We would like to thank the SG, the HC and the OHCHR for the reports they have submitted to the Council’s 18th session.
In order to respect our three minutes we will limit ourselves to comment on the report of the SG on the Question of the death penalty and the report of the HC on human rights and transitional justice. We will address the report of the SG on cooperation with the UN, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights, also known as the report on reprisals, under item 5.
The right to life is the most fundamental of all human rights, and the death penalty is incompatible with the principle of human dignity and humane treatment. Experience has shown that a number of innocent people have been executed, and this is an unacceptable risk. Execution is irreversible. Further, there is no evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent against crime.
We welcome the report of the Secretary-General on the question of death penalty. The trend is clear; more than 70 % of the world’s states have rejected the death penalty. The report contributes to a fact-based discussion on an emotional topic, both with and within governments.
In countries where the death penalty is still imposed, Norway is concerned about the lack of respect for international law, in particular the lack of respect for the restriction on the use of the death penalty to the “most serious crimes”, the exclusion of juvenile offenders from its scope, and due process guarantees.
Norway also shares the concern from Amnesty International that death sentences are handed down for non-violent crimes such as sexual relations between consenting adults. Further, we are concerned about the lack of transparency on the part of many states in relation to information on individuals sentenced to death and executed.