December 20, 2012: The General Assembly of the United Nations in New York has adopted a new resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, the fourth since 2007.
A record number of countries voted in favor of the Resolution. The result was 111 votes in favor (+3 with respect to resolution 2010), 41 against (as in 2010), 34 abstentions (+ 2) and 7 absent at the time of the vote (as in 2010)
Member States of the United Nations are now 193, a state more than in 2010, South Sudan, which voted in favor of the resolution, although still maintains the death penalty.
Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Niger and Tunisia, which had abstained or were absent in 2010, for the first time voted in favor.
The first three countries were objective in recent months of a mission of Hands Off Cain and the Radical Party aimed at getting their vote in favor of Resolution.
Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, which in the past had opposed the resolution, for the first time abstained.
On the side of the 'no' have gone instead Bahrain, Dominica and Oman, which previously abstained. Finally, Maldives, Namibia and Sri Lanka, which in 2010 had voted in favor, this time abstained.
5 countries that are abolitionist in law or de facto - Kiribati, Mauritius, São Tomé and Principe, Antigua and Barbuda and Ghana – were absent, as well as 2 maintainers countries: Gambia and Equatorial Guinea.
"The new vote at the UN for a moratorium records the positive developments taking place in the world towards the end of the Cain-State and the overcoming of the fake and archaic principle of eye for an eye".
So said Sergio D'Elia, Secretary of Hands Off Cain, who along with Marco Pannella and Elisabetta Zamparutti, President and Treasurer of the Association linked to the Nonviolent Radical Party, has waited for the outcome of the vote on the resolutions either on the Moratorium and on banning female genital mutilation in the Radical Party headquarters in Rome, in connection with the UN in New York.
European nations have pressed hard for votes backing a moratorium. But Norway's ambassador Geir Pedersen said the growing numbers backing an end to capital punishment show "this is no longer dominated by western countries. This is a global campaign."
"The importance of the vote is that it sends a very strong message to the international community across the board," Pedersen told AFP. "The General Assembly is the one place where all nations are represented and you have a strong majority in favor of a moratorium."
"There is a global trend toward fewer countries executing people and for us, it is an important issue of principle," the ambassador added.
Pedersen said that when he raises objections to the death penalty in bilateral talks with countries that impose capital punishment, "we have the feeling that they are on the defensive." (Sources: HOC, 20/12/2012) - Hands of Cain
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