UN. BAN SAYS BACKS TREND TO PHASE OUT DEATH PENALTY
|United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
January 24, 2007: New U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he backed an international trend to phase out the death penalty.
"Life is very precious and every human being has a right to live with dignity and life of human beings must be respected and protected," Ban said in Brussels when asked about an Italian bid for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty.
He said there was "some growing tendency" in the international community, international law and among states to phase out the death penalty.
"I encourage that trend," he told a news conference at the executive of the 27-nation European Union, which does not permit capital punishment.
Ban added in Brussels he hoped that while the issue of the death penalty was being debated all members of the international community would respect and comply with existing international humanitarian law.
Italy, which has just taken up a temporary Security Council seat, has been campaigning at the United Nations for a global ban on the death penalty. (Sources: Reuters, 24/01/2007)