Record support for global moratorium on the death penalty at the UN

  • Joint media release with:

His Excellency Arnoldo André Tinoco, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Costa Rica

Today, the UN General Assembly adopted by a historic majority of almost two thirds a resolution that unequivocally calls for all countries to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

Australia and Costa Rica are deeply proud to have led negotiations on the resolution in 2022, the 15th anniversary of its first adoption. We oppose the death penalty at all times for all people. This is a matter of human rights and the inherent dignity of every human being. There is no evidence that capital punishment deters crime.

The record level of support for the resolution shows that the majority of Member States agree this brutal and inhumane punishment must end. Already, four out of every five countries have abolished the death penalty or no longer apply it. This year’s resolution welcomes the fact that many States with different legal systems, traditions, cultures and religious backgrounds are applying moratoriums, either in law or in practice.

The goal of a global moratorium on the death penalty is all the more meaningful in 2022, when a number of countries have executed citizens for exercising their right to freedom of opinion and expression. Notably, the resolution adopted today calls upon countries to ensure that the death penalty is not applied on the basis of laws that target individuals for exercising their human rights or as a result of discriminatory or arbitrary application of the law.

We wish to particularly congratulate all countries that have abolished the death penalty, established a moratorium, or are on a pathway to doing so. You are contributing to the unmistakeable trend towards global abolition.

We sincerely thank all Member States that negotiated constructively on this resolution. We will continue working with all countries to achieve even higher levels of support for a global moratorium when the resolution is next considered in 2024.

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