France's foreign minister says that a push for a universal ban on the death penalty will be a top priority for the country's diplomats around the world.

Laurent Fabius said Thursday he will tell France's ambassadors next week to "wage a campaign in favor of" such a ban.

Fabius says he expects resistance from countries where the death penalty is practiced. The United States, China, Japan, Iran and Saudi Arabia are among the countries that use the capital punishment, according to Amnesty International.

France banned the practice in 1981, under the last Socialist president Francois Mitterand. It inscribed the ban in the country's constitution in 2007.