The UN General Assembly will hold a plenary session Monday morning in New York (early Tuesday, Seoul time), during which member nations are likely to reach a consensus on a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues.
The UN has adopted resolutions condemning human rights violations in North Korea every year since 2005.
Consensus is likely to be reached on this year’s resolution, as with similar resolutions at the UN General Assembly last year and at a meeting of the Third Committee last month.
As in previous years, the European Union and Japan took the lead in drafting the resolution after hearing other members’ opinions.
The South Korean government has taken part in joint proposals denouncing North Korean rights violations each year since 2008.
The resolution condemns the systematic, widespread and grave human rights violations in the North and demands that the country immediately shut down its gulags. It also calls upon the North to free all political prisoners and find out who is responsible for the rights violations.
It cites the 2014 report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea, which describes crimes such as torture, inhumane treatment, rape, forced labor, public executions, arbitrary imprisonment and execution, and lack of acceptable procedures to protect human rights.
The resolution recommends that the UN Security Council consider the Commission of Inquiry’s conclusion and refer the North Korean human rights situation to the International Criminal Court. It also recommends selective sanctions against those most responsible for crimes against humanity.
It also stressed that the UN commission has urged the North Korean leadership to prevent crimes against humanity, indict perpetrators and guarantee judicial action against them.
The expressions “those most responsible” and “the North Korean leadership” point to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
For five consecutive years since 2014, the UN resolutions have called for the referral of the country’s rights situation to the ICC and punishment of those responsible.
This year’s resolution had one addition: that it welcomes the ongoing diplomatic efforts.
North Korea is expected to denounce the adoption of the resolution, as it did at last month’s Third Committee meeting.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)