UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has urged member states and individuals to join the UN in its advocacy for an end to the imposition of the death penalty.
Ban made the call in a message in New York on Saturday to mark the World Day against the Death Penalty, observed every Oct. 10.
He noted that only 14 countries had abolished the death penalty seven decades ago.
“But today, 82 per cent of member nations have either introduced moratoria by law or in practice, or have abolished the death penalty,” he said.
He said that the year’s observance of the World Day against the Death Penalty had drawn attention to the progress so far and also focused attention on drug crimes.
“International law limits the application of the death penalty to the “most serious crimes”. This means that it should only – if at all – be applied to the crime of intentional killing.
“The United Nations human rights bodies have repeatedly stressed that the use of the death penalty for drug-related crimes does not meet this threshold.
“The International Narcotics Control Board and other drug control bodies have encouraged states that impose the death penalty to abolish it for drug crimes.
“The death penalty does not deter drug crimes, nor does it protect people from drug abuse,” he said.
The UN Chief said that curbing drug crimes was far more a matter of reforming justice systems and investing in prevention through the public health system, including access to treatment. (NAN)