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The International Day of "Cities for life - cities against the death penalty"

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In 2012, 141 states have abolished either by law or on a de facto basis the death penalty, while it is still on the books in 51 countries. Since 2007, the United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly called for a universal moratorium with a view toward total abolition of capital punishment.  

In 2011 progress was made in all regions of the world, particularly the United States: Illinois became abolitionist and in April 2012 Connecticut became the 17th state to abolish the death penalty, thus becoming the fifth American state to revoke capital punishment in the last five years. In Asia, the Mongolian parliament approved adoption of the Second Optional Protocol of the International Treaty on Civil and Political Rights, promising the United Nations and the international community that it will not inflict to the death penalty anymore.

Even though the number of countries that no longer apply the death penalty either on a de jure or a de facto basis is increasing and the death penalty is widely perceived as a remnant of the past, it is still necessary to gather a broader consensus and an increasing commitment on the part of civil society.

Thus the Community of Sant’Egidio created the International Day of Cities for Life-Cities against the Death Penalty, which falls every year on November 30, anniversary of the first official abolition of the death penalty on the part of a State, enacted by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1786.

Since 2002 over 65 capitals and 1,465 cities have joined, situated in 87 countries, some of which still apply the death penalty: an important occasion for raising awareness and involving institutions in the quest for a judicial system that respects life.