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November 21 2016 | NEW YORK, UNITED STATES

The results at the Third Committee of the General Assembly, the committee regarding issues relating to human rights, show momentum against the death penalty in the world

Death Penalty: the yes vote increases at the Third UN Committee, reaching a total of 115

Its resolution is debated and voted every other year

 
versione stampabile
 
Following is an analysis of the results resulting from the voting of November 17, 2016. Compared to the previous voting in 2014, the resolution for a universal moratorium on executions had 115 votes, one more vote at the first stage of the Third Committee.
 
The document, which is not binding but has a strong moral value, asks all countries in the United Nations to stop executions with a view to reaching the total abolition of the capital punishment. The results were 115 yes, 38 no and 31 abstentions. 
 
The UN has approved the document on the moratorium on the death penalty since 2007. From then on consensus has always gone up.  
In 2014 the yes votes were 114, 36 no and 34 abstentions. The analysis of the votes in favour and against shows variations  compared to the previous voting (General Assembly 2014), not all al them being positive. Burundi had always voted in favour, but it voted against this time. Chad, Niger, the Philippines and Seychelles, which voted in favour in 2014, abstained. The last wave of terrorist attacks is likely to have the anti-moratorium party rise, pushing countries like Turkey to change their mind. 
 
The plenary session of the General Assembly has now the last word: the voting is due by the end of December.
Another difference is the amendment which was presented by Singapore and discussed before the voting on the moratorium. The amendment, in short, is as follows. Before operative paragraph 1, insert a new operative paragraph, reading:  reaffirms the sovereign right of all countries to develop their own legal systems, including determining appropriate legal penalties, in accordance with their international law obligations.
 
A similar amendment was presented in 2014 and was rejected: 85 no, 55 yes, 22 abstentions.  However the amendment was accepted this time by a few votes (76 yes, 72 no, 26 abstentions) and therefore was introduced in the draft which was later approved.
UE countries opposed to the capital punishment, one of them being Italy, expressed their dissent from the amendment and voted yes to the resolution, although they stated they did not accept the amendment introduced by Singapore and asked their dissent be expressed in the minutes. 
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