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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
Marie Yvette Banzon
Representative of the Philippines on behalf of the co-sponsors

General statement at the time of action on

L. 29- Moratorium on the use of the death penalty
14 November 2007

Mr. Chairman,

I take the floor to make this general statement on behalf of the co-sponsors of document L.29.

This text is the result of a comprehensive and in-depth consultation process with all UN Member States. The main co-sponsors have, throughout this process, worked in a transparent and cooperative manner, giving Member States, in a number of informal consultations, opportunities to express their views and concerns. As a sincere effort to address the concerns, and at the same time, preserve the spirit of the initiative, the main sponsors have made several important modifications to the text which have led to a rise in the number of co-sponsors to 87.

The following characteristics of the draft resolution illustrate the sponsors’ willingness to accommodate the concerns raised by Member States in the course of the consultation process:

Starting with the title, as well as in the preambular and operative paragraphs, we have clarified that the focus of the resolution is on a moratorium. The abolition should be regarded as an eventual result of a step-by-step process.

The text now begins with an overarching reference to the Charter of the United Nations. It is our firm belief that this fundamental document should be read and understood in its entirety. Accordingly, selective quotations would only weaken the Charter’s significance as a whole.

In the same spirit, we have included general and non-selective references to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as to the other relevant international instruments.

We believe that this initiative has started a process of dialogue and engagement at the level of the General Assembly on an issue of fundamental importance for the enhancement and progressive development of human rights.

As we take onboard these changes to the text, the co-sponsors reiterate that the resolution does not aim to interfere or impose views and values on others, nor does it aim to challenge national sovereignty. The resolution is aimed at reinforcing and encouraging the growing trend towards a phasing out of the death penalty.

Before I make my conclusion, I wish to announce that the following have jointed the list of co-sponsors: Algeria, El Salvador, Mauritius and Sao Tome and Principe.

We are now looking forward to your support on the adoption of this resolution. We appeal for a vote on its merits and call on countries not to support the amendments that are aimed at undermining this text.

Thank you.

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