15 November 2007
General Assembly
GA/SHC/3906

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-second General Assembly

Third Committee

45th & 46th Meetings (AM & PM)


TWO-DAY DELIBERATIONS END WITH CONTENTIOUS RESOLUTION CALLING FOR MORATORIUM


ON USE OF DEATH PENALTY APPROVED BY THIRD COMMITTEE AFTER VOTE


Text on Eliminating Rape, Other Forms of Sexual Violence

Will Have Assembly Call on All States to Eliminate Disgraceful Crime


After two days of impassioned debate on the contentious issue of capital punishment, a Third Committee (Social Humanitarian and Cultural) draft resolution impelling the General Assembly to call for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty was approved today by a recorded vote, with 99 countries voting in favour of it to 52 against, with 33 abstentions.  (See annex IX.)


The approval of the text came after two days of intense and many times emotional deliberations, with Members States standing firm vis-à-vis their national positions on the death penalty -- for or against.  Some 17 amendments were introduced between yesterday and today by countries opposed to the idea of the moratorium, which also saw the draft as an imposition on their sovereignty and right to establish their own legal systems.  Yet, despite those efforts, each proposed amendment was defeated, as 18 separate votes inched the text closer to the General Assembly for action.


In other action this afternoon, the Committee, acting without a vote, approved a draft resolution, as orally amended, that would have the Assembly call for the elimination of rape and other forms of sexual violence in all their manifestations, including in conflict and related situations.


The Committee also heard the introduction of five draft resolutions on topics ranging from the elimination of racism to the right of peoples to self-determination.  Action was deferred on a draft resolution on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.


In a statement following the vote on the resolution on moratorium on the use of the death penalty, the representative of Singapore congratulated the co-sponsors of the resolution on their “pyrrhic victory”.  He said the vote had proved that there was no international consensus on the resolution, as almost half of the delegations had not voted in its favour.  That should be an indication that many delegations were uncomfortable with the text.  Co-sponsors had brought the resolution forward fully aware of how acrimonious and divisive the issue was.


The representative of Colombia, a co-sponsor of the draft, said his delegation endorsed the central objective of the resolution, which was to promote a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.  The promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms had to be considered a priority objective of the United Nations.  He hoped that adoption of the draft would lead to a regional and universal dialogue on executions that would focus on the negative implications of the death penalty vis-à-vis human rights.


Also speaking after the vote, the representative of Botswana said he regretted the outcome of the action on the resolution.  Judging by the trends as they had played out, the European Union would likely bring an “equally divisive” resolution on the abolition of the penalty at the next session.  Perhaps next year, the same players would be reading from the same script.  But, until such time as there was international consensus, the issue should remain in Brussels.  Instead, internal democratic processes should determine such questions, and parliaments of individual countries should set the course to be followed.


The Observer for the Holy See reaffirmed a call for a consistent view to be taken vis-à-vis the right to life.  Unequal interpretation of the parameters of that right reduced it to a political tool.  Such a right was applicable to all stages of life, and all delegations should adopt that consistent view.  In a statement preceding action on the resolution, he said the issue of the death penalty demanded that States exercise true courage in saying no to killing of any kind.


The representative of the United States said that, while his country recognized that the supporters of the resolution had “principled positions”, international law did not prohibit capital punishment.  The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights specifically recognized the right of countries to carry out capital punishment for certain crimes.  He urged all countries that applied the death penalty to do so in accordance with their human rights obligations, and not in a summary or extrajudicial fashion.


The representative of Rwanda said that, in spite of his nation’s recent history, which included the 1994 genocide that had taken the lives of more than 1 million Rwandans, his country had abolished the death penalty.   Rwanda could have retained that penalty to punish those who had carried out the genocide, but even that had not led it to do so.


In a statement following the Committee’s approval of the draft on the elimination of rape and other forms of sexual violence in all their manifestations, the United States representative said that rape under any circumstance was an atrocious act, and States had to step up efforts to address it.  Numerous additions and changes had been adopted in the draft.  Stronger emphasis on the use of rape for military objectives would have been preferred, he said, but there was a strong paragraph on impunity, as well as language referring to help for rape victims.


The representative of Angola said that, in approving that text, all had been guided by a common objective: the condemnation of rape and all other forms of sexual violence.  Furthermore, the engagement of the African Group with the United States delegation was a model of intergovernmental negotiation that had led to a resolution that Group hoped would make a difference to the lives of victims and to efforts by Governments to eliminate a disgraceful crime.


The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Friday, 16 November, to finish hearing statements in explanation of vote on resolution A/C.3/62/L.16/Rev.3.


Background


Today the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) was expected to continue taking action on the draft resolution entitled Moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/C.3/62/L.29 and proposed amendments to that this text contained in documents A/C.3/62/L.78, A/C.3/62/L.79, A/C.3/62/L.80 and A/C.3/62/L.81).  (For more information on this draft, see Press Release GA/SHC/3905, dated 14 November 2007.)


The Committee was also expected to hear the introduction of a draft resolution titled Enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (document A/C.3/62/L.64).


The Committee would further hear the introduction of draft resolutions entitled Inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/C.3/62/L.61) and the Report of the Human Rights Council on the preparations for the Durban Review Conference (document A/C.3/62/L.66).


A draft resolution entitled the Use of Mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/62/L.62) would also be introduced today.  Additionally, the Committee would hear the introduction of a draft resolution entitled Strengthening the role of the United Nations in enhancing the effectiveness of the principle of periodic and genuine elections and the promotion of democratization (A/C.3/62/L.30).


The Committee was expected to take action on a draft resolution entitled Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (document A/C.3/62/L.67), which would have the General Assembly strongly condemn attacks on refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons, as well as acts that pose a threat to their personal security and well-being.  It also calls upon all concerned States and parties involved in an armed conflict to take all necessary measures to ensure respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.  It would further call on the Assembly to deplore the refoulement and unlawful expulsion of refugees and asylum-seekers, and to call upon all concerned States to ensure respect for refugee protection and human rights.


The Committee was also expected to take action on draft resolution entitled Eliminating rape and other forms of sexual violence in all their manifestations, including as instruments to achieve political objectives (document A/C.3/62/L.16/Rev.2 [and amendments to this text contained in document A/C.3/62/L.85], A/C.3/62/L.17/Rev.1 and A/C.3/62/L.18/Rev.1).  If adopted, the text would have the Assembly urge States to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual violation.  They would be urged to end impunity by ensuring that all rape victims have equal protection under the law and equal access to justice, as well as by investigating, prosecuting and punishing any person responsible for rape and other forms of sexual violence, including Government officials.  States would also be urged to provide victims with access to appropriate health care, and to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy of prevention and prosecution of rape that should include the training of relevant Government and military personnel, including military commanders and law enforcement officials.


The draft would also have the Assembly urge States to promote human rights education and significantly increase their voluntary financial support for activities to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women.  The United Nations would be called upon to take a number of steps, too, including integrating the needs of victims of sexual violence into its humanitarian assistance programmes.  States would be urged -- in cooperation with non-State actors –- to undertake campaigns to raise awareness about the causes and consequences of rape and other forms of sexual violence.  Non-governmental organizations would be invited to advocate against rape and other forms of sexual violence, including as instruments to achieve political objectives.  (For more background information on the Committee’s earlier deliberations on this draft see press release GA/SHC/3904 dated 9 November and GA/SHC/3903 of 8 November.)


The Committee was also expected to take action on a draft resolution entitled Institution-building of the United Nations Human Rights Council (document A/C.3/62/L.32 and amendments to this text contained in document A/C.3/62/L.84, and programme budget implications contained in document A/C.3/62/L.60), which would have the General Assembly welcome the text entitled “United Nations Human Rights Council:  Institution-building”, as contained in the annex to the present resolution, including its appendices.


