UN HRC52: General Comment – L.19 The situation of human rights in the DPRK, as delivered by UK Ambassador to the WTO & the UN in Geneva, Simon Manley.

Simon Manley CMG

Thank you Mr President.

Let me begin by thanking the main sponsors of this initiative for their constructive efforts on a critical resolution detailing the dire human rights situation in the DPRK.

The UK continues to support the vital mandate of the Special Rapporteur in continuing to shine a spotlight on the systematic and widespread human rights violations by the DPRK.

As the latest OHCHR report has painfully detailed, and in the words of the High Commissioner himself: forced repatriations, State-sponsored abductions and enforced disappearances demand action. Widespread and systematic sexual and gender-based violence must end. Which is why we support this text as presented to the Council today.

The DPRK must cease diverting resources to its illegal weapons programme, and instead prioritise its peoples’ basic economic needs which are so desperately required. We urge the DPRK to engage constructively with the international community to address its human rights record, and to work to bring about permanent change and improvements for the people of North Korea.

We remind the DPRK that restrictive COVID-19 measures should not be used as a tool to further constrain the freedom of its citizens, or to restrict the ability of the international community to engage with authorities in Pyongyang.

Mr President,

The UK has co-sponsored this text and we call upon all other delegations to do so.

Thank you.

Published 4 April 2023