DPRK: UN passes historic resolution calling for accountability

Press release

Paris, New York, 19 November 2014 - FIDH welcomes the adoption of the landmark resolution on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), by the Third Committee (charged with human rights issues) of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, requesting the UN Security Council to consider referring the situation in the DPRK to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Considering the failure of the North Korean authorities to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations, the UN Member States have decided that it was time to put an end to the mass atrocities and to hold those perpetrators accountable ,” declared Karim Lahidji, FIDH President. “ This resolution is a very important step in the direction of justice. We now hope that the Security Council will respond to this call and refer the situation to the ICC .”

The resolution, adopted by an overwhelming number of the world’s nations (111 votes in favour / 19 votes against / 55 abstentions), reiterates the international community’s deep concern at “the grave human rights situation, the pervasive culture of impunity and the lack of accountability for human rights violations in North Korea.”

The resolution is based on the reports of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the DPRK [1], in addition to reports from the UN Special Rapporteur on the DPRK who is still denied access to the country by the authorities. These UN experts have concluded that the long-standing, ongoing, systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights in the DPRK, ranging from torture, rape, public executions to extensive use of forced labor, amount to crimes against humanity.

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