Thursday, 11 October 2007

World, and European Day against the Death Penalty (October 10, 2007)

Joint statement issued by Foreign and European Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner and Foreign Affairs and Human Rights Secretary Rama Yade on World, and European Day against the Death Penalty

Official poster of the event"On the occasion of World Day against the Death Penalty, we wish to reaffirm France’s categorical opposition to this practice whatever the circumstances. It constitutes an attack on human dignity.

The struggle for the universal abolition of the death penalty is a priority for our country, the European Union and the Council of Europe which has just established October 10 as European Day against the Death Penalty. We welcome this initiative.

Last February, France enshrined the ban on the death penalty in its constitution. It has since ratified the second optional protocol to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The instrument of ratification was deposited in New York by Foreign Affairs and Human Rights Secretary Rama Yade on October 2.

France sponsored the third World Congress against the Death Penalty in Paris on February 1-3, 2007, at the initiative of the association, ‘Together Against the Death Penalty.’
We are pleased to see that the death penalty is declining in the world. Nevertheless, the goal of universal abolition demands that everyone mobilize. We welcome the defenders of human rights who, with courage and determination, are waging the fight on the ground in conditions that are often extremely difficult and who are pooling initiatives to found a universal movement of conscience.

A declaration against the death penalty was signed by 95 states in the past year at the UN General Assembly. A draft resolution for a universal moratorium and the abolition of the death penalty will be presented this year by countries on all continents.
On this October 10, France renews its appeal to all countries that continue to apply the death penalty to abolish it or pending abolition to institute a moratorium on executions and sentences."

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