Vienna, 10 October 2006 Press release

Plassnik: “Abolition of death penalty is part of the foundation of European values and a core concern of our foreign policy”


Foreign Minister on the Fourth World Day against the Death Penalty

Vienna, 10 October 2006 - "Supporting the global abolition of the death penalty is among Austria’s and the EU’s most important concerns in the field of human rights," emphasised Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik today on the occasion of the Fourth World Day against the Death Penalty. "The death penalty is incompatible with our European conception of man and the world," continued Plassnik.

"This is why we devoted special attention to this topic during Austria’s EU Presidency in the first half of 2006. Based on the guidelines for the abolition of the death penalty, the EU specifically intervened under Austria’s Presidency in more than a dozen countries in favour of more than 50 people who had been sentenced to capital punishment," continued Plassnik, pointing out that in addition the EU had issued a total of ten public statements on the death penalty during Austria’s Presidency.

The decision on the abolition of the death penalty in the Philippines and the Moldovan parliament’s resolution on the abolition of the death penalty including in times of war had been taken during Austria’s Presidency. "This progress is a milestone on the path to a more humane and just world. The World Day against the Death Penalty must be an incentive for us not to cease our endeavours for a global abolition of this inhumane and irrevocable punishment," said the Foreign Minister. "We particularly abhor the carrying out of the death penalty on minors and disabled people, which is still practised in some countries," she added.

"Our unflinching commitment must continue to aim at seeing the death penalty become a thing of the past and at putting a stop to its renewed introduction, which is contemplated by some countries from time to time," concluded Plassnik.

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Press Department
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