India has voted against a UN resolution to establish a moratorium on death penalty, stating that it contravened statutory law in India.
Following an ‘intense discussion’ on this issue, the UN committee approved an amended draft resolution calling for a moratorium on death penalty, by a recorded 115 votes in favour to 38 against, with 31 abstentions.
The representative of India said every State had a sovereign right to determine its own legal system, and voted for the amendment in the resolution, which “reaffirms the sovereign right of all countries to develop their own legal systems, including determining appropriate legal penalties, in accordance with their international law obligations”. The amendment reaffirms the sovereign right of all countries to develop their own legal systems, which was passed by 76 votes in favour, 72 against and 26 abstentions.
The representatives of the United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, and some other countries regretted that the amendment was passed. The representative of the United States of America said that capital punishment was legal under international law, but added that methods of execution designed to inflict undue pain should be prohibited.
The representative of Singapore, in explanation of a vote before the vote, said the amendment expressed the strong will of the membership and reaffirmed States’ rights, regardless of the content of the resolution. He expressed regret that it had been viewed as hostile, as it was unfair that the reaffirmation of a fundamental principle was seen as such.
Read the resolution here.
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