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5th World Congress against the Death Penalty (Madrid, June 12 to 15, 2013)

The 5th World Congress against the death penalty will take place in Madrid from 12 to 15 June 2013

Progress is being made towards the universal abolition of the death penalty. Over the last 40 years, the world has seen a significant shift towards abolition, with the percentage of States giving up the death penalty rising from 20% to over 70%. This international trend has considerably gained in pace over the last two decades, thanks to the emergence and growth of an international abolitionist movement combining ongoing efforts in the political sphere with those of civil society’s actors. Since 2001, the World Congress against the death penalty, organised by Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM – Together against the Death Penalty) in partnership with the World Coalition against the Death Penalty, has become an abolitionist event not to be missed. After Strasburg in 2001, Montreal in 2004, Paris in 2007, and Geneva in 2010, the 5th World Congress will be held in Madrid, at the invitation of the Spanish government, and with the support of the Norwegian, Swiss and French governments.

During three days, the World Congress unites members of international civil society, politicians, and legal experts to elaborate abolitionist strategies for the years to come at the national, regional, and international levels, and to send out a clear message to the world: that universal abolition is essential for a world where progress and justice must prevail.

Fifteen hundred people, from over 90 countries across the five continents, are expected to attend the 5th World Congress against the death penalty in Madrid. Amongst them will be numerous public figures, from both political and cultural arenas who will play an important role as spokespersons for the abolitionist cause, with journalists from all over the world.

The World Congresses have thus been the scene of declarations and commitments by many prominent figures who campaign on the issue, including Navanethem Pillay, Micheline Calmy-Rey, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Abdou Diouf, Renate Wohlwend, Ibrahim Najjar, Robert Badinter, Ahmed Herzenni, Shirin Ebadi, and Sister Helen Prejean, to name just a few...

The 5th World Congress aims to play an increasingly influential role in an international political strategy by encouraging cooperation between States, international organisations, and civil societies. A Core Group, made up of members from every continent and from the International Commission against the death penalty, will guarantee the high-ranking level in terms of political representation. The 5th World Congress against the death penalty will also focus on the Arab and African regions. This objective fits in with the opportunities for change following the Arab Spring and with Spain’s geopolitical situation, at the heart of the Euro Mediterranean area.The first Regional Congress against the death penalty, held in Rabat, Morocco, in October 2012 mobilised political actors, representatives of various existent or emerging coalitions, and media from the region.

Despite the progress noted over the past decades, there are still many challenges ahead. New opportunities for abolitionist campaigners are emerging and strategies must be reinvented in order to bring change to the last remaining areas of resistance.

The 5th World Congress against the death penalty is thus designed as part of an integrated approach, following the 2012 Regional Congress in Morocco, and will mobilise key figures (from political and civil society) in the abolitionist community from every continent!

Two plenary sessions, eleven round tables and eight workshops will take place over two days of debates.

-  5th World Congress against the Death Penalty’s website

-  5th World Congress against the Death Penalty’s Twitter

-  5th World Congress against the Death Penalty’s Facebook


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