According to the text, the Universal Periodic Review should promote, among other things, the universality, interdependence, indivisibility and interrelatedness of all human rights; be a cooperative mechanism based on objective and reliable information as well as on interactive dialogue; ensure universal coverage and equal treatment of all States; be an intergovernmental process that is United Nations Member-driven and action-oriented; fully involve the country under review; complement and not duplicate other human rights mechanisms; be objective, transparent, non-selective, constructive, non-confrontational and non-politicized; not diminish the Council’s capacity to respond to urgent human rights situations; fully integrate a gender perspective; take into account the level of development and specificities of countries; and ensure the participation of all relevant stakeholders.  By other terms, the draft would state the objectives of the review which include the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground; the fulfilment of the State’s human rights obligations and commitments as well as an assessment of positive developments and challenges faced by the country; and the encouragement of full cooperation and engagement by the State with the Council, other human rights bodies and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR).


On the issue of periodicity, the draft would decide that the review begins after the adoption of the universal periodic review mechanism by the Council.  The order of review would reflect the principles of universality and equal treatment, and should be established soon to allow States to prepare adequately.  All member States of the Council shall be reviewed during their term of membership.  The initial members of the Council, especially those elected for one or two-year terms, will be reviewed first, along with observer States.  The first member and observer States to be reviewed will be chosen by the drawing of lots from each Regional Group in such a way as to ensure full respect for equitable geographic distribution.  The periodicity of the review for the first cycle will be four years.  This will imply the consideration of 48 States per year during three two-week sessions of the working group.


Further, the Committee was expected to take action on a draft resolution entitled Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/62/L.56), which would have the Assembly reaffirm that the universal realization of the right of all peoples -- including those under colonial, foreign and alien domination -- to self-determination is a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights, as well as for the preservation and promotion of such rights.  The Assembly would declare its firm opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, and call upon those States responsible to immediately cease their military intervention, occupation of foreign countries and territories as well as all acts of repression, discrimination, exploitation and maltreatment, in particular the brutal and inhuman methods reportedly employed for the execution of those acts against the peoples concerned. 


The Committee was further expected to take action on a draft resolution entitled Globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of all human rights (document A/C.3/62/L.31), which would have the Assembly call upon Member States, the United Nations system, intergovernmental organizations and civil society to promote equitable and environmentally sustainable economic growth for managing globalization so that poverty may be systematically reduced, and the international development targets achieved.


The Committee was further expected to take action on a draft resolution entitled Human rights and cultural diversity (document A/C.3/62/L.39), which would have the Assembly urge all actors on the international scene to build an international order based on inclusion, justice, equality and equity, human dignity, mutual understanding and the promotion of and respect for cultural diversity as well as human rights, and to reject all doctrines of exclusion based on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.  Further, the Assembly would be called on to urge States to ensure that their political and legal systems reflect the multicultural diversity within their societies and, where necessary, to improve democratic institutions so that they are more fully participatory and avoid marginalization of, and discrimination against, specific sectors of society.


The Committee was further expected to take action on a draft resolution entitled Human rights in the administration of justice (document A/C.3/62/L.45), which would have the Assembly invite States to make use of technical assistance offered by the relevant United Nations programmes to strengthen national capacities and infrastructures in the field of the administration of justice.  The Human Rights Council and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, as well Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), would be invited to closely coordinate their activities on administration of justice.  Moreover, the Human Rights Council would be invited to continue considering human rights in the administration of justice. 


The Committee was further expected to take action on a draft resolution entitled Effective promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (document A/C.3/62/L.46), which would have the Assembly decide to continue its consideration of that issue at its sixty-third session under the item entitled “Promotion and protection of human rights”.


The Committee was also expected to take action on a draft resolution entitled Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (document A/C.3/62/L.36/Rev.1), which would have the General Assembly ask the United Nations, as well as invite intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to continue efforts to disseminate accessible information on the Convention and the Optional Protocol, to promote their understanding, to prepare for their entry into force and to assist States parties in implementing their obligations under these instruments.


Action on Resolution


The Committee resumed action on amendments to the draft resolution on Moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/C.3/62/L.29), beginning with the amendment contained in A/C.3/62/L.78, which would replace “calls upon” with “encourages” in operative paragraph 2, and replace “respect” with “take into account” in operative paragraph 2 (a).


The representative of Barbados, the main sponsor of the amendment, said the language in paragraphs 2 and 2 (a) was extremely strong, harsh and judgemental, implying that countries that retained the death penalty did not respect standards and safeguards.  The amendment had been tabled to provide more enlightened language.


In a statement in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of Chile said the proposed amendment would weaken the protection of those who had been condemned to death.  His delegation would vote against it.


The representative of Austria said the amendment would amount to denying a fundamental human right.  It would unacceptably weaken the language of the draft.  His delegation would vote against it.


By way of a recorded vote, the Committee then rejected the amendment by 78 against to 66 in favour, with 17 abstentions (see annex I). 


The representative of Czech Republic said the voting board was locked before she could register her vote against the amendment.


The Chairman, RAYMOND WOLFE ( Jamaica) said that her delegation’s vote would be duly noted.


The representative of Barbados said much had been heard from the co-sponsors of the main draft about dialogue; it had therefore been thought that it would be more conciliatory to use less harsh language.  It was regrettable the approach had been rejected.


The representative of Egypt said his delegation had voted in favour of the amendment, as the paragraph concerned referred to a resolution adopted by the Economic and Social Council and not by the Assembly.  It was the norm for the Committee to take note of resolutions and decisions by other organs of limited membership.  He had hoped that norm would have been kept but unfortunately it was not.


The Committee then took action on the amendment contained in A/C.3/62/L.79.,  which proposed revising operative paragraph 2 (b) to say that information regarding the imposition of the death penalty would be made available to the public; the language in the main draft said that that information would be provided to the Secretary-General.


Speaking prior to the vote, the representative of Barbados said the language in the operative subparagraph concerned was perplexing, and that it was unclear what its objective was.  Why were countries being asked to provide the Secretary-General with such information?  It would be more appropriate for Governments to provide the publics they served with such information.


The representative of the Netherlands said the amendment had not been presented during informal consultations, and aimed to change the purpose of the subparagraph concerned.  In light of the aforementioned Economic and Social Council resolution, it was only natural that information about the death penalty be provided to the Secretary-General.  The Netherlands would vote against the amendment.


The representative of the Philippines said, because of its global representation, the United Nations was both the most appropriate venue to discuss the death penalty as well as the most appropriate body to receive information about its use.  All Member States would be assured access to that information.  His delegation would vote against the amendment.


The representative of Brazil said that his delegation could not vote in favour of the amendment for the reasons explained by the previous speakers.  It was abundantly clear from the Economic and Social Council resolution that Member States should provide information on the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty.  To say that such information be provided to the public was inappropriate for such a resolution; the practice was to ask the Secretary-General to compile information provided by States.


The Committee then took action; the amendment was rejected by a recorded vote of 82 against to 59 in favour, with 19 abstentions (see annex II).


The representative of Botswana said it was misleading and a little surprising to say that amendments had not been presented during consultations.  The main sponsors had imposed a moratorium on all comments to their text.  There was no need for States to issue information on the practice of the death penalty to the Secretary-General.  That explained why his delegation supported the amendment; it was unfortunate that it has been rejected.


The representative of Egypt said his delegation had voted in favour of the amendment.  The draft as it stood without that amendment would give the Secretary-General a role to which he was not entitled.  He was the administrator of the Organization, not the supervisor of States.  It was hoped that the paragraph concerned would not entail granting extra powers to the organization.


The Chairman then invited the Committee to take action on amendment A/C.3/62/L.80, which proposed replacing operative paragraph 2 (c) with: “Ensure that the death penalty can be carried out only pursuant to a final judgment rendered by a competent court.”


The representative of Barbados, the main sponsor of the amendment, said his country had tabled “L.80” because the language in A/C.3/62/L.29, the main resolution, was too prescriptive.  His delegation believed “L.80” was much better, and would be surprised if other delegations rejected the proposed new language.


Speaking before the vote, the representative of the United Kingdom said his delegation was speaking as a co-author and co-sponsor of “this cross-regional initiative” –- “L.29”.  The main sponsors had provided plenty of opportunity for amendments to be put forward during the informals, she said.  Her delegation objected to the change and would therefore vote against the amendment.


The representative of the Philippines said the progressive restriction of the use of the death penalty was in line with the step by step approach.  He said “L.80” was contrary to letter and spirit of “L.29”, and for that reason the Philippines would vote against the amendment.


The Committee then moved to a recorded vote on the amendment, which was defeated by 83 against to 68 in favour, with 15 abstentions (see annex III).


The representative of Egypt said his delegation had voted in favour of the amendment.  The resolution itself was the one that was trying to change the course and purpose of countries’ legal obligations.


The Chairman then invited the Committee to take action on amendment A/C.3/62/L.81, which proposes replacing the language of operative paragraph 2 (d) of “L.29” with, “Restrict the crimes for which the death penalty may be imposed to only the most serious ones in accordance with the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.” 


The representative of Barbados, the main sponsor of the amendment, said that the operative paragraph in question was characteristic of the attitude with which the main co-sponsors of “L.29” had approached the current process.  The death penalty was not prohibited under international law.  Although his country respected the right of nations that had abolished that penalty to do so, it also asked that those States which had not done so be accorded the same respect and courtesy.  The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights stated that the death penalty might only be imposed for the most serious crimes.  Fairness and respect for the constitutions of Member States and respect for non-selectivity were shared by all, and Barbados expected the current amendment to pass in light of that.


The representative of Gabonsaid that his delegation would vote against the amendment and urged others to do the same.


The representative of the Philippines said that the amendment in “L.81”, which related to the imposition of the death penalty for only the most serious crimes, duplicated “L.71’s” earlier attempt, which had been previously rejected.  Amendment “L.81” sought to defeat the very essence of “L.29” and the principles and respect for fundamental human rights, and the dignity of every human person.  The Philippines would vote against the current amendment.


The representative of France, taking the floor as a sponsor and co-author of “L.29”, said that text represented a compromise, as the original text that preceded it had aimed at abolishing the death penalty.  France, therefore, regarded the amendment proposed by Barbados as hostile and undermining the meaning of “L.29” and would oppose it.


The Committee then moved to a recorded vote on amendment “L.81”.  The text was defeated by 86 against to 67 in favour, with 17 abstentions (see annex IV).


The representative of Botswana expressed regret that the draft amendment had been rejected.  Botswana had voted in favour because the amendment had sought to amplify the message they had tried to convey yesterday, he said.


The representative of Barbados said his delegation was extremely disappointed at the outcome of the vote.  The French delegation had implied that his country wanted to impose its views, yet any call to abolish the death penalty was an imposition on those who retained the death penalty.


The Chairman said consideration of the amendments tabled in relation to draft resolution “L.29” had concluded, and asked if the Committee was now ready to take action on that draft.


The representative of Malaysia then proposed an oral amendment to “L.29”.  He said many divisions remained, and the international community was no closer to a consensus.  In that regard, his delegation was proposing to amend “L.29’s” reference to the sixty-third session to read “sixty-seventh”.  It would take time if countries were to develop their views on the question of the death penalty, and they needed to do so at their own pace.  The house was divided down the middle and understanding was needed.  He invited all countries to support his proposed amendment.


The representative of Latvia said that the proposed amendment was not consistent with the need to have an open dialogue, and invited all delegations to vote against Malaysia’s proposal.


The Chairman asked the representative of Latvia to clarify if she was calling for a vote to reject the proposed oral amendment.


The representative of Latvia answered in the affirmative.


The Secretary, MONCEF KHANE, said the Committee had been invited to take a vote on the amendment proposed by Malaysia.  He then read out the proposed amendment, which would have replaced the number 63 with 67, and deleted the words “under the same agenda item” in the draft resolution’s operative paragraph 5.


Speaking before the vote, the representative of Singapore said the last two days had demonstrated that the death penalty was a very controversial topic.  Many had maintained that it was a criminal justice issue.  What would be gained by another debate next year, he asked?  His delegation supported Malaysia’s amendment, and said his delegation would vote in favour because it was a very reasonable proposal.


The representative of Iran said the house was entirely divided on the issue, and wanted to know what would be the added advantage of adding it to the agenda so frequently.  The suggestion by Malaysia was quite pertinent, he said, and his delegation supported it.


The representative of Jamaica said her country supported the amendment.


The representative of Barbados said the events of the past two days had demonstrated that there was no consensus, and his country was of the opinion that it was better if the issue was left.


The representative of Saint Kitts and Nevis said his country supported the suggested amendment by Malaysia.  In the absence of agreement on the issue and as to whether or not the death penalty was a human rights issue, there was a need for time-out, he said.  It seemed the proposed amendment would provide both time-out as well as an opportunity to cool tempers and get greater clarity.  Returning in a year would only serve to harden positions.


The representative of Swaziland said it was clear there was no consensus on the issue and her delegation supported Malaysia’s proposed amendment.


The representative of Belarus said his country supported Malaysia’s amendment and call upon others to do the same.


The representative of Mexico said his delegation would not go with the amendment as presented.


The representative of Latvia said her delegation would like to maintain its position –- here delegation would vote against the amendment.


The representative of the Philippines said his delegation would vote against the amendment.  It was urgent for the matter be discussed at the sixty-third session.


The representative of Mauritania said his delegation supported Malaysia’s proposal.  Given the deep rift between Member States, “the abolitionists” would have more time to think about the positions of those who continued to favour the death penalty.


The representative of Egypt said his delegation supported the amendment by Malaysia.  As others had indicated, the issue was a divisive one and there was no consensus on the subject.  He did not think that the call by some States to establish a moratorium would be heard this afternoon; each country needed more time to go through its own due process and see whether abolition was fit or not.


The representative of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia said his country believed the United Nations was the forum where all could engage in a constructive dialogue.  The proposed amendment was contrary to the spirit of the Organization, and his delegation wanted to vote against it.


The representative of Botswana said his delegation would vote in favour of the amendment because the issue at hand was sensitive and divisive.  It had soured the atmosphere in the house, and Malaysia’s proposal would serve well in giving the Committee time to reflect on the issue.


The representative of Gabon said he was a bit surprised to hear that the issue needed to be discussed at the sixty-seventh session.  As a matter of common sense, his delegation would vote against the amendment.


The representative of Kuwait said his delegation supported the proposal from Malaysia as well as the comments made by Saint Kitts and Nevis who stated its case very clearly.   Kuwait would therefore vote for the amendment.


The representative of France said there were amendments that seemed harmless and yet had great consequences.  He respectfully called on all delegations to reject the amendment proposed by Malaysia.


The representative of Libya said his delegation wished to support the proposal, and given the differences during the discussion at the current session between those for and those against the death penalty, his delegation would vote for the Malaysian proposal so there would be more time to consider the issue.


Also voicing opposition to the amendment, the representative of Albania said he believed that continuing the Committee’s consideration of the text was helpful to the topic, and he wished that dialogue to go on.


The Committee then took action by way of a recorded vote and rejected the amendment by 85 against to 68 in favour, with 19 abstentions (see annex V).


Immediately following the vote, the representative of Turkmenistan said he had not meant to vote against the amendment or vote on the text at all.


The Secretary of the Committee then said it was not possible to change the number of votes reflected on the board, once voting was under way.  The explanation offered by the representative of Turkmenistan on his vote, however, would be duly noted.


The Chairman then read out the results of the vote to reflect the explanation offered by Turkmenistan, announcing that the Committee had voted to reject the amendment by 84 against to 68 in favour, with 19 abstentions.


The representative of Luxembourg then said he had voted against the oral amendment and wished it be indicated in the records.


In light of those developments, the representative of New Zealand asked whether it was possible to declare the vote null and void and to hold a repeat vote.


The Secretary replied that, even though the vote just held was, in fact, valid, it was possible for it to be repeated if the Committee so wished.


The representative of Mexico then suggested that the vote be recast.


The representative of Singapore said a repeat was not necessary since Turkmenistan and Luxembourg had already taken the floor to clarify their positions.


