UN. ITALY AMONG 72 COUNTRIES IN NEW PUSH FOR DEATH PENALTY BAN
November 1, 2007: the UN General Assembly received a draft resolution signed by 72 countries calling for a global moratorium on the death penalty. Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi began a push for a UN resolution to ban capital punishment worldwide in January, after the execution of toppled former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The planned resolution has faced resistance from Asian and Middle Eastern countries which along with the
United States carry out the highest number of executions annually. The resolution was circulated in the UN's human rights committee. It has been co-authored by 36 countries including the 27 EU member states, and has the support of 72 countries. The draft is due to be voted on by the committee in mid-November. If the resolution passes in the committee, the 192 nation UN General Assembly will vote on it in mid-December, where it requires the backing of 97 countries to pass.
Italy hopes to use its influence when it next month becomes rotating president of the UN Security Council to convince a further 25 countries to support the resolution. The resolution, if passed in the assembly is non-binding, but will carry moral and political weight.
Italy, which became a Security Council member in January, then pledged to use its two-year tenure to push for a moratorium resolution. (Sources: AKI, 02/11/2007)