21 December 2006 :on the presentation by the EU of the Declaration on the death penalty at the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary of Hands Off Cain Sergio D’Elia and Treasurer Elisabetta Zamparutti made the following declaration:
“The EU decision, backed by the Italian government, to present at the UN headquarters a declaration stripped of any formal value instead of the resolution for a universal moratorium on capital execution as had been asked Italy’s Parliament was a sign of weakness that also had repercussions on the amount of support obtained. Many countries that had in the past co sponsored the resolution against the death penalty at the UN Commission on Human Rights were among those not to lend their support to the declaration (Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Samoa, Kiribati, Djibouti, South Africa, Namibia). Such was also the case with Liberia and Tajikistan, which recently abolished the death penalty under all circumstances.
The European Union is in need of reflecting on its ability to conduct initiatives against the death penalty at the General Assembly for it wasn’t able to keep intact the group of countries that had, in recent years, always sustained it in this campaign.
If Italy really wants to present, as announced by Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema, a moratorium resolution at next year’s UN General Assembly, it should work towards the creation of a global coalition of abolitionist states representing all continents for abolition of the death penalty is no longer an exclusively European battle.”