Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan on the Adoption of the Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) at the Third Committee of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
November 19, 2014
1. Japan highly appreciates the fact that on November 19 (November 18 local time), at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly currently being held in New York, the Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in the DPRK, co-tabled by Japan and the European Union (EU) and co-sponsored by a record number of 62 countries, was put to the vote and adopted (for the 10 consecutive year) by 111 affirmative votes (19 opposing votes).
2. The content of this year’s resolution is stronger than the past Resolutions on the Situation of Human Rights in the DPRK that have been adopted at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly thus far. This resolution is based on a report released in February this year by the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK (COI) established by the UN Human Rights Council, and on the Human Rights Council’s Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in the DPRK adopted by majority vote in March this year. More specifically, along with condemnation of the DPRK’s systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights, this resolution refers to “crimes against humanity” and encourages the UN Security Council to take appropriate action, including consideration of referral of the situation in the DRPK to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
3. Upon this voting, there were moves which have never been observed in previous years such as submission of a proposal to amend the draft resolution. However, the fact that the resolution was nevertheless adopted and the number of affirmative votes almost matched the largest number of affirmative votes ever cast at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly (112 votes, 2011) demonstrates the international community’s strong concerns about human rights violations in the DPRK, including the abductions issue. Japan strongly hopes that the situation of the human rights in the DPRK would be improved, including the early resolution of the abductions issue, and continues to strongly urge the DPRK, in cooperation with the international community, to take concrete actions towards this end.