The European Union (EU) has insisted governments should move forward with abolishing the death penalty worldwide.
“The EU will continue using all its available tools of diplomacy and cooperation assistance to work towards the abolition of the death penalty in countries where it still applies. The EU is a leading institutional actor and the lead donor to the efforts by civil society organizations around the world in the abolition of the death penalty”, the EU said in a statement over the weekend marking the World/European Day Against The Death Penalty.
In South America, Guyanan judges continue to hand down death sentences which are not carried out. The European authorities would like that country to turn its de facto moratorium into a de jure moratorium as a step prior to the full abolition of the death penalty. In December, 2018, for the first time, Guyana shifted its stance from opposing a moratorium on the death penalty, and instead, abstained from the vote at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The EU asserted that the imposition of the death penalty contravenes the right to life. It also argued that the death penalty does not deter crime more effectively that other punishments.
Though death sentences continue to be handed down by the courts here, the penalty has not been enforced here since August of 1997.
French President Emmanuel Macron Saturday announced his country had launched a campaign for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty, which he described as an abomination, as part of France's upcoming presidency of the European Union.
During a speech marking the 40th anniversary of France’s abolition of capital punishment, Macron said a conference would be held in Paris shortly while France holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2022.
The French head of state also vowed to work with other member states towards a United Nations resolution requiring countries to report each year the number of death penalty sentences handed down and executions carried out.
Macron recalled that, in 1981, France had been the 35th state to abolish the death penalty. He added that 106 states have so far taken this path, while 50 others have a de jure or de facto moratorium on executions. But he noted with regret that 483 executions were carried out worldwide in 2020 “by 33 regimes that mostly share a taste for despotism, a rejection of the universality of human rights, which included the United States and Japan.
The death penalty does not protect society, it dishonours it,” Macron said.