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Intervention by Greece at the Biennial High-Level panel on the Question of the Death Penalty, 04.03.2015

Friday, 06 March 2015

Thank you Mr Chairman,

We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the European Union.

Greece holds a strong position against the death penalty, as it constitutes a grave violation of human dignity, as well as of the right to life and physical integrity. Going, however, beyond that, we believe that perhaps the most powerful moral argument against it, is the palpable risk of claiming innocent lives. The irreversible character of capital punishment threatens to expose the punishing party to the possibility of committing a terrible injustice if based on a wrong judgment.

Mr Chairman, our country has been promoting and actively supporting initiatives on the abolition of capital punishment both on the bilateral and multilateral levels, namely by actively participating in  relevant EU demarches.

Greece would like to commend the countries that voted in favor, for the first time, on the relevant United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the moratorium on death penalty, thus contributing to the definite increase in the support of the abolition trend. We would also like to encourage retentionist countries to consider recent studies concluding that the death penalty is far more expensive than alternative sentences, as well as recent analyses which point out that the true price of capital punishment to the society is the diversion of significant resources that would otherwise be directed towards preventing and addressing the causes of the very crimes the death penalty is inflicted upon.

Finally, Mr President, we call upon all states to support the death penalty moratorium resolution, as very positive step towards full abolition worldwide.

Thank you Mr Chairman.

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