The International Commission against the Death Penalty (ICDP or Commission) held the 10th meeting of its Commissioners in Madrid on 17 and 18 December 2015.
ICDP President Mr. Federico Mayor opened the meeting and welcomed three new Commissioners: Ms Navi Pillay, Ms Sylvie Kayitesi and Mr. Horacio Verbitsky. During the meeting, the Commission presented a report with the main activities undertaken this year, notably the ICDP move to Madrid, missions to the Vatican, China, Guyana; participation by Commissioners at the first biennial high-level panel discussion organized by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva during the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council, on the question of the death penalty, which focused on ´Regional efforts aiming at the abolition of the death penalty and challenges faced in that regard´ in March; participation in the OHCHR meeting on the death penalty and minorities and migrant workers in Geneva; half day discussion with members of the UN Human Rights Committee in July on the new General Comment on Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Geneva; conferences attended by Commissioners including `The III Session on the Death Penalty´ in Madrid in March, ´Religion and death penalty´ in Paris in March, ´Prospects to abolish the death penalty´ in Toledo, Spain, and in Oslo, Norway, at the 3rd Oslo Symposium on Capital Punishment in December.
While expressing concern at the continued use of the death penalty in countries including Pakistan, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United States (US), the Commissioners welcomed the abolition of the death penalty in Suriname, the US state of Nebraska, in Mongolia, and the accession by Togo to the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.
The Commissioners discussed strategies and future priority areas of work for the Commission for the next two years.
The Commissioners also discussed the future of ICDP, including organizational changes and following the deliberations, a decision was made to formalize the Commission as a non-profit association to be established in Madrid, for an indefinite period, under Spanish law and to locate the ICDP Secretariat in Madrid on a more permanent basis.