Friday, March 1 – Closing Ceremony

3 pm - 5 pm Official closing Ceremony
Bozar Horta Hall

The Closing ceremony announces the initiatives developed during the Congress, future commitments, and reads out the participants’ final declaration. It is the place for the synergies which exist between the political, associative, legal, and academic spheres to be expressed.

Moderation by Susan Kigula, former death row prisoner from Uganda & Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, American writer


Opening remarks

  • Paul Dujardin, CEO and Artistic Director of Bozar
  • Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Kingdom of Belgium
  • Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)*


Messages of States in support of the abolition of the death penalty

  • Sévérin Quénum, Minister of Justice and Legislation, Republic of Benin – message on behalf of the member states of the Core Group of the World Congresses Against the Death Penalty
  • Other States representatives to be confirmed


United Nations commitments in favour of the abolition movement:

  • Video message of Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights*


Artistic performance

  • Ballaké Sissoko, musician and master of kora, Mali


Initiatives in favour of abolition: common messages

  • Parliamentarians against the Death Penalty
  • National Human Rights Institutions against the death penalty
  • Bar associations against the death penalty
  • Video message of Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International


From the abolition of the death penalty to the respect of all human rights

  • Ensaf Haidar, wife of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, laureate of the 2015 Sakharov Prize*
  • Fatimata Mbaye, attorney of Mohamed Mekhtir, Mauritanian blogger sentenced to death for apostasy


4th Edition of the international contest “Draw Me Abolition”

  • Nomination of the winners


Reading of the final declaration

  • Reading by a member of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty


Closing of the 7th World Congress

  • Launch of the Global March for the abolition of the death penalty by a representative of ECPM


Ceremony followed by the Global March for the abolition of the death penalty in the streets of Brussels



*To be confirmed