The representative of Egypt, speaking on behalf of Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia and the Sudan, then proposed an oral amendment to the resolution inserted as a new operative paragraph after the existing third operative paragraph, the language of which would read: “Urges Member States to take all necessary measures to protect the lives of unborn children.”  He then proposed a second oral amendment, to be inserted after the one he had just read out: “Reaffirms that every human being has the inherent right to life and stresses in this regard that abortion should only be admissible in necessary cases, in particular, where life of mother and/or the child is at serious risk.”


He added that he wished to associate himself with the statement made yesterday by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Conference, in which Pakistan’s representative had said that respect for human life and dignity was revered in Islam as in all other religions, as well as by States parties to International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, whose article 6 (on the carrying out of the death sentence on pregnant women) manifested the respect of the right to life on unborn children.  He called on all States to vote in favour of the amendments he had just proposed.


The representative of Brazil then requested a vote on the oral amendments proposed by Egypt, and said that, although the call for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty had a link to the right to life, it was not focused on the latter.  Egypt’s amendment would bring a totally different issue into discussion, which would be more properly addressed in an open formal discussion.  The right to life deserved a thorough discussion on its own merits.  She invited Member States to vote against it, since she thought it was an attempt to “undermine the main message” of the original text.


The representative of the Philippines said the proposed amendments were not germane to the current resolution.  If such proposals, however were to be contained in a separate resolution, he expressed a willingness to co-sponsor it, because his country’s Constitution sustained the right to life of the unborn.


The representative of New Zealand said the intent behind those amendments was to detract from focus on moratorium on use of death penalty.  They were not suitable for the current resolution and unhelpfully altered the carefully struck balance of the text.  She called for States to vote against them.


The representative of Egypt said his delegation and the other co-sponsors he spoke for had suggested those amendments because “L.29” as it stood was too “selective”, dealing with right to life from a narrow perspective.  Also, he had proposed those amendments because he sensed a trend to impose on the general membership the concepts and understandings of certain members that were not shared by consensus.  Furthermore, the title of the resolution should be changed to “the right to life”. 


He said that the sanctity of human life was revered by all religions and in all societies.  That being the case, the co-sponsors of the original resolution should not object to including a provision on the right of the unborn, along with a change in its title, since he understood that the purpose of that resolution was to preserve human life.  Moreover, if there was to be a vote on his proposed amendments, he requested that they be voted on one by one.


The Observer for the Holy See reaffirmed his delegation’s call for a consistent view to be taken vis-à-vis the right to life.  Unequal interpretation of the parameters of the right to life reduced that right to a political tool. Such a right was applicable to all stages of life and all delegations should adopt that consistent view.


The representative of Kuwait said his delegation would support Egypt’s proposal, noting that it would change the title of the draft resolution.


The representative of Libya said the right to life was guaranteed for the born and the unborn.  If the draft addressed the right to life for those who had committed the worst crimes, then what about the rights of an unborn child who had committed no crime?  Jordan supported the amendment.


The representative of Iran said that the title of the resolution as presented did not take into account the concerns of parties other than its sponsors.  The change of title was the most important thing.


The representative of Liechtenstein, on a point of order, asked how Iran could make an explanation of vote, given that it was a co-sponsor of the amendment.  Perhaps there had been a misunderstanding?


The Chairman replied that the voting process had yet to begin, and that the Committee was still listening to statements before going into the voting mode.  He then said a recorded vote had been requested; the Secretary read aloud the oral amendment proposed by Egypt.


On a point of order, the representative of the United States asked for an opportunity to explain his delegation’s vote before the vote.  His counterpart from Costa Rica made a similar request.


The Chairman explained that general statements were still being made.


The representative of Egypt said that the right to life had to be dealt with from a comprehensive perspective.  Selectivity was not the way to deal with the issue.  He also noted how the preambular paragraphs of the draft resolution recalled the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 


The representative of San Marino said in her country, the right to life was respected for all, born and unborn, in all life stages, as the Observer for the Holy See had said.  But the amendment proposed by Egypt did not belong in the draft resolution “L.29”, as it would change its scope, objective and content.


The representative of the United States said his delegation would vote in favour of the amendment put forth by the Government of Egypt, as it agreed with the view that the lives of the unborn deserved the strongest protection.


The representative of Costa Rica said his delegation would vote against the amendment not because it disagreed with the proposals, but because they would dilute the content of the resolution.


The representative of Slovenia said the intent of the amendment was to distract from the main focus of the resolution, which was a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.  Her delegation would vote against it.


The representative of El Salvador said the Constitution in El Salvador recognized the rights of every human being from the moment of conception.  But, his delegation felt that the amendment was not germane to the draft resolution, of which it was a co-sponsor; the proposals were outside the main purpose of the text.


The representative of Gabon said the right to life was a fundamental issue, and it deserved to be considered fully.  Those who had proposed the amendment might want to draft a resolution on the right to life for the next session of the General Assembly.  Gabon would vote against the amendment.


The representative of Monaco said her delegation would vote against the proposed amendment as it distorted the issue of a moratorium.  Monaco’s position, however, did not prejudice its position on the right to life.


The representative of Guatemala said that in his country, the right to life was recognized from the moment of conception, and it had been enshrined in the Constitution as such.  It was regrettable that an issue which needed the most careful and extensive consideration had only now been brought forward.  Guatemala would continue to abstain from voting on amendments as it believed selective use was being made of certain provisions of international instruments.


The representative of Pakistan said the amendments proposed by Egypt were very relative, particularly the request to Member States to take measures to protect the lives of unborn children.  They were consistent with the spirit of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It was crucial that the right of unborn children, who needed protection from execution by any means, be incorporated in the resolution.


The representative of Honduras said her country was completely opposed to abortion; however, her delegation felt obliged to vote against the amendment, as its proposals fell outside the context of resolution “L.29”.


The representative of Haiti said the amendment had nothing to do with the draft resolution.  The context was different and Haiti would vote against it.


The representative of Syria said approaches to the right to life could not be selective; the proposed amendments from Egypt brought balance to that issue.


The representative of Argentina called the amendment untimely and out of context; her delegation would vote against it.


The representative of Colombia, noting that the right to life was recognized in his country, said his delegation would abstain, as the amendment went beyond the objective of the draft resolution.


The representative of Chile said his delegation would be voting against the amendment proposed by Egypt, since it would significantly alter the purpose of draft resolution “L.29”.


The representative of Paraguay said the right to life was in his country’s Constitution; that right was not, however, within the context of “L.29”.  His delegation would therefore vote against the amendment.


The representative of the Dominican Republic said her delegation would vote against the amendment.


The representative of Ecuador said the legal framework of her country accepted the right to life from conception.  Her delegation wished to place on record, however, that Egypt’s amendment was not related to the purpose of “L.29”, so his country would vote against it, but not because it rejected the content of those amendments. 


The representative of Panama said that her delegation believed the amendments had nothing to do with the issue being addressed.


The Committee then proceeded to a recorded vote on the first oral amendment proposed by Egypt, which was defeated by 83 against to 28 in favour, with 47 abstentions (see annex VI).


The representative of Egypt expressed disappointment at the vote just cast.  Delegates had said the amendment was not relevant, but they themselves had referred to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  It was very relevant, but what had been seen was that some countries just wanted to deal with the issue from a narrow point of view.


The Committee then moved to a recorded vote on the second oral amendment proposed by Egypt.


The Secretary first read out the text of Egypt’s amendment, which would have reaffirmed that every human being had the inherent right to life and that abortion should only be admissible in certain cases.


The representative of Saudi Arabia said that all those who supported human rights should support the amendment.


The representative of Kuwait said that his delegation appreciated what had been said by Egypt, and wished to co-sponsor the amendments.  His delegation believed, however, that the vote on Egypt’s third oral amendment, on changing the title of the draft resolution, should be taken before the vote on the second. 


The representative of Egypt said that he hoped delegations would reconsider their positions.


The Chairman then opened the floor for statements in explanation of vote before the vote.


The representative of Spain said the only purpose of the second oral amendment was to distort “L.29”, and that appealed to States which maintained the death penalty in their judicial framework.  She requested all delegations to follow her country’s example and vote against Egypt’s amendment.


