Secretary-General's video message on the World Day Against the Death Penalty
New York, 9 October 2014
Your Excellency, Mr. Maurizio Enrico Luigi Serra, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations Office in Geneva;
Distinguished human rights officials,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank the European Union and the Italian Government for this commemoration of the World Day against the Death Penalty.
Since the General Assembly adopted its first resolution on a moratorium seven years ago, more States acknowledge that the death penalty undermines human dignity. It fails to deter crimes more than other punishments. Abolition – or at least a moratorium – contributes to human rights.
The taking of life is too irreversible for one person to inflict on another.
We must continue arguing strongly that the death penalty is unjust and incompatible with fundamental human rights.
I urge leaders where the death penalty still is used to legally commute or pardon death sentences – and to impose moratoriums on executions.
The death penalty has no place in the 21st century.
I call on States that have not yet done so to ratify the Second Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at abolition of the death penalty.
I hope to see many more ratifications during the Protocol’s 25th anniversary this year.
The United Nations will continue working to end this cruel punishment.
Statements on 9 October 2014
- New York, 9 October 2014 - Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the death of a MINUSCA peacekeeper in the Central African Republic [English and French]
- New York, 9 October 2014 - Secretary-General's message on the occasion of "Music For Peace" event [delivered by Mr. Maher Nasser, Acting Head, Department of Public Information]
- New York, 9 October 2014 - Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the situation along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan
- Washington, DC, 9 October 2014 - Secretary-General's remarks to World Bank Meeting on Post-2015 Financing for Development [as prepared for delivery]
- New York, 9 October 2014 - UN Secretary-General Remarks at World Bank Conference on Clean Water, Improved Sanitation, and Better Health for Haiti [As Delivered]
- Washington D.C. , 9 October 2014 - Secretary-General's Remarks on the Ebola Epidemic (as delivered)