[Human Rights] HRC / 22nd Session, Joint Statement death penality
I have the honor to make this statement on behalf of Austria, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and my own country, Switzerland.
Our four countries attach the outmost importance to human dignity. We therefore consider the death penalty as a cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and we oppose it categorically and in any circumstance.
Last December, at the General Assembly, 111 States voted in favor of the latest resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium. This result is very encouraging and shows that the global trend that has been in place now for many years continues to gain support in all the regions of the world.
The General Assembly in New York calls upon States to make available information on their use of the death penalty as a contribution to transparent national and international debates. The Human Rights Council should also lead a dialogue on these issues and play a role in enhancing the respect of international human rights obligations, foremost article 6 of the ICCPR, as well as of political commitments related to the sentence of death and its execution. Moreover our Council should take measures complementing those of the General Assembly by encouraging countries to take the path leading to a moratorium as a first step and finally to the abolition of the death penalty.
The Universal Periodic Review has also been used to remind States that have not yet abolished the death penalty of their obligations and commitments and to support them on taking the way to a possible moratorium in any territory under their jurisdiction. We look forward to this practice of making such recommendations being pursued and call on States to accept and implement them.
We thank the OHCHR for its action on the ground on capital punishment and for having delivered to the Council a substantial report on the situation of the death penalty in the world. And we are equally grateful to the Special Rapporteur on torture and to the Special Rapporteur on summary, arbitrary and extra-judiciary executions for having lately examined in their reports the issue of the death penalty within their respective mandates. They have adopted certain views and recommendations that our countries would like to discuss during the interactive dialogues with them and to follow up in the future.
The Council should also look at all the negative impacts of capital punishment on human rights overall, as well as discriminatory aspects in the administration of the death penalty to members of specific groups.
In terms of Council action, we welcome the two initiatives led by Belgium and France regarding the death penalty to be presented at this session.
During the coming sessions of the Human Rights Council, Austria, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Switzerland will pursue their action on the question of the death penalty .