Human Rights Council 52nd Session.
Item 4 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on
the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith,
Permanent Representative of Norway on behalf of the Nordic Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden
Check against delivery
20 March 2023
I have the honor of delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries.
We thank the Special Rapporteur for her latest report. We are deeply concerned about the serious systematic and widespread human rights violations in the DPRK, some of which, as pointed out by the Secretary-General, may amount to crimes against humanity. The complete absence of an independent and impartial judiciary provides no national recourse for human rights violations in the country.
We are particularly worried about the situation for women and girls, the prevalence of SGBV, the use of forced labor and the prevention of persons leaving or entering the country.
The disproportionate share of the DPRK’s state budget allocated to military spending cripples the ability of the DPRK to meet its own population’s basic needs.
We urge the DPRK to cooperate fully with the UN and the OHCHR and take meaningful and measurable steps to improve the human rights situation in the country, including opening its borders for humanitarian assistance.
[Efforts to support dialogue must be continued to achieve lasting peace and stability on the peninsula.]
In the Special Rapporteur’s view, how can we best engage with DPRK to improve the human rights situation in the country?