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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea accepts none of UPR’s 167 recommendations
Monday, 22 March 2010 11:11

 

The adoption by the Human Rights Council of the report of the universal periodic review of the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK) took place on 18 March 2010. The DPRK had rejected 50 recommendations at the initial UPR Working Group phase, and failed to submit in writing its position on 117 pending recommendations prior to the Human Rights Council adoption.  Likewise, in his presentation to the Council, the Ambassador of the DPRK stressed his State’s willingness to cooperate, having already ‘given answers and explanations in good faith to questions’ during the UPR, but he then proceeded to ignore all outstanding recommendations. The Ambassador stated in vague terms that efforts were underway to improve economic and social rights, as well as women’s and children’s rights, and that there is no discrimination in the DPRK. It claimed that 50 recommendations had been rejected as they were ‘in full conflict with the DPRK’s principled stand against politicisation of human rights’. He made no reference to other specific recommendations.


The interventions of States were clearly divided among those who interpreted the DPRK's participation as a sufficient sign of cooperation (Algeria, Cuba, Sudan, Pakistan, