AUSTRALIAN diplomacy should be pro-active in seeking the abolition of the death penalty, especially in Asian nations, a Labor foreign affairs committee says.
The vast majority of the world's executions occur in Asia, where the death penalty is practiced in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines and Japan.
Walt Secord, a member of the NSW Labor Party's International Affairs Committee, said it was unfortunate Australia only reflected on the death penalty when a national was convicted overseas.
"Since more executions take place in our region than anywhere else in the world, we felt Australia should take it up internationally through the UN," he said.
"Australia has co-sponsored UN resolutions on the abolition of the death penalty and that is welcomed, but we need to do much more."
The committee, chaired by former senator Sue West, will ask the ALP's next state conference in June to back a plan to commit the Federal Government to a campaign to reduce the number of countries carrying out executions.
If passed, the proposal would then be debated by federal Labor and, if passed again, become the policy of the next Labor government in Canberra.
Worldwide, 88 nations have abolished the death penalty, 10 have retained it for treason and war crimes and 37 have de facto abolition having not performed an execution for 10 years.