UN draft resolution against death penalty to be heard Monday
( RIA Novosti ) - The UN General Assembly will hear on Monday a draft resolution proposed by European Union and other countries on a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty.
This is the third attempt by the countries opposed to capital punishment to pass a resolution. The previous attempts failed, due in part to U.S. opposition. However, the present resolution has softened its tone, calling for a moratorium rather than abolition.
General Assembly resolutions are not binding, unlike those adopted by the UN Security Council, but they have political and moral force.
The authors expect at least 106-108 members of the 192-nation organization to back the draft.
While 146 countries have banned or imposed a moratorium on the death penalty, 51 states continue to carry out executions, often in public, according to the draft resolution.
The vast majority of executions are carried out in China, which puts more people to death each year than the rest of the world combined. Other countries in which the death penalty is carried out include Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, and the United States, where capital punishment is applied in some states.
The draft says at least 5,628 people were put to death in the world in 2006.
Belarus was cited as the only country in Europe that has not rejected capital punishment. The report, to be presented at the General Assembly on Monday, says the state executed three people in 2006 and four in 2005. As death sentences are qualified as a state secret in the ex-Soviet state, the data is based on media reports and information provided by rights organizations and the families of those people put to death.