SWISS RESOLUTION ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT BEFORE THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
June 26, 2014: Switzerland and seven further states successfully presented to the UN Human Rights Council a resolution on the death penalty affirming that capital punishment always involves human rights violations no matter in what way it is applied. According to a Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) media release this Resolution is a new approach in the old discussion about the abolition of capital punishment. The resolution launched by Switzerland in cooperation with Benin, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Mongolia, Moldavia and Belgium has received the support of a total of 60 states from five continents. During the discussions several countries proposed changes in content all aiming to weaken the resolution, but all alterations to the text were refused by individual ballot. In the end 29 countries voted for the text, ten against it (Botswana, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi-Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) and 8 states abstained from voting (Cuba, Kenia, Maldives, Morocco, South Korea, Russia, USA, Vietnam). The resolution calls for a UN Secretary-General report on the negative effects of the death penalty on the human rights of the convicts and their nearest and dearest. At the same time, the Human Rights Council in future shall have to lead a frank discussion on death penalty during the March session every second year. âIn this way the topic will be on the work programme of the Human Rights Council over a long periodâ, as the FDFA puts it.
With the launch of this resolution Switzerland follows its declared aim of abolishing capital punishment worldwide until the year 2025. (Source: http://www.humanrights.ch)