Published: 10 Oct 2012 11:49 GMT+02:00 | Print version
Updated: 10 Oct 2012 11:49 GMT+02:00
Six countries joined forces on Wednesday to call for the "complete abolition" of the death penalty worldwide.
Launched at Switzerland's initiative on the 10th World Day against the Death Penalty, foreign minister Didier Burkhalter signed the appeal along with his counterparts from Germany, France, Liechtenstein, Austria and Italy.
"We intend to work together ... to ensure that the number of executions continues to decline, that judicial proceedings are made more transparent, and that further countries renounce the death penalty until this inhumane form of punishment has disappeared entirely," read the appeal, published in numerous European dailies.
More than 130 countries have abolished or put a moratorium on the death penalty but 50 nations continued to condone it, the statement said.
In a call to other nations to join the worldwide ban, the signatories described capital punishment as a practice "for which there can no longer be any justification in the 21st century.
"Killing in the name of justice is contrary to the fundamental values for which our countries stand," the appeal said, adding that in some cases "innocent people lose their lives."
In 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted, by 109 votes to 41, a third resolution on the moratorium on the death penalty.
This resolution -- coming after earlier proposals adopted in 2007 and 2008 -- was introduced by the six nations involved in Wednesday's appeal along with the European Union and numerous other countries around the world.
The UN General Assembly is to vote on the resolution again later this year to "secure an even greater majority in its favour," the signatories said.
Geneva cantonal police raided eight erotic massage parlours on Tuesday for an investigation into tax fraud allegedly amounting to several million francs. READ () »
A diamond necklace from Geneva jeweller De Grisogono worth 2.5 million francs was reported stolen from Cannes on Thursday, just days after thieves made off with 1.4 million francs' worth of bling from Chopard, another jeweller from the Swiss city. READ () »
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sees a looming free-trade deal with Switzerland as a touchstone for Beijing's growing ties with foreign nations, he told a Swiss newspaper on Thursday ahead of a landmark visit to Europe. READ () »
After a wetter than usual start to spring, Switzerland is bracing for a return to wintry conditions and snow in some locations over the next few days. READ () »
Switzerland, currently in the process of restituting assets to several former autocratic countries, is working on a new law aimed at simplifying the process of freezing and unblocking such funds, the government said on Wednesday. READ () »
A project backed by two of Switzerland’s wealthiest men to create a Geneva biotech centre is back on track after German pharma company Merck agreed to sell its sprawling complex in the Swiss city. READ () »
A ruling from Switzerland’s top court made public on Wednesday threw thousands of Alpine holiday home development projects into disarray. READ () »
Swiss researchers say they have taken a step closer to unlocking the mystery of ageing after discovering the impact of a longevity gene in mice and then managing to extend the life-span of worms by 60 percent thanks to a basic antibiotic treatment. READ () »
Puerto Rican banker Richard Carrion added his name on Wednesday to the list of candidates vying to take over as head of the Olympic movement. READ () »
Swiss banks holding US citizens' funds that are not declared to American tax authorities face massive fines under a deal between Switzerland and Washington, a newspaper reported on Wednesday. READ () »