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 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
(Statement by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida)
November 20, 2015
1. Japan highly appreciates the fact that on November 20 (November 19 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), was put to vote and adopted (for the 11th consecutive year) by 112 affirmative votes (19 opposing votes), exceeding last year’s result.
2. This year’s resolution is strong in its content for it is based on last year’s UN General Assembly resolution, which reflected the content of the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK (COI), and on the Human Rights Council’s resolution of March this year. More specifically, along with the condemnation of the DPRK’s systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights as last year’s resolution, it encourages the UN Security Council to take appropriate action, including through the consideration of referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) of the situation in the DPRK and the scope for sanctions. Furthermore, the resolution also incorporates new content, such as its expectation towards the continued and active engagement of the UN Security Council on this matter, and the welcoming of the establishment of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Seoul Office, while also welcoming the fact that the UN Security Council discussed the situation of human rights in the DPRK in December last year.
3. The adoption of this year’s resolution by more affirmative votes (112 votes) than last year (111 votes) demonstrates the international community’s strong concerns about human rights violations in the DPRK, including the abductions issue. Japan strongly hopes for the early resolution of the abductions issue and for the improvement in the human rights situation in the DPRK as a whole and continues to strongly urge the DPRK, in cooperation with the international community, to take concrete action towards this end.