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January 7 2012 | MONGOLIA

Press Release: Mongolia has removed the death penalty

Two years of collaboration between Sant'Egidio and the Presidency of the Republic of Mongolia have allowed this extraordinary result

 
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On January 5, 2012, the Parliament of Mongolia has approved the adoption of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The accession to the Treaty solemnly commits the country before the United Nations and the international community not to make any more use of the death penalty and to take all necessary measures for its abolition in the court system.
The Community of Sant'Egidio welcomed the news with great satisfaction and enthusiasm, after having worked together and accompanied step by step the path opened by the President of the Republic Tsakhia Elbegdorj exactly two years ago towards the abolition of capital punishment, with his unilateral decision to declare a moratorium on executions and sentences.
In fact it was January 14, 2010 when the Head of State announced surprisingly with great courage before Parliament his will to free Mongolia from capital punishment as soon as possible.
The Community of Sant'Egidio is already active in the area and in close collaboration with the initiative of President Tsakhia Elbegdorj has linked the Mongolian Parliamentary institutional and difficult battle with the international community by implementing synergies.
In February 2010, Mongolia took part in the Fourth World Congress against the Death Penalty in Geneva and in the following May, during the fifth Conference of Ministers of Justice in Rome, that the Community of Sant'Egidio organizes every year, the participation of a representative of the Mongolian government established a close collaboration between Sant'Egidio and the presidential entourage and practical support to the project of Tsakhia Elbegdorj.
The visit of a delegation of the Community in Ulaan Baatar in September 2010 has been instrumental in the development of a detailed approach in the medium term, consisting of political and cultural initiatives - growth of the parliamentary  consensus, assemblies in schools and universities, mass media campaigns on press and television, collection of signatures, adhesion of the capital to the international day "Cities for Life" on November 30 - all this with the involvement of the European Union.
This full-range mobilization allowed in time to overcome the harder obstacle to abolitionist project of President Elbegdorj: Members of the opposition of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, the majority in Parliament, who were determined to keep capital punishment into the state.
On 21 November 2010, the first extraordinary result: the vote of Mongolia in favor of the resolution for a universal moratorium on the UN General Assembly.
On October 18, 2011 during an official meeting in Rome with a delegation of Sant'Egidio, the President Elbegdorj announced that parliamentary consensus on the adoption of the Second Optional Protocol - necessary step towards the abolition of law - was almost reached.
Subsequently, in a message sent to the Sixth Congress of Ministers of Justice, November 29, 2011, the President of Mongolia reaffirmed his firm resoution to free his country from the death penalty to "join the international community which shares the same beliefs in respect for human dignity. "
The decision of January 5, 2012 paves the way for the ultimate abolition of capital punishment in Mongolia, and places the country at the forefront of a new humanism in Asia.
 


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