The UN General Assembly is likely going to vote on the Universal Moratorium on Capital Punishment on Tuesday 18, presumably shortly after 10am New York time (3pm GMT).
There are many positive indications that a majority of States will support the resolution, although of course nothing will be certain until after the vote’s results are announced.
In any case, it will be the culmination of almost 14 years of efforts:
(1) In 1994, following an initiative by “Hands Off Cain” and the Transnational Radical Party, the Italian Government asked the UN General Assembly to vote on a document asking all Member States to stop capital executions. The resolution did not pass by just 8 votes.
(2) In 1997, the Moratorium was approved by the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. The same Commission has approved it since, every single year.
(3) In the meanwhile, the number of States still having the death penalty in their penal codes has gone down from 97 (in 1994) to 48 now.
(4) The Moratorium was presented to the UN General Assembly in 1999, by the European Union that proceeded to inexplicably withdraw it.
(5) During the past year, “Hands Off Cain” and the Transnational Radical Party have been working relentlessly for more than one year with Parliaments, Governments and citizens the world over, to get the resolution once again submitted for a UN General Assembly vote.
(6) The Italian Parliament lower Chamber and the European Parliament have unanimously declared support for the resolution. Signatories to an “Appeal for the Moratorium” included 55 Nobel Prize winners and tens of thousands more people.
(7) On June 18, 2007 the European Union General Affairs Council decided to present the resolution to the UN General Assembly’s 62th Session in September.
(8) On November 15, 2007 the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly approved the resolution as presented by Italy and 86 more countries from all continents. Votes have been 99 in favour, 52 against.
Finally, sometimes on December 18, 2007 the whole UN General Assembly will be asked to approve the Moratorium.