call on each member state to implement the resolution."
According to Hands Off Cain, a Rome-based anti-death penalty group, more people were put to death last year - 5,628 - than in either of the previous two years, with China alone accounting for 5,000 executions. Iran ranked second with at least 215 people put to death.
The vote saw the United States taking the unusual step of siding with countries such as Iran, China and Syria in opposing the resolution - and against its usual European allies as well as Israel.
Supporters of the death penalty stressed that the resolution would not interfere with their laws and practices, and several accused the U.N. of trying to interfere with their sovereignty.
The resolution calls on those countries that allow capital punishment to respect international standards that safeguard the rights of condemned inmates and to "establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty." It also calls upon those who have abolished the punishment not to reintroduce it.
Given the amount of people that China executed, which is more I believe than the US has executed since the death penalty was reinstated, why would anyone ever bother to lobby the US to end the death penalty? Seems to me the real progress is to be made in the east. Oh you mean the Chicoms would beat your liberal rear ends and charge them to clean the blood off their batons? Fascinating.
The “concerned nations” of the U.N. should do the *morally correct* thing and accept extradition of our murderers on death row. We’ll ship them there and they can care for them until death instead. How’s that?
Except to Justice Kennedy.
With what idiots does a UN resolution carry “moral weight”?
beat me to it.
"a bold step for the international community..."
buzz off, moron.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
If my math is right, that is exactly the same number as tits on two dozen boars.
Given China’s population, and the fact that they oppose this, can they honestly state that this is “The Majority of the world’s opinion”?
Which is why the UN lobbies the US about it, not China. It's all about the 'dialectic'.
Now ain’t that grand!
Does that include Saudi Arabia and other fanatical, Islamic countries?
I agree! The UN should stopp killing people!
They can start by withdrawing their support of terrorist nations and murderous (either Marxists or Islamic dictatorships) which commit genocide in their own countries.
Sudan, for instance, could be solved if the French and Chinese could not use the UN to block efforts to get other countries troops in there to wipe out the islamo-gangs. The French put these guys in power and the Chinese and protecting them to get the oil exploration deals in Sudan. And the UN is the tool used to keep other countries help from being effective.
This "reporter" doesn't even bother to pretend this is anything but an opinion piece. Even in enlightened Europe there is a large portion of the population that is in favor of the death penalty.
Well, now finally we can take those two sticky controversies, the death penalty and global warming, and put them BOTH to bed, since the majority of us are agreed and there is consensus.
You expect honesty from these people?
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