On 11 November 2010 the UN General Assembly's Third Committee adopted its third resolution calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. The resolution was adopted by 107 votes in favour, 38 against with 36 abstentions. The breakdown of these votes in the Asia Pacific region was: 17 votes in favour; 11 against; with 8 abstentions.
More votes favoured the resolution than the last resolution in 2008. It is now expected to be endorsed at the plenary session of the UN GA in mid-December.
The following countries from Asia and the Pacific positively changed their vote compared to 2008:
Afghanistan (from against to abstention)
Bhutan (from abstention to in favour)
Kiribati (from absent to in favour)
Maldives (from against to in favour)
Mongolia (from against to in favour)
Solomon Islands (from against to abstention)
Thailand (from against to abstention)
This is a notable and positive swing from Asia and the Pacific confirming regional steps towards abolition and the worldwide trend is particularly encouraging.
Disappointingly however, India, despite not executing anyone since 2004, voted against the resolution.
All the accumulative work we do against the death penalty, especially in the Asia pacific region, contributes to positively influencing key opinion formers and decision makers. Our work includes supporting other AI sections and like-minded organisations, through to the direct appeals we send for death penalty cases
Thanks to everyone who has worked on ending the death penalty this year.