We the participants at the 4th World Congress Against the Death Penalty, held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 24 to 26 February 2010 organized by the association Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM), with sponsorship from the Swiss Confederation in partnership with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP),
adopt this declaration after three days of fruitful discussions, exchange of experiences, elaboration of relevant strategies, sharing of testimonies, including the commitment and strong support expressed from states and international institutions:
Noting with satisfaction the implementation of several recommendations made at the end of the 3rd World Congress in Paris in 2007; the increasing number of countries that have ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights from 62 to 72; the resolution for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty passed twice by majority in the United Nations General Assembly with more than 100 hundred votes in favor; new regional coalitions against the death penalty which were created; the number of member organizations of the WCADP significantly increased to 104.
Noting also the urgent need to intensify our efforts in the courts, bar associations, the media, schools and universities, in human rights organizations, parliaments, governments, international and regional organizations to continue to encourage presently underrepresented retentionist countries in the international community, to be transparent in their practice of capital punishment, to reduce the number of crimes punishable by death in their criminal codes, so they can join the community of abolitionist states;
Highlighting the actions and the continued support of the European Union in the fight against the death penalty;
We welcome the initiatives and commitment of Switzerland, beyond the Congress, together with Spain, which aims to implement universal moratorium on executions in 2015, with a view of universal abolition;
We reconfirm that the death penalty may in no circumstances be regarded as an appropriate response to the violence and tensions which permeate through our societies, taking into account the emotional burden they create, particularly in the context of terrorism,
We call, from the host city of international organizations and a symbol of peace:
- The de facto abolitionist states to enact legislation abolishing the death penalty in law;
- The abolitionist states to integrate the issue of universal abolition in their international relations by making it a major focus of their international policy of promoting human rights;
- The international and regional organizations, to support the universal abolition of the death penalty including the adoption of resolutions calling for a moratorium on executions, by supporting educational activities, and increased cooperation with abolitionist NGOs that act locally;
- Abolitionist organizations and actors from retentionist states to unite their strength and determination in creating and developing national and regional coalitions, with the aim to promote locally, the universal abolition of capital punishment.
On February 26, 2010.