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Campaign for the universal abolition of the death penalty (April 12, 2013)

With two months to go before the World Congress on the Death Penalty due to take place in Madrid from June 12 to 15, 2013, France reaffirms its firm and constant opposition to the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances. This Congress, organized by the “Together against the Death Penalty” association, with the sponsorship of France, Spain, Norway and Switzerland, will be an important occasion for the abolitionist movement. France calls on all states to provide it with the broadest possible political support.

France abolished the death penalty in 1981. On October 9, 2012, Laurent Fabius launched a campaign for the universal abolition of the death penalty in order to renew and strengthen France’s actions to combat this cruel and inhuman punishment that does not serve as a deterrent to crime. In close collaboration with civil society, the entire French diplomatic network is mobilized to advance this great cause in all states that still apply the death penalty.

Our efforts are beginning to pay off, as shown by the adoption in December - by an ever larger majority - of the UN General Assembly resolution calling for the establishment of a universal moratorium. Global awareness is increasing on all continents, regardless of the type of political regime, the level of development or cultural heritage.

The abolition of the death penalty gains momentum every year: two thirds of the 193 UN countries no longer use the death penalty, compared with a third 10 years ago. However, the battle is far from over. Since 2012, several states have abandoned their moratoriums and resumed executions. Executions are even on the increase in a core group of states that retain the death penalty. Amnesty International’s report, published on April 10, notes at least 682 executions in 21 states in 2012.

France urges all states that apply the death penalty to immediately establish a moratorium with a view toward its definitive abolition. Together with its partners, it will continue to resolutely pursue the fight against the abolition of the death penalty.


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