Vienna, 29 July 2016 - The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), as part of the United Nations Secretariat, opposes the death penalty in every circumstance, and regrets that the appeal of the Secretary-General to stop the execution of a number of prisoners for alleged drug-related crimes was not heeded.
As the leading entity in the UN system for addressing and countering the world drug problem, UNODC stresses that the death penalty is not supported by the international drug control conventions.
As the Secretary-General has emphasized, the United Nations opposes the use of capital punishment in all circumstances. Under international law, if the death penalty is to be used at all, it should only be imposed for the "most serious crimes," namely those involving intentional killing. Drug crimes are generally not considered to meet this threshold.
UNODC, in view of its broad mandate addressing the challenges of drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism, will continue to support every country to intercept and interrupt drug trafficking; to bring drug traffickers to justice with the appropriate legal safeguards; and to promote drug use prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, with the aim of protecting the health, safety and welfare of people and communities everywhere.
For more information, please contact:
Programme Officer, Speechwriting and Communication Team, UNODC
Phone: (+43 1) 26060-4990
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-4990