RC - B6-0032/2007 - Resolution on a universal moratorium on the death penalty


The European Parliament,
- having regard to its previous resolutions on a universal moratorium on the death penalty, in particular those of 23 October 2003, 6 May 1999 and 18 June 1998,
- having regard to the resolutions on the moratorium on capital punishment adopted by various UN bodies, including the UN Commission on Human Rights,
- having regard to the EU's statements in support of a universal moratorium on capital punishment, in particular the statement presented last December in the UN General Assembly, which was signed by 85 countries from all geographical groups,
- having regard to the Guidelines on EU policy towards third countries on the death penalty,
- having regard to Rule 103(4) of the Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas the death penalty is a cruel and inhuman punishment and a violation of the right to life,
B. whereas the abolition of the death penalty is a fundamental value of the European Union and a requirement for countries seeking EU membership,
C. deeply concerned by the fact that national laws still exist, or have been reintroduced, in dozens of countries around the world, providing for the death penalty and the execution of thousands of human beings each year,
D. whereas, at the same time, the trend towards the worldwide abolition of the death penalty continues; welcoming, in this regard, the complete abolition of the death penalty in Liberia, Mexico, the Philippines and Moldova during the past years and the rejection by the Peruvian Congress of the draft law on the introduction into legislation of the death penalty for crimes of terrorism,
E. whereas the European Union decided, in the framework of the 'EU guidelines on the death penalty' adopted in Luxembourg on 6 June 1998, to work within international bodies towards the abolition of the death penalty,
F. whereas on 9 January 2007 the Italian Government and the Council of Europe decided to work together to gather as much support as possible for the current United Nations General Assembly-based initiative for a worldwide moratorium on executions, with a view to full abolition of the death penalty,
G. whereas on 27 July 2006 the Italian Chamber of Deputies unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the Italian Government to present to the next UN General Assembly, after consulting its EU partners, but without being subject to unanimous approval, a motion for a resolution for a universal moratorium on the death penalty, with a view to completely abolishing the death penalty throughout the world; and whereas at its meeting of 22 January 2007 the EU’s General Affairs Council agreed that in New York the German Presidency of the EU would assess the opportunities and ways of reopening discussions on and consideration of the proposal for a universal moratorium on the death penalty,
H. condemning the execution of Saddam Hussein and the media's exploitation of his hanging, and deploring the way it was carried out;
1. Reiterates its long-standing position against the death penalty in all cases and under all circumstances and expresses once more its conviction that the abolition of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and to the progressive development of human rights;
2. Calls for a worldwide moratorium on executions to be established immediately and unconditionally with a view to the worldwide abolition of the death penalty, through a relevant resolution of the current United Nations General Assembly, whose actual implementation the UN Secretary-General should be able to monitor
3. Strongly supports the initiative of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and Government backed by the EU Council, the Commission and the Council of Europe;

4. Asks the EU Presidency to take appropriate action as a matter of urgency to ensure that such a resolution is urgently submitted to the current UN General Assembly; asks the EU Presidency and the Commission to keep Parliament informed of the results achieved in the current UN General Assembly on a universal moratorium on the death penalty;
5. Urges the EU institutions and the Member States to make every endeavour in the political and diplomatic spheres to ensure the success of this resolution within the current UN General Assembly;
6. Strongly urges all EU Member States to ratify without delay the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), aiming at the complete abolition of the death penalty;
7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the UN Secretary-General, the Chair of the UN General Assembly and all the UN member states.