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Global Abolition of the Death Penalty

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written statement – made on 11th October 2010.

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Photo of Jeremy Browne Jeremy Browne The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

I wish to make the House aware that I will publicly launch HMG's strategy on global abolition of the death penalty at an event in the FCO today to mark the world day and European day against the death penalty.

This strategy sets out the UK's policy on the death penalty, and identifies three goals to support our overarching objective of global abolition. First we will aim to further increase the number of abolitionist countries, or countries with a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. Secondly we want to secure further restrictions on the use of the death penalty in retentionist countries and reductions in the numbers of executions, and thirdly we will aim to ensure that EU minimum standards on the death penalty, such as fair trial rights and non-execution of juveniles, are met in countries which retain the death penalty.

Promoting human rights and democracy is a priority for the UK. We oppose the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle because we believe it undermines human dignity; there is no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value; and any miscarriage of justice leading to its imposition is irreversible and irreparable.

A copy of the strategy will be placed in the Library of the House and published on the FCO website (www.fco.gov.uk) by 12 October.