The U.N. human rights office has welcomed Connecticut's move to end the death penalty for future crimes and urged other U.S. states to do the same.

A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says the United States was ranked among the top five countries carrying out executions in 2011.

Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva on Friday that the other four countries are China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Colville says the U.N. human rights office hopes California will take the same step in November as Connecticut and 16 other states previously.

He says the global body hopes federal U.S. authorities will also eventually abolish capital punishment.