The UN General Assembly Urges The Security Council To Refer The Situation Of Human Rights In The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea To The International Criminal Court
The UN General Assembly Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) recently adopted a resolution that urges the Security Council to refer the North Korea’s human rights situation to the International Criminal Court.
Let's recall that the United Nations Human Rights Council established the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea more than a year ago. This Commission aims to investigate "the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, with a view to ensuring full accountability, in particular for violations which may amount to crimes against humanity".
In his statement to the 25th session of the Human Rights Council, Mr Michael Kirby, Chair of the Commission, affirmed: "The gravity, scale, duration and nature of the unspeakable atrocities committed in the country reveal a totalitarian State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world"2.
On 18 November 2014, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly approved a resolution by a recorded vote of 111 in favor to 19 against, with 55 abstentions. By this resolution, the Third Committee "encourages the Council to consider the relevant conclusions and recommendations of the commission and take appropriate action to ensure accountability, including through consideration of referral of the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the International Criminal Court and consideration of the scope for effective targeted sanctions against those who appear to be most responsible for acts that the commission has said may constitute crimes against humanity".
The day before the resolution was adopted, Amnesty International published a press release that asked the UN General Assembly to adopt this "landmark resolution"4. Let's hope this resolution will be a step forward accountability for widespread violations of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.