"Record backing expected for UN anti-death penalty vote," is the AFP report.
A record number of countries are expected to back a UN General Assembly call for a moratorium on capital punishment on Thursday, diplomats said.
The vote held every two years now sees the likes of the United States, Japan, China, Iran and Iraq stuck in a shrinking minority as pressure grows for an end to executions.
About 150 countries now have at least a moratorium on capital punishment and just 21 were reported to have carried out executions in 2011, according to rights groups.
European nations have pressed hard for votes backing a moratorium at the UN vote. Norway's ambassador Geir Pedersen said there could be 112 or 113 countries in favor this year, up from 107 in 2010.
But Pedersen said the growing numbers supporting a moratorium show "this is no longer dominated by western countries. This is a global campaign."
"The importance of the vote is that it sends a very strong message to the international community across the board," Pedersen told AFP. "The General Assembly is the one place where all nations are represented and you have a strong majority in favor of a moratorium."
"There is a global trend toward fewer countries executing people and for us, it is an important issue of principle," the ambassador added.
The General Assembly will also have votes Thursday on human rights in Syria, Iran and North Korea where western nations hope that big majorities will put increased political pressure on the governments.