PRESS RELEASE 158
10th anniversary of International Commission Against the Death Penalty
13/10/2020

The State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean, Cristina Gallach Figueras, has taken part today in a virtual public event in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the creation of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty (ICDP) – a body set up in October 2010 upon an initiative from Spain with the aim of continuing to move towards the abolition of the death penalty and now made up of 22 commissioners with noteworthy professional experience and widespread geographic origins.

At this commemorative event, both members of the Commission took part and a large number of countries that make up the ICDP Support Group, comprised of 23 Member States and chaired by Spain, which supports the work of the ICDP. As State Secretary Gallach pointed out, the “abolition (of the death penalty) is a matter of political will”, and to fight for this is a “moral imperative” that must be channelled through the rule of law.

Over the course of the last 25 years, significant progress has been made towards the full abolition of the death penalty. The number of countries that use it has dropped from 40 to 20. At present, 148 States – two thirds of the international community – have abolished it at law or in practice while 56 maintain it on their statute books, with a total of 22 countries having resorted to its use in the last three years.

Four of the commissioners abolished the death penalty – in the Philippines, France Mongolia and New Mexico – when they held positions of responsibility in their respective countries.

The activity of the ICDP is focused on countries where executions are still carried out or where, although not carried through, their legal abolition has not been approved. In these countries, the commissioners perform their work discreetly before the governments, by employing a gradual approach, urging them to adopt specific solutions and advising them on their method and presentation.

Spain is the country that contributes the most to the work of the ICDP. Madrid has hosted this body since 2014, and annually contributes more than 100,000 euros. Our network of embassies also offers key logistical support in the development of the missions by the commissioners.

 

 

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-

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