DEATH PENALTY: BAN KI-MOON'S REPORT RELEASED
|United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
September 15, 2008: Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, released a report on the death penalty. It was one of the provisions of the Resolution on the moratorium on capital punishment, approved by the General Assembly in December 2007, asking the Secretary General to report on the issue.
The report monitors the respect of the rights of those condemned to death, as set out in the international treaties on human rights and guidelines established by the Economic and Social Council in 1984.
Drawing on contributions of Member States, the report examines various motivations for establishing a moratorium on or abolishing the death penalty, as well as those for retaining the death penalty.
The report includes up to date statistical information on the worldwide use of the death penalty around the world and important developments, including the establishment of the moratorium by the 62nd session of the General Assembly.
The report confirms the global trend towards abolition of the death penalty, the important role played by moratoria in countries that have not abolished the death penalty, and the possibilities of further work on the issue.
In its conclusions, the report confirms the persistance of the deep seated global trend towards abolition of the death penalty, as revealed in previous reports by the Secretary General of the Economic and Social Council and by the Council of Human Rights.
The contribution by countries to the report suggests that the introduction of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty is a key passage towards the definitive legal abolition of the practice.
Regarding countries that employ the death penalty, the report contends that the standards of protection of human rights of those sentenced to death are of crucial importance for assuring that the death penalty is carried out with respect to countries' international obligations.
Though differences between the member states persist regarding the appropriateness of the death penalty, the information in the report suggests that further work can be useful on restricting the use of the death penalty. This includes the prohibition of executions for specific, 'singled out' groups, or the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments in the application of the death penalty, including detention conditions on death row. (Sources: United Nations, 15/09/2008)