Panel on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Mr President,

Norway remains deeply concerned about the human rights situation in the DPRK, for the people, their dignity and wellbeing. We welcome this opportunity to uphold the international focus on the situation and on strategies going forward, and thank the panel for their presentations. The proposal for further accountability measures deserves a follow up.

Let us remind ourselves that the Human Rights Council unanimously mandated the Commission of Inquiry. Subsequent to its findings, the HRC and the (General Assembly) GA have adopted widely supported resolutions calling for firm action by the Government of the DPRK, including critical engagement with the UN and the Special Rapporteur. The (UN) Security Council remains seized with the matter of accountability for serious crimes. Norway supports this continuum.

It is also important to build on the DPRK’s acceptance of recommendations within the UPR (Universal Periodic Review). We appreciate the DPRK’s initial engagement and encourage the Government in its implementation to seek cooperation with the OHCHR, as well as with countries ready to share their experiences.

We regret the suspension of the first contacts with the special rapporteur and call on the DPRK to cooperate fully with the mandate holder.  Furthermore, we believe the DPRK and its people would benefit immensely from cooperation with other UN procedures and mechanisms. As a long time provider of humanitarian assistance Norway, sees the potential benefits for the country to the opening up to thematic mechanisms as opportunities not to be missed by the DPRK.

Finally, Norway believes a contact group as proposed would be a wise track to follow, and would call on the DPRK to welcome and cooperate with such a group should it be established.