General Comment

Thank you, Mr. President. 

Consistent with our support for the amendments to L.37 resolution on the question of death penalty, the Philippines reaffirms the "sovereign right of all States to develop their own legal systems, determining appropriate legal penalties, in accordance with their international law obligations.”

We have reservations about re-interpreting General Comments of treaty bodies beyond its prescriptive nature. Notwithstanding our best intentions, resolutions in the Council should not create misunderstandings about General Comments, which do not serve as legally-binding interpretations of treaties.

We take the view that the application of a moratorium on the death penalty, the abolition of the death penalty or its retention are matters that are discussed and decided within Constitutional national processes, in a manner that properly considers the perspectives of victims and their families on what states regard as the most serious crimes.

We regret the unwillingness of the pen holders of the resolution to take on board such critical considerations.

For these reasons, the Philippines will vote to abstain on L.37.

Thank you, Mr. President. END.