On 1 and 2 March, H.E. Ms Anne EASTWOOD, Ambassador of Monaco to Italy, accompanied by Christelle REVEL, Third Secretary, travelled to Rome to attend the 13th International Congress of Justice Ministers for a world without the death penalty, organised by the Community of Sant’ Egidio.
The event, supported this year by the Prince’s Government, the Swiss Confederation, and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, brings together Justice Ministers from various regions of the world to discuss the issue of capital punishment and, by sharing experiences, convince and support countries to abolish the death penalty in law or in practice.
In her opening remarks, H.E. Ms Anne EASTWOOD reminded the Congress of the Principality’s historic commitment to this essential aspect of the defence of human rights, with Monaco having become the tenth country in the world to abolish the death penalty completely in 1962. She highlighted the progress made since then internationally, with nearly three-quarters of States having now eliminated capital punishment from their legal systems or no longer enforcing it. After hailing the rising support for the United Nations Resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on the use of the death penalty, she stressed the importance of civil society initiatives, such as this very Congress, or the World Congress against the Death Penalty held in Berlin last November, in achieving the ultimate goal of universal abolition.
The discussions, which took place in the morning in conference format and later continued behind closed doors, underlined the progress made in the last decade, particularly in Africa, where after Rwanda, Burundi, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Gabon, and more recently Central African Republic and Zambia in 2022, Liberia and Guinea have now become the latest to join the ranks of the abolitionist countries.
Other countries which have decreed a moratorium on the death penalty, such as Morocco and Uganda, paid tribute to the local campaigning efforts of NGOs like Sant’ Egidio, and called for support from the international community to encourage them along the path to abolition.