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Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK

Statement, 12 March 2018

As delivered by Minister Counsellor Herborg F. Alvsåker 

 

Norway extends its thanks to the Special Rapporteur for his latest report on the human rights situation in the DPRK. We share his grave concern regarding the continued and ongoing systematic and widespread human rights violations in the country, as well as the dim prospects of the possibility to improve the situation. We are particularly concerned about the conditions for prisoners and the restrictions on free speech, freedom of thought and access to information.

Improving the protection of human rights must remain high on the international agenda. Furthermore, we share the Special Rapporteur’s concern that the implementation of Security Council sanctions might have an adverse impact on humanitarian needs.  In this regard, we support the call on the DPRK to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur and relevant parts of the United Nations in order to avoid unintended adverse impact of sanctions.  

We share the Special Rapporteur’s views that the recent rapprochement between the two Koreas is a significant step forward and represents an opportunity to improve the situation through closer cooperation with the international community.

We would appreciate comments by the Special Rapporteur as to how member states (through national or international engagement) could strengthen their support for the efforts to improve the human rights situation in the DPRK.