Today (9/28/07) the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Massimo D’Alema, made a proposal to the UN General Assembly for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty. One can easily predict that powerful countries that apply the death penalty, including China, the United States are likely to lobby against it.
D’Alema stated that capital executions are an “extreme, visible act of violence, which belongs to a culture that should be of the past.”
I deeply agree with his statement. Capital punishment is a drawback in global advancement and international human rights.
More than 130 countries have abolished the death penalty. Mr. D’Alema is hopeful that a change can happen. He believes the international public opinion is changing on this matter.
Portugal strongly supported the Italian’s initiative and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, seemed in favor of such proposal.
One question remains, is Italy and Portugal’s effort in vain, as long as some of the most influential and powerful nations in the world are in favor of death penalty?