A moratorium on the death penalty was adopted yesterday by the United Nations General Assembly: The General Assembly said it considered the use of the death penalty "undermines human dignity" and said the moratorium "contributed to the enhancement and progressive development of human rights" adding that "that there is no conclusive evidence of the death penalty's deterrent value and that any miscarriage or failure of justice in the death penalty's implementation is irreversible and irreparable." It welcomed the increasing number of states around the world who are abolishing capital punishment and expressed deep concern for those who still carry out executions. It called for a progressive restriction of the use of the death penalty and and a reduction the number of offences for which it may be imposed. Appealing for more countries to abandon capital punishment, it requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session on the implementation of the resolution; Responding to the news, the Community of Saint'Egidio said: "This a milestone that marks a new and widely shared moral standard that will be always more difficult and embarrassing to ignore on an international level. It is a sign of an important change in world conscience, which increasingly deems death inflicted by a state unacceptable and a humiliation of fundamental human rights, the right to life. It is a fundamental contribution towards accelerating a process in which, since the 1990's ,over 50 nations have renounced the use of the death penalty."
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