Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 18 December 2014 [on the report of the Third Committee (A/69/488/Add.2 and Corr.1)]
69/186. Moratorium on the use of the death penalty
The General Assembly,
Guided by the purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations,
Reaffirming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights2 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,3
Reaffirming also its resolutions 62/149 of 18 December 2007, 63/168 of 18 December 2008, 65/206 of 21 December 2010 and 67/176 of 20 December 2012 on the question of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, in which the General Assembly called upon States that still maintain the death penalty to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing it,
Welcoming all relevant decisions and resolutions of the Human Rights Council,
Mindful that any miscarriage or failure of justice in the implementation of the death penalty is irreversible and irreparable,
Convinced that a moratorium on the use of the death penalty contributes to respect for human dignity and to the enhancement and progressive development of human rights, and considering that there is no conclusive evidence of the deterrent value of the death penalty,
Noting ongoing local and national debates and regional initiatives on the death penalty, as well as the readiness of an increasing number of Member States to make available to the public information on the use of the death penalty, and also, in this regard, the decision by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 26/2 of 26 June 2014 4 to convene biennial high-level panel discussions in order to further exchange views on the question of the death penalty,
Recalling the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty,5 and in this regard welcoming the increasing number of accessions to and ratifications of the Second Optional Protocol,
Noting the technical cooperation among Member States, as well as the role of relevant United Nations entities and human rights mechanisms, in supporting State efforts to establish moratoriums on the death penalty,
1. Expresses its deep concern about the continued application of the death penalty;
2. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 67/176 6 and the recommendations contained therein;
3. Also welcomes the steps taken by some States to reduce the number of offences for which the death penalty may be imposed, as well as steps taken to limit its application;
4. Further welcomes the decisions made by an increasing number of States, at all levels of government, to apply a moratorium on executions, followed in many cases by the abolition of the death penalty;
5. Calls upon all States:
( a) To respect international standards that provide safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, in particular the minimum standards, as set out in the annex to Economic and Social Council resolution 1984/50 of 25 May 1984, as well as to provide the Secretary-General with information in this regard;
( b) To comply with their obligations under article 36 of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,7 particularly the right to receive information on consular assistance within the context of a legal procedure;
( c) To make available relevant information, disaggregated by applicable criteria, with regard to their use of the death penalty, inter alia, the number of persons sentenced to death, the number of persons on death row and the number of executions carried out, which can contribute to possible informed and transparent national and international debates, including on the obligations of States pertaining to the use of the death penalty;
( d) To progressively restrict the use of the death penalty and not to impose capital punishment for offences committed by persons below 18 years of age, on pregnant women or on persons with mental or intellectual disabilities;
( e) To reduce the number of offences for which the death penalty may be imposed;
( f) To establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty;
6. Calls upon States which have abolished the death penalty not to reintroduce it, and encourages them to share their experience in this regard
7. Calls upon States that have not yet done so to consider acceding to or ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty;5
8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its seventy-first session on the implementation of the present resolution;
9. Decides to continue consideration of the matter at its seventy-first session under the item entitled “Promotion and protection of human rights”.
73rd plenary meeting
18 December 2014
1 Resolution 217 A (III).
2 See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
3 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
4 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 53 (A/69/53), chap. V, sect. A.
5 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1642, No. 14668.
7 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 596, No. 8638.
18 December 2014
|A/69/488/Add.2 DR XXI||Moratorium on the use of the death penalty|