The State Parties to this Protocol desire
to undertake an international commitment to abolish the death penalty,
as they believe that the abolition of the death penalty contributes to
enhancement of human dignity and progressive development of human rights.
The Protocol is open for signature by any State that has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
There can be little doubt that disaster preparedness saves lives. Before noon on Dec. 7. 1988, an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale struck Soviet Armenia, killing at least 25,000 people according to official Soviet estimates. Less than one year later, an earthquake of similar magnitude jolted San Francisco, California, shortly before rush hour. However. this earthquake claimed fewer than 70 lives. In Armenia, most of the victims died when their multi-story apartment buildings crumbled and collapsed on them.