Visit to Japan of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
August 22, 2013
The UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will visit Japan from August 27 to September 1 to investigate the human rights situation in North Korea, including the abduction issue.
The COI was established in March this year based on the UN Human Rights Council resolution on the situation of human rights in the DPRK, which was co-sponsored by Japan and the EU.
The COI, composed of Mr. Michel Kirby (i), Mr. Marzuki Darusman (ii), and Mrs. Sonja Biserko (iii), will pay courtesy calls on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and Keiji Furuya, Minister in charge of the Abduction Issue, as well as meet with the Association for Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea and other parties concerned. They will also conduct hearings with experts on North Korea and NGOs. The relevant governmental ministries and agencies will jointly explain to them the human rights situation in North Korea, including the abduction issue.
(i) Michael Kirby is the COI Chairman, and a former judge of the High Court of Australia.
(ii) Marzuki Darusman is the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK.
(iii) Sonja Biserko is the President of Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.
The COI is requested to submit a report on the human rights situation in North Korea to the UN Human Rights Council in March next year. The Government of Japan strongly hopes that the COI’s work will shed light on North Korea’s grave human rights situation, including abductions of foreign nationals, and draw further attention of the international community, so that it will urge North Korea more strongly to take concrete measures to improve the situation.