The Human Rights Council of the United Nations adopted a resolution submitted by Belgium and putting the question of the death penalty back on the international agenda on Thursday. As a consequence of the resolution, a high level panel will meet to discuss the issue as early as 2017, and the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights will report on how capital punishment is carried out around the world, focussing in particular on the prohibition of torture and inhumane treatment.
Belgium drafted the initial resolution supported by Benin, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Mongolia, Moldova and Switzerland. 26 member countries on the Council voted in favour of the text, thirteen against, including the US, China, India and Saudi Arabia. There were eight abstentions, most notably Russia.
Foreign Secretary Didier Reynders welcomed the adoption of the Belgian initiative. “This is one more reason why our country should apply for a seat at the Human Rights Council for 2016-2018,” suggests a press release from the office of the Foreign Secretary.
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)