Participants from over 90 countries will be present when Norway is hosting the World Congress against the death penalty this week.
Foreign Minister Brende will open the congress on Tuesday, which is the sixth in the series.
Brende points out that Norway has for several years worked to ensure that all countries abolish capital punishment by law or introduce a halt to executions and join an international ban.
– It is gratifying that more and more countries renounce the death penalty, but we are also concerned that a record number of people were sentenced to death last year, says Brende.
1,600 executed last year
Over 1,600 people in 25 countries were reported executed last year, whilst nearly 2,000 people in 61 countries were sentenced to death, according to the Foreign Ministry. This is the highest figure in 25 years.
Opposition to renouncing the death penalty is greatest in Asia and Arab countries, says the French organization ECPM, which behind Congress.
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran accounted for 89 per cent of completed executions last year. China was not ,however, included in the statistics because information about executions is kept secret.
The situation in Asia will be a discussion topic during the congress. Moreover, participants will look at how the death penalty is used in the fight against terrorism, and how Iran may be influenced by being allowed into the warmth as a result of the nuclear agreement .
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today