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Human Rights Council, Geneva : UK Statement on UN Commission of Inquiry, 17 March 2014

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

UK Statement on UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)

Mr President,

The UK fully supports the statement of the European Union.

The UK strongly welcomes the report of the Commission of Inquiry and its work systematically to collect detailed and objective evidence of the appalling human rights situation in the DPRK.

For too long, ordinary North Koreans have suffered and died at the hands of a regime that has shown scant respect for even the most basic principles of human rights.

We all have a responsibility to respond to the damning report. The Commission’s finding that the human rights violations taking place in the DPRK constitute crimes against humanity is a conclusion to which the international community must respond

The UK will work closely with partners to ensure this Council sends a strong message to the DPRK that there can be no impunity for these crimes, and that those responsible for human rights violations, at all levels, will be held to account. In the UK’s view this ultimately means criminal investigation by a competent international organ of justice, such as the International Criminal Court.

The DPRK must act now to end this deplorable human rights situation. The DPRK’s refusal to engage with the Commission demonstrates a deeply concerning unwillingness to acknowledge the truth, but it is never too late. We urge the DPRK to implement the Commission’s recommendations, in particular by closing political prison camps and giving full and unimpeded access to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other relevant United Nations entities.

The UK would like to hear from the Commission which of their recommendations they believe have the most potential to have an immediate impact on the human rights situation in the DPRK.