Human Rights Council Twenty-second session

Agenda item 3 Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,

political, economic, social and cultural rights,

including the right to development

Decision adopted by the Human Rights Council


High-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty

At its 48th meeting, on 21 March 2013, the Human Rights Council decided to adopt the text below:

The Human Rights Council,

Reaffirming the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

Recalling also General Assembly resolutions 62/149 of 18 December 2007, 63/168 of 18 December 2008, 65/206 of 21 December 2010 and 67/176 of 20 December 2012 on the question of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty,

Recalling further all previous resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights on the question of the death penalty, the last of which was resolution 2005/59 of 20 April 2005,

Recalling Human Rights Council decision 18/117 of 28 September 2011,

Taking note of the reports of the Secretary-General on the question of the death penalty, the latest of which highlights the significant developments towards the universal abolition of the death penalty and some noticeable steps towards restricting its use in countries that have retained it, and also reminds those States that still intend to implement the death penalty of the need to protect the rights of those facing the death penalty, in particular, in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,1

 The resolutions and decisions adopted by the Human Rights Council will be contained in the report of

the Council on its twenty-second session (A/HRC/22/2), chap. I. 1 See A/HRC/21/29.

Acknowledging the interest in holding national and international debates on the question of the death penalty,

1. Decides to convene, at its twenty-fifth session, a high-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty with the aim of exchanging views on advances, best practices and challenges relating to the abolition of the death penalty and to the introduction of a moratorium on executions, as well as on national debates or processes on whether to abolish the death penalty;

2. Requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize the panel discussion and to liaise with States, relevant United Nations bodies, agencies, treaty bodies, special procedures and regional human rights mechanisms, as well as with parliamentarians, civil society, including non-governmental organizations, and national human rights institutions, with a view to ensuring their participation in the panel discussion;

3. Also requests the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a report on the panel discussion in the form of a summary.”

[Adopted by a recorded vote of 28 to 10, with 9 abstentions. The voting was as follows:

In favour: Angola, Argentina, Austria, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Gabon,

Germany, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, United States of America, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)

Against: Botswana, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Uganda, United Arab Emirates

Abstaining: Guatemala, Japan, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, Thailand]