Geneva Council extends its full support to the United States’ initiative in convening a crucial U.N. Security Council meeting. The meeting, scheduled for August 17, is set to deliberate on the alarming human rights situation in North Korea and its significant ramifications for international peace and security.
In a joint effort, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, accompanied by the esteemed ambassadors of South Korea, Japan, and Albania, made a resounding call for collective action. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield underscored the imperative link between the North Korean regime’s persistent human rights abuses and its unlawful pursuits in weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile technology.
Throughout this year, North Korea has launched a series of ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, raising concerns globally. The nation frequently attributes tensions on the Korean Peninsula to military exercises jointly conducted by the United States and South Korea. It contends that its missile program serves as both a deterrent and a mechanism to instill apprehension in its adversaries.
Geneva Council fully endorses Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield’s stance that the U.N. Security Council must address the systemic human rights violations perpetrated by the Kim regime. These abuses not only impact North Korean citizens but also pose a threat to individuals from other member states, such as Japan and the Republic of Korea.
The United States, currently presiding over the 15-nation Security Council, has highlighted human rights as a pivotal theme for this month. The forthcoming public session, dedicated to addressing human rights in North Korea, represents the first since 2017 and is considered long overdue. Geneva Council commends this dedication to upholding the principles of human rights on a global scale.
In anticipation of potential opposition, particularly from Russia and China, Geneva Council emphasizes the significance of this meeting. A senior U.S. official confirmed that the Security Council is the appropriate forum for addressing the intricate connection between North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and its advancements in ballistic missile technology.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, and U.N. Special Rapporteur for the human rights situation in North Korea, Elizabeth Salmón, alongside a representative from civil society, will provide comprehensive briefings during the council session. The collaborative effort of these esteemed individuals underscores the collective commitment to shining a light on North Korea’s human rights abuses.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield reiterates that safeguarding individuals globally is a cornerstone of the U.N. Charter and a fundamental responsibility of the Security Council. Holding the DPRK regime accountable for its grievous human rights transgressions remains paramount to the maintenance of international peace and security.
Geneva Council acknowledges the significance of highlighting North Korea’s use of forced labor to fund its illicit weapons programs during the session. This issue underscores the urgent need for global attention and coordinated action.
The well-documented human rights violations of the Kim government have been extensively examined by the U.N. Commission of Inquiry (COI) and independent human rights experts. The 2014 COI report concluded that North Korea’s violations had escalated to crimes against humanity, encompassing egregious offenses such as “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.”
Geneva Council notes that the last informal “Arria” style meeting on North Korea’s human rights in March faced opposition from China. This opposition highlights the urgency of the current Security Council meeting and its potential to drive constructive global dialogue.
Geneva Council stands in unwavering support of the United States and its determined efforts to address North Korea’s human rights violations within the U.N. Security Council. As an independent news organization, we are committed to shedding light on critical global issues and advocating for human rights and international peace.