The representative of Costa Rica said his delegation felt the current amendment had no bearing on the draft resolution and his delegation was therefore against it.


The representative of San Marino said she fully agreed with the content of Egypt’s second amendment, but would still vote against its insertion into “L.29”. 


The representative of Qatar said her delegation was not on the list of delegations who had proposed amendments that were submitted by Egypt.  She joined Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to say her delegation would vote in favour of the changes by Egypt, and also endorsed Kuwait’s call to consider voting on Egypt’s third amendment before the vote on that country’s second amendment.


The representative of El Salvador said her delegation also did not see any merit in Egypt’s amendment in the context of “L.29”, so it would oppose the amendment for the same reason as the previous amendment.


The representative of Colombia said he wanted to repeat that the second amendment by Egypt was not in the context of the draft resolution’s special purpose, and his country would therefore continue to abstain.


The Committee then moved to a recorded vote on the second amendment proposed by Egypt, which was rejected by 84 against to 26 in favour, with 46 abstentions (see annex VII).


The Chairman then opened the floor for explanations of vote after the vote.


The representative of the United States said his delegation had abstained from voting because the scope of the amendment had been broader than necessary to address the issues.


The representative of Egypt then accepted a request by the Chairman to withdraw his third amendment, in light of the rejection of the other two.  In doing so, he regretted that others had not understood that there could be other perceptions of the right to life.


The Committee then proceeded to take action on the draft resolution on a Moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/C.3/62/L.29).


The Chairmanthen asked, given the late morning hour, whether the Committee would vote on the draft when it reconvened in the afternoon. 


A lengthy procedural discussion ensued, during which the representative of Singapore proposed that the resolution be divided, with separate paragraphs being put to a vote. 


The representative of the Philippines, stating that a paragraph-by-paragraph vote would be “plainly dilatory”, moved a motion against that proposal. 


The representatives of Mexico and New Zealand spoke in favour of the motion; while their counterparts from Egypt and Barbados spoke against.


The Committee then approved the motion by a recorded vote of 86 in favour to 62 against, with 23 abstentions (see annex VIII).


The Chairman then invited the Committee to take action on “L.29” as a whole with a recorded vote that had been requested. 


The Observer for the Holy See said his delegation believed that, despite its complexity, the current issue belonged in the Third Committee.  States had a duty to protect life from conception until natural death.  The Holy See had always called for the absolute right to life.  Ethnic minorities and other marginalized groups were the ones who bore the brunt of this cruel and unusual punishment, he noted, and said the life of the unborn also had to be protected.  That issue demanded that Sates exercise true courage in saying no to killing of any kind.


The representative of Botswana said he deeply regretted the Committee having to vote on resolution “L.29”, which did not contribute to human rights.  His delegation would vote against it, and dissociate itself from the text that would be adopted by the Assembly.  The resolution was unbalanced and not agreed upon.  Tabling a draft resolution such as that could only serve to politicize the Third Committee in a manner that led to the demise of the Commission on Human Rights.  He also expressed dismay at the manner in which the discussion had been conducted, and said the European Union “and company” had refused to allow improvements on the text.  Botswana maintained the death penalty in its statutes after full consultations with its people.  No amount of bullying would make his delegation go against the people’s will.


He went on to say that his country was founded on the principles of equality, respect for human rights and the rule of law.  From the voting, it had been made clear that there was no consensus on the death penalty.  It was a matter of law enforcement in which the State exercised sovereign authority, and defined the punishment that fit the crime.  Therefore, anyone who was inclined to commit a serious crime had to consider the consequences.  Some countries had exercised their sovereign right to abolish capital punishment, and he commended them saying they had Botswana’s full support.  He appealed, however, for such countries not to set norms for other nations.  Finally, he reiterated his point that as a matter of urgency, war had to be abolished if the issue was to address human rights.  War was the most blatant violation of human rights and killed in an indiscriminate manner.


The representative of Italy said he strongly hoped that in approving the resolution, a process would start by which all would be working together and walking together along the same path, with equal dignity and respect.  That should always be the culture of the United Nations.  Not a culture of fighting each other, but one of building together, with the guidance of the Charter.  He said it would be appropriate for him to recall what a former President of the General Assembly, Jan Eliasson, used to tell the Third Committee; that without passion nothing happened in life, and without compassion wrong things happened in life.  That was the spirit with which the vote should be approached, he said. 


The representative of Sudan said his delegation had voted in favour of the amendments, but would be voting against “L.29”.  His delegation could never have imagined that the Committee would consider a draft resolution which was counter to the Charter and not directly related to human rights.  That was a matter which fell under international law.  Sudan believed there was no consensus on the matter, and the outcomes of the votes yesterday and today made that very clear.  A number of countries had made a choice to oppose the death penalty, and they wished to impose that choice on all others, without taking into account the fact that States had the right to choose their systems.  When Sudan voted in favour of the amendments and against the draft, it did not oblige other Member States to repeal their decision to abolish the death penalty.  It was unacceptable that certain countries were making decisions for others.  His delegation would be voting against the text.


The representative of Egypt said it was regrettable that his delegation’s sincere calls and attempts to improve the language of the draft resolution had not been heeded.  There was a great diversity of conditions in the world, and all rules were not suitable at all times.  That issue should have been dealt with in the Human Rights Council in a comprehensive manner that tackled the right to life.  He reiterated that neither State was wrong nor right; both those who maintained the death penalty, and those who had abolished it, had freely decided to choose a path -- one that corresponded to their legal needs in order to maintain security, social order and peace.  Neither should impose its standpoint on the other.  All the rules had been broken in order to pass the draft, and his delegation would vote against it.


The representative of Libya said the draft was an attempt by the submitting Member States to impose their values and norms on other countries.  That was interference in the criminal law of those nations that still upheld the death penalty.  There was no link between that penalty and human rights.  Amendments that would have injected a degree of balance into the draft had been rejected.  Libya would vote against the draft.  If the right to life was to be upheld, then measures had to be taken against abortion, which was a death penalty against the unborn child.


The representative of Colombia, noting that his country was a co-sponsor of the draft, said his delegation endorsed the central objective of the resolution, which was to promote a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.  The promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms had to be considered a priority objective of the United Nations.  Colombia therefore hoped that adoption of the draft would lead to a regional and universal dialogue on executions that would focus on the negative implications of the death penalty vis-à-vis human rights.


The representative of Bahamas expressed regret at the atmosphere that prevailed in the Committee room before lunch.  She noted that despite three informal consultations, there had not been any revised versions of the draft.  That meant that not many amendments had been taken on board.  She asked if the co-sponsors had really been serious about taking on some of the amendments.  There would be an attempt to make the resolution stronger next year; that would lead to countries that opposed it to fight back harder.  The issue could perhaps be taken up by the Sixth Committee (Legal).  The Bahamas would vote against the text.


The representative of Mauritania said his country was against the abolition of the death penalty and thus would vote against the draft.  That penalty came under the jurisdiction of each and every Member State, and it did not violate international law.  It was not a human rights issue to be addressed by the international community.  It was a divisive matter that should go before the Sixth Committee.


The representative of Gabon said the death penalty had been abolished in his country some time ago.  His delegation would vote in favour of the “L.29”.  The adoption in the Committee of a resolution on moratorium on the death penalty would be an important moment on the road to abolishing it.  Human dignity was sacred; it had to be preserved.  Differences should not be seen as obstacles; controversy served the cause of truth.  “Let us continue to work together to respect our values and differences.”


Making the first explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of Malaysia said the viewpoints of other countries had to be fully respected.  The language in the draft resolution contained biased assumptions and erroneous facts.  It was unfortunate the issue had come up during the current session and the Committee was divided.  Malaysia would vote against the draft; whatever the outcome of the vote, it could not be seen as a victory for any side, as divisions caused by a draft represented a defeat for all.  In any State, change had to be undertaken at a pace that the people of that country were comfortable with, free of outside pressure or interference.  Conciliation was needed; that would not happen if the issue returned at future sessions.  More reasonable heads had to prevail.


The representative of Singapore said the events of the past two days proved that the issue of a moratorium on capital punishment was a divisive one.  There had never been a genuine desire on the part of the co-sponsors to seek consensus; the main sponsors had gone so far as to suspend freedom of expression.  The Committee had become a forum for recrimination and self-righteous morality that brooked no dissent.  Those behind the draft had acted in a sanctimonious, hypocritical and intolerant way, but that was not a surprise.  The draft did not reflect the range of opinions that existed in the United Nations on the issue.  The co-sponsors had contradicted the spirit of cooperation and consensus building that was supposed to be the foundation of the Committee’s work.  Every State had a sovereign right to choose its own systems.  Singapore would vote against the draft; to vote for it would be to encourage countries which sought to impose their views.


The representative of Nigeria said the death penalty was still on his country’s statute books for national security reasons and as a deterrent against serious crimes.  Inferences contained in the draft could not be accepted.  Capital punishment in Nigeria was meted out for the most serious offences, where human life had been taken or the security of the State threatened.  There had been no cases of capital punishment in recent years in Nigeria.  In essence, a moratorium on the death penalty should not be imposed by any group of States.  Any moratorium should be on basis of negotiation and agreement.  The draft resolution fell short of that.  Nigeria found the degree of division on the issue disturbing.  In view of the draft resolution’s controversial nature and attempts to impose it on Member States, The Nigerian delegation would vote against the draft.


The representative of Sierra Leone said the death penalty remained in place in his country for the most serious crimes.  There had, however, been no cases of capital punishment in recent years, which represented a de facto moratorium.  Following the recent conflict, Sierra Leone has asked for the assistance of the international community and the United Nations in setting up a special court; that meant that the death penalty could not be imposed.  Sierra Leone, which was in the middle of a debate on capital punishment, could not support any resolution that would be inconsistent with its Constitution, and her delegation would therefore abstain from voting on the draft.


The representative of Barbados recalled the position that had been expressed by Antigua and Barbuda the day before on behalf of 13 Caribbean States.  Any attempts by Member States to impose their views on others was an infringement on the sovereignty of those countries.  It was the right of States to retain or abolish the death penalty.  Barbados, where no one had been executed in a quarter-century, had its own perspective on the issue.  It was a stable vibrant democracy with a system of due process, and a Westminster system of Government adopted from one of the co-sponsors of the draft.  In 2004, the British Privy Council, then the highest court of appeal for Barbados, ruled that the death penalty in Barbados was lawful.  The death penalty was not prohibited under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Barbados believed the death penalty to be lawful under international law, and an internal matter as well.  It would vote “emphatically” against the draft. 


The representative of Lebanon said that his country maintained the death penalty, to be applied in cases of crimes of an extreme nature.  His delegation had participated in all three consultations on the draft and submitted a number of proposals that it believed could have bridged differences, but a compilation test had unfortunately not been tabled.  Lebanon could have supported the draft had the co-sponsors made a serious effort to address its concerns.  Abolition of the death penalty was a goal that all should work for, but in the current case, the effort had been matched by a failure to address serious concerns.  Lebanon would abstain on the vote.


The representative of Nepal, speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, said there was no law in his country that provided for capital punishment.  It was not Nepal’s intention, however, to impose values on others.  It was possible, though, for humanity to abolish the death penalty, and his delegation thought the resolution would only encourage States to put moratoriums on the death penalty.  Nepal would vote in favour of the resolution.


The representative of Thailand said the United Nations Charter could not interfere in matters pertaining to domestic affairs.  As a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Thailand was committed to upholding its commitments vis-à-vis that instrument, and the Convention did not prohibit the use of the death penalty.  Thai law only permitted the death penalty for the most serious of crimes and violations, and no execution had been carried out for some time.   Thailand would therefore vote against “L.29”.


The committee then proceeded to a recorded vote on draft resolution A/C.3/62/L.29 entitled Moratorium on the use of the death penalty, which was approved by 99 in favour to 52 against, with 33 abstentions (see annex IX).


Speaking first after the vote, the representative of India said there had to be recognition that it was the sovereign right of States to determine their own legal systems, and added that there was no consensus on capital punishment.  The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights spoke only of the desirability of abolition of the death penalty.  In India, the death penalty was an exception to be exercised in the rarest of rare occasions.  His country had seen a single use of it since 1995, and there were many legal safeguards present.  Indian law also had provisions for suspension of the death penalty for pregnant women, he said, adding that juveniles could never be sentenced to death in India.  His delegation had not been in a position to support the draft resolution, as it went against his country’s statutory law.


The representative of Saint Lucia said her country’s history was essentially the struggle for people to find their rights in the world.  She remarked that a nation could not be a sovereign one with the interpretation of laws being done externally.  Saint Lucia retained the death penalty, and that should be discussed in its internal system.  Her delegation had voted against “L.29” for the same reasons.


The representative of Cameroon said the Committee had just taken a decision on a very significant issue.  Her delegation had abstained from voting on the matter, she said.  Her delegation had abstained during the vote on the draft because the penal code of here country provided for capital punishment.  The delegation was not able to vote in favour of something which was not in accordance with its national legislation.  The last recorded case of the use of the death penalty in Cameroon had taken place several years ago, she said, and cited the circumstances in which it had been imposed.  Cameroon was aware of the need to raise awareness, because without that, people would be led to apply blind justice in avenging victims themselves.  Consultations should be continued on all levels.  Finally, she reiterated her country’s firm commitment to the right to life.


The representative of Qatar, speaking on behalf of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, said that the death penalty was a matter to be settled by each country.  He regretted the decision on “L.29”, which infringed upon the sovereign rights of States, as guaranteed under the United Nations Charter, and politicized the issue.  For those reasons, he had voted against “L.29”.


The representative of Japan said he had voted against “L.29”.  In his view, the question of abolishing the death penalty should be decided only after every country had considered the matter in light of its own criminal issues.  Most of the public believed that the most vicious criminals should receive the death penalty.  There was no international consensus on the abolition of the death penalty, and it was regrettable that the resolution had been tabled without sufficient discussion.  Many countries had voiced strong opposition to the proposal in informal meetings, but the sponsors had pursued the resolution’s passage despite that.


The representative of Viet Nam said he had abstained in the vote on the resolution because the death penalty was “indispensable” in Viet Nam at present, in order to ensure a peaceful life for the whole of the community.  That penalty was applicable only to the most violent criminals, and not to children or pregnant women, among other groups.  Viet Nam respected the decision by countries that had abolished the death penalty, given the concrete national situations.  He stressed the importance of dialogue on human rights issues on the basis of common respect.


The representative of the United States said his country recognized that the supporters of the resolution had “principled positions”, but that international law did not prohibit capital punishment.  The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights specifically recognized the right of countries to carry out capital punishment for certain crimes.  He urged all countries that applied the death penalty to do so in accordance with their human rights obligations, and not in a summary or extra-legal fashion.


The representative of China said the fact that 50 countries had voted against the draft proved there was no consensus and there were therefore doubts about the effects of such a resolution.  All countries had the right to choose their own judicial systems.  The death penalty was an issue of criminal justice and was part of a country’s internal affairs.  China regretted that two days had been spent on the resolution, which had increased tension and led to a major confrontation, and deplored also the request to vote on a separate paragraph.  China could not accept that co-sponsors had applied pressure on other countries and did not wish to see a repeat of the process. 


The representative of the United Republic of Tanzania said her delegation had abstained because the death penalty was still a lawful penalty in her country, reserved for the most serious of crimes.  The Government was cognizant of the right to life, which was enshrined in the Constitution.  There were several procedures to safeguard the rights of accused persons and, as there might be a shift in the people’s sentiments regarding the death penalty, the Government was in the process of taking a survey to collect their views on the issue.  A moratorium on the death penalty had been observed for 12 years, and measures had been taken to inform the citizens so they could come to the right decision.  In view of the above, the United Republic of Tanzania had abstained. 


The representative of Syria said the legislative authorities in her country decided upon the death penalty based on protection of the rights of the victim and on social and cultural values.  The death penalty was only applied in cases involving the most serious crimes. 


