Human Rights Council 46th 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
9 March 2021 Check against delivery
We thank the Special Rapporteur for his report.
Norway is deeply concerned about the grave human rights situation and the systematic and widespread violations in the DPRK, as described in the report.
[The deteriorating economy and difficult humanitarian situation in the DPRK have been further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters in 2020.] Norway shares the Special Rapporteur’s concern about the impact of the Government of the DPRK’s severe COVID-19 measures on the human rights situation in the country. We support the recommendation to the DPRK to explore ways to strike a balance between necessary disease prevention measures and the basic economic and social rights of the people.
We urge the Government of the DPRK to facilitate unimpeded access to medical staff involved in COVID-19 vaccinations and to humanitarian agencies providing critical assistance. The DPRK should be commended for constructive cooperation with the COVAX facility.
Norway appreciates that the Special Rapporteur in his report highlights the importance of ensuring accountability for human rights violations in the DPRK.
We support the Special Rapporteur’s two-track approach of promoting engagement with the DPRK, and establishing accountability mechanisms for serious human rights violations committed in the country, in line with international human rights standards.
We call on the DPRK to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur, and to engage with the UN human rights mechanisms.