Universal moratorium : Let’s mobilise for the plenary vote scheduled for mid-December 2020

20 November 2020

On 17 November 2020 the UN Third Committee, which works specifically on human rights issues, voted by a very large majority in favour of the resolution entitled “ Moratorium on the use of the death penalty ”.

The resolution was adopted by 120 States, 39 voted against it, 24 abstained and 10 did not take part in the vote. These results confirm the global trend towards the abolition of the death penalty.

The stakes of the vote on the resolution remain particularly high in view of the plenary session to be held in mid-December.

In 2018, 13 countries had changed their vote, both positively and negatively. In the current context, mobilization work around the vote of this resolution therefore remains crucial.

Key figures: Main developments compared to 2018

In this particular year, marked by the Covid19 pandemic, 10 countries were unable to take part in the vote (Bangladesh, Burundi, Burkina Faso, CAR, Gabon, Palau, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia and Vanuatu), whereas there were only 5 absences during the 2018 plenary session. Among them, 7 countries are abolitionist (Burkina Faso, Burundi, Gabon, Palau, Senegal, Seychelles, Vanuatu) and 6 had voted in favour of the resolution in 2018 (Burkina Faso, CAR, Gabon, Palau, Somalia, Vanuatu)

Positive evolutions were observed in most regions of the world. For the first time, Djibouti, South Korea and Lebanon voted in favour of the resolution. 8 countries moved from an abstention (Republic of Congo, DRC, South Korea, Djibouti, Guinea, Lebanon, Philippines) or an absence (Sierra Leone) to a favourable vote. 2 countries went from a negative vote to a favourable vote (Nauru) or an abstention (Zimbabwe).

Apart from the countries that did not vote, 8 countries changed their vote in a negative way. 6 countries changed their vote from a positive vote (Dominica and Libya) or an abstention (Antigua and Barbuda, Uganda, South Sudan and Tonga) to a negative vote. 2 countries abstained from voting although they had voted in favour at the plenary in 2018 (Solomon Islands, Niger).

See the details of the votes


(Rebroadcast of 5 November 2020) " Death penalty: from application to a universal moratorium " 

INFOGRAPHY" What is the UN resolution for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty? "

CAMPAIGNSince 2007, ECPM has been advocating for a majority of States to vote in favour of the universal moratorium.

Find the States' vote in 2018 in the "UN Instruments" tab of our map.