Member States of the Organization enjoyed sovereign rights under the Charter, and the exercise of sovereignty was based on mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of States, she said.  As the draft constituted interference in the internal affairs of States, Syria had voted against it and did not wish to be under any obligation derived from it.


The representative of Bhutan said his country had abolished the death penalty, and would like to see that done worldwide.  Nevertheless, he respected the right of each country to make its own laws, in accordance with the United Nations Charter.  He had voted in accordance with that view.


The representative of Jamaica said that, by virtue of the simple majority rule, the Committee had accepted that “highly contentious” resolution.  The result had not been a triumph for anyone, but rather had demonstrated a strong resistance by a number of States to coercion.  Jamaica had voted against the draft out of respect for the States in its region.  If Jamaica changed its position on the death penalty, that would be a matter for Jamaica to decide, and not a matter to be imposed from outside.


The representative of Egypt said that, despite repeated attempts by his delegation to improve the language of the resolution just adopted, those calls had not been heeded.  He took note of decisions made by many States to apply a moratorium.  Such sovereign right should always remain unfettered and free from outside interference.


He said that it remained the obligation of all States that retained the death penalty to ensure that that punishment was only applied by a proper court of law.  The focus of international efforts should be on ensuring that nobody was arbitrarily deprived of their right to life.


The present resolution did not only aim at reinterpreting the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but also imposed a new interpretation of that Covenant, and a narrow perception of the right to life, he said.  Moreover, it overlooked the fact that introducing changes to a negotiated legal instrument should only be carried out by means of the same process of negotiation.  Attempts to change that procedure would be detrimental to respect for, and implementation of, international human rights law. 


The representative of Bangladesh said his country’s criminal justice system had provisions for the death penalty, but only in the case of the most heinous crimes.  That sentence involved an exhaustive and transparent legal process, with opportunities for redress.  The resolution just adopted was an example of the growing trend against the death penalty, but the time had not come yet for such a ban.  He had been constrained to vote against the resolution.


The representative of Antigua and Barbuda expressed regret for the outcome of the vote.  A vote against the resolution was a vote against clear attempts of the co-sponsors to influence delegations in the way to vote.  The governmental system of countries should not be guided by those who claimed moral superiority.  It was clear there was no consensus.  Any deviation from the current position on the issue would come not as a result of surrendering to the wishes of others, but from an internal conviction that a change was necessary. 


The representative of Iran said his delegation had voted against, and regretted that the resolution’s content was undermining article 6, paragraph 2 of the Covenant on Civilian and Political Rights.  The resolution could not address the important issue of the right to life in different legal systems.  His delegation disassociated itself from the resolution.


The representative of Jordan said the Jordan delegation voted against the resolution because the question of the death penalty was a matter of national considerations.  In Jordan, the death penalty was applied only in cases of rape, murder and terrorist acts.  It was not applied when the accused was a minor, under 18 years of age.  There was also the possibility of amnesty.


The representative of Botswanasaid he regretted the outcome of the vote on the resolution.  Judging by the trends as they had played out, the European Union would likely bring an “equally divisive” resolution on the abolition of the penalty at the next session.  Perhaps next year, the same players would be reading from the same script.  Until such time as there was international consensus, the issue should remain in Brussels.  Internal democratic processes should determine those questions, and parliaments of individual countries should set the course to be followed.  He thanked those who had supported him during the process.


The representative of Benin said he had voted in favour of the resolution, calling for the establishment of a moratorium.  Benin had had a de facto moratorium since the mid-1980s.  Every country had the right to decide to abolish or establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.  Thus, by voting in favour, he had not intended to impose his view on any other country.


The representative of Singapore congratulated the co-sponsors on their “pyrrhic victory”.  The vote had proved that there was no international consensus on the resolution, as almost half of the delegations had not voted in its favour.  That should be an indication that many delegations were uncomfortable with the resolution.  Co-sponsors had brought the resolution fully aware of how acrimonious and divisive the issue was.  He suspected that different countries, with their domestic considerations, would not impose a moratorium because of passage of the resolution.  Domestic issues were clearly “irrelevant” to the co-sponsors, and the resolution had made a mockery of the Committee.


The representative of Myanmar said the country had not carried out capital punishment since 1988.  Myanmar was not happy with how the resolution had been approved.  Every Member State had the right to choose without interference, and the resolution as it had been drafted was, in Myanmar’s view, an attempt to impose a choice on countries.  Thus, Myanmar had voted against “L.29”.


The representative of Rwanda was a co-sponsor of the resolution.  In spite of the country’s recent history, the genocide of 1994 had cost more than 1 million Rwandans their lives.  That could have led Rwanda to retain the death penalty to punish those who had carried out the genocide, but even that terrible experience had not led Rwanda to do that.  The country had voted for the moratorium.


Introduction of Draft Resolutions


The Committee then turned to the draft resolution on the enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (document A/C.3/62/L.64), which was introduced by the representative of Luxembourg.  Speaking also on behalf of Benin, Montenegro, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, he said that the four countries presenting the current resolution had applied for membership to the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which would be increased from 72 to 76 States if the draft was adopted by the Assembly. 


He said UNHCR played an indispensable role in protecting and assisting refugees, and its Executive Committee played an important function, by reviewing and approving its programmes and budget, and providing advice on international protection.  As such, membership to the Executive Committee would provide an opportunity for the four countries to enhance their contribution to international cooperation in countering refugee problems around the world.


The representative of the Russian Federation then introduced the draft resolution on the inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/C.3/62/L.61).  He said the draft was a traditional one for the Third Committee and General Assembly, having been adopted at two previous sessions.  The international community could not but be concerned by intensified actions by extremists groups, such as neo-Nazis and “skinheads”.  In many parts of the world, there had been an increase in “negrophobia”, “Islamophobia”, “Arabophobia”, and other forms of extremism.  The fuelling of contemporary forms of racism was a serious concern.


He said that the aim of the draft was by no means to call into account any States; rather, it was a thematic resolution geared towards cooperation and dialogue.  If adopted, it would make a genuine contribution to combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and send a clear signal to those who preached racial purity and racial and ethnic discrimination.  The representative of the Russian Federation then noted a number of revisions to the text, adding that, given its importance, he hoped it would be adopted without a vote.


Next, the representative of Angola introduced the draft resolution on the report of the Human Rights Council on the preparations for the Durban Review Conference (document A/C.3/62/L.66).  Its aim was to endorse the decisions that had been contained in that report.  He proposed its adoption by consensus.


A draft resolution titled the Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/62/L.62) was introduced by the representative of Cuba.  He noted that it took into account the analysis and recommendations contained in the most recent report of the Working Group on the issue, whose chairman Josė Luis Gómez del Prado had recently held a dialogue with the Human Rights Committee.  According to the draft, not withstanding the way in which they were used or the form that they took to acquire some semblance of legitimacy, mercenaries or mercenary-related activities were a threat to peace, security and the self-determination of peoples, as well as an obstacle to the enjoyment of all human rights.  It would have the Assembly reaffirm that the use of mercenaries, their recruitment, financing and training were causes for grave concern for all States and violated the purposes and principles of the Organization’s Charter.  The assembly would condemn any form of impunity by perpetrators of mercenary activities, and would urge all States to bring such persons to justice.  It would also ask the Working Group to pay particular attention to the impact of the activities of private companies offering military assistance, consultancy and security services on the international market on the enjoyment of human rights and the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination.


Finally, the representative of the United States introduced the draft resolution titled Strengthening the role of the United Nations in enhancing the effectiveness of the principle of periodic and genuine elections and the promotion of democratization (A/C.3/62/L.30).  Free and impartial elections were the foundation of democratic political systems, he said, and full realization of human rights depended on governance based on the consent of the governed.  Elections also enabled a free exchange of ideas and encouraged healthy public discourse.  The provision of electoral assistance was an integral part of the United Nations commitment to supporting democratic electoral processes in its Member States.  Supporting the draft resolution would demonstrate the strength of support among Member States for the vital role that the United Nations placed in electoral assistance.  It would request the Organization to continue to provide such assistance on a case-by-case basis, in line with the evolving needs of countries which asked for such help.  United Nations electoral assistance supported the fair and transparent implementation of electoral laws and practices.


Concerning the draft resolution on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (document A/C.3/62/L.67), the representative of Denmark said that, owing to last-minute revisions, he wished to defer action on the text until a later meeting.


Thus, action on that draft was deferred.


The Chairman then invited the Committee to take action on a draft resolution entitled Eliminating rape and other forms of sexual violence in all their manifestations, including as instruments to achieve political objectives (document A/C.3/62/L.16/Rev.2 and amendments thereto contained in document A/C.3/62/L.85).


The representative of the United States, the draft resolution’s main sponsor, said his country was proud to announce that there had been agreement reached on the text, and that the Secretariat was distributing a text which was a document the United States had marked “L.16/Rev.3”.  He then indicated several changes, including changes to the title of the draft resolution as well as changes to several paragraphs.  He said several countries had joined as co-sponsors since the new revision, and said the United States would defer its general statement until after action.


The Chairman then asked if there were other delegations wishing to join the amendment as orally revised, and several did.


The representative of Angola said his country was withdrawing document A/C.3/62/L.85.


The Committee then approved the draft resolution on Eliminating rape and other forms of sexual violence in all their manifestations, including as instruments to achieve political objectives (document A/C.3/62/L.16/Rev.3) as orally amended without a vote.


The representative of Venezuela said the issue at the heart of the resolution was of key significance to the Human Rights Council as well.  She reaffirmed her country’s commitment to protect and promote human rights and women’s rights, and to the elimination of all forms of violence against women, including sexual violence.  Such violence constituted serious crimes and represented an affront to human dignity.  Venezuela would continue its efforts to enhance the role of women in an egalitarian society.


The representative of South Africa said that the original draft appeared to concentrate on condemning rape when perpetrated for political and military purposes only, but that would have created two categories of rape -- rape by military and militia groups on the one hand, and rape by civilians on the other.  For that reason, Angola, on behalf of the African Group, had introduced amendments that sought to balance the text.  South Africa and other African delegations had worked with the United States delegation to amend the draft and include the elimination of rape in all its manifestations, as it was important for the Assembly to send a strong, non-politicized message that rape was a brutal, despicable and violent act, whether perpetrated by civilians, the military or armed groups.  South Africa, which participated in various United Nations peacekeeping missions, subscribed to the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse by peacekeepers.  The use of rape as a weapon had never stopped; the slow response by the international community to systematic rape after the collapse of the former Yugoslavia was still regrettable.  The Assembly had said nothing at the time; now it could act without waiting for a similar tragedy to happen again.


The representative of the United States said his delegation was proud that the draft had been approved by consensus.  He was grateful to the more than 80 countries that had joined as co-sponsors.  His delegation was particularly thankful to nations that had participated from the beginning in the difficult negotiating process and contributed constructive suggestions.  It was important for the draft to have been adopted by consensus, and it would be important for the General Assembly to do so, too.  Rape under any circumstances was an atrocious act and States had to step up efforts to address it.  The draft never intended to differentiate between two kinds of rape; as originally proposed, it focused primarily on the outrageous situation whereby a State could condone rape by members of its own military forces or by surrogate forces.  Numerous additions and changes had been adopted in the text.  Stronger emphasis on the use of rape for military objectives would have been preferred, but there was a strong paragraph on impunity, as well as language referring to help for rape victims.


The representative of Syria said her country had joined the consensus convinced that the issue of rape had to be dealt with in all its manifestations.  Her delegation believed that the text had a legal nature, and thus should have covered all forms of legal responsibility.  It was understood that preambular paragraph 5 (recalling previous resolutions on violence against women and children adopted by the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on Human Rights) and operative paragraph 1(b) (urging States to end impunity) should be dealt with through the principles and norms of international law, humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions of 1949, which included cases of armed conflict and foreign occupation.


The representative of Angola, on behalf of the African Group, expressed satisfaction with the approval of the resolution, which dealt with an issue of great concern to the African continent.  Delegations had come a long way, having held sometimes difficult but open and fruitful consultations to come up with the most effective language.  Clear appreciation was expressed to the United States and to other co-sponsors for their flexibility during negotiations; they could always count on Africa when that continent’s interests were taken into account.  Work had been guided by a common objective: the condemnation of rape and all other forms of sexual violence.  As far as the African Group was concerned, it had stood united on the issue; long ago, Africa had taken the lead in condemning rape.  The engagement of the Group with the United States delegation had been a model of intergovernmental negotiation that had led to a resolution that, it was hoped, would make a difference to the lives of rape victims and to efforts of Governments to eliminate a disgraceful crime.  A good text had been adopted; it was hoped that that would be the case in the General Assembly, as well.


ANNEX I


Vote on New Operative Paragraph 2


The amendment to the draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/C.3/62/L.78) was defeated by a recorded vote of 78 against to 66 in favour, with 17 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, India, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.


Abstain:  Algeria, Bhutan, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, United States, Zambia.


Absent:  Azerbaijan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Tuvalu, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam.


ANNEX II


Vote on Operative Paragraph 2 (b)


The amendment to the draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/C.3/62/L.79) was defeated by a recorded vote of 82 against to 59 in favour, with 19 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nauru, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.


Abstain:  Algeria, Bhutan, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Mongolia, Morocco, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Zambia.


Absent:  Azerbaijan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Myanmar, Palau, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam.


ANNEX III


Vote on Operative Paragraph 2 (c)


The amendment to the draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/C.3/62/L.80) was defeated by a recorded vote of 83 against to 68 in favour, with 15 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.


Abstain:  Algeria, Bhutan, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, Zambia.


Absent:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Benin, Cameroon, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Palau, Peru, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Tuvalu, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam.


ANNEX IV


Vote on Operative Paragraph 2 (d)


The amendment to the draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/C.3/62/L.81) was defeated by a recorded vote of 86 against to 67 in favour, with 17 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.


Abstain:  Algeria, Bhutan, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Morocco, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam, Zambia.


Absent:  Azerbaijan, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Palau, Peru, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.


ANNEX V


Vote on Operative Paragraph 5


The oral amendment to the draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/C.3/62/L.29) was defeated by a recorded vote of 85 against to 68 in favour, with 19 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Libya, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mongolia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.


Abstain:  Algeria, Bhutan, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guatemala, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Togo, Zambia.


Absent:  Azerbaijan, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Marshall Islands, Palau, Peru, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan.


ANNEX VI


Vote on New Operative Paragraph 3 (bis)


The oral amendment to the draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/C.3/62/L.29) was rejected by a recorded vote of 83 against to 28 in favour, with 47 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Bahrain, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Mongolia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tonga, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.


Abstain:  Algeria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Viet Nam, Zambia.


Absent:  Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Nicaragua, Niger, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.


ANNEX VII


Vote on New Operative Paragraph 3 (ter)


The oral amendment to the draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/C.3/62/L.29) was rejected by a recorded vote of 84 against to 26 in favour, with 46 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Botswana, Comoros, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.


Abstain:  Algeria, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Nauru, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Viet Nam, Zambia.


Absent:  Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mongolia, Niger, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Tajikistan, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.


ANNEX VIII


Vote on Rule 129 Motion


The rule 129 motion to reject a proposal for separate votes on paragraphs of the draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/C.3/62/L.29) was approved by a recorded vote of 86 in favour to 62 against, with 23 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.


Against:  Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, China, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Abstain:  Bhutan, Cambodia, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United States, Zambia.


Absent:  Algeria, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nicaragua, Niger, Palau, Peru, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tunisia.


ANNEX IX


Vote on Moratorium on Use of Death Penalty


The draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/C.3/62/L.29) was approved by a recorded vote of 99 in favour to 52 against, with 33 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela.


Against:  Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, China, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Grenada, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United States, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Abstain:  Belarus, Bhutan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cuba, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Nauru, Niger, Palau, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Togo, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Zambia.


Absent:  Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Peru, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, Tunisia.


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For information media • not an official record