September 16, 2019
 In 2023-Use of the Death Penalty

Country: Canada
Delegate Name: Dia Sriram

In the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, a fundamental work of our national government, it is clearly said that every individual is guaranteed a right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. Still, just like many other constitutional documents, this could be up to interpretation, but our general consensus and various supreme court decisions definitively suggest that the death penaly is included in the category of ‘cruel punishment’. Our country has a firm stance on the death penalty, and though there is a population of Canadian citizens who disagree, since 1998 Canada has abolished the death penalty and been a vocal opposition to this practice.

Globally, the trend is skewed towards the abolition of the death penalty. As of 2021, there have been 108 countries to abolish the death penalty for all crimes, and 144 countries have abolished it in law or practice. Historically, abolition of the death penalty has been sucessful even in countries like Kazakhstan and the Central African Republic who have only removed their practice of this punishment last year. In these countries as well as Canada, it is shown that there is no evidence that the death penalty deters crime in a more effective manner than other punishment, and the risk of wrongful conviction with the death penalty is one that is completely against Canadian values. We believe that the growth of the perspectives of many countries relating to this punishment is very beneficial to the progress of international policy and we will continue to refuse extradition requests to countries that still practice the death penalty unless there are assurances that a death penalty will not be sought.

Canada understands that the UN opposes the death penalty and has called on states that maintain the death penalty to establish a moratorium on its use with potential abolition in mind. We fully supported the 2022 resolution for a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty that 125 nations adopted. In light of these results, we would like to continue and broaden the effort towards the universal abolition of the death penalty. Our first proposition is to promote a global moritorium that all countries are encouraged to establish. The next would be to develop international programs dedicated to education about the risks and ethical issues associated with the death penalty. Our final proposition is to push for transparency in the use of the death penalty among all countries to further protect citizens of all nations as well as citizens of abolitionist countries, like Canadians, who may be at risk of the death penalty in foreign countries.

We believe that by promoting this solution for the death penalty, the world can continue to grow into a juster, kinder, and more democratic place where all citizens can feel protected and face justice in a way that is deserved yet humanitarian. The integral values of Canada, democracy, people, and integrity, are all ones that can and should be essential in global policy, and working towards including these in the international handling of the death penalty can be a major step towards this. Thank you.

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