UN Human Rights Office Opposes Death Penalty

UN Secretary-General António Guterres addresses an event on the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October 2017. On his right is Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights. UN Photo/Manuel Elias
UN Secretary-General António Guterres addresses an event on the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October 2017. On his right is Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

On the World Day Against the Death Penalty (October 10), the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) repeated its call for all States to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – the only universal treaty which directly aims at the abolition of the death penalty.

Last month Madagascar became the 85th State to ratify the Second Optional Protocol, and The Gambia moved a step closer by signing the treaty.

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“Our Office sees their actions, and those of three other States – Togo, the Dominican Republic, and Sao Tome and Principe which have become State Parties since 2016 – as progress in the abolition of the death penalty worldwide,” OHCHR said in a statement.

The statement added that these initiatives will inspire other States to push forward with efforts to abolish the death penalty, and OHCHR encourages all States to ratify the Second Optional Protocol and to demonstrate their commitment to the universal abolition of the death penalty.

The UN Human Rights Office opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances.

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Rakesh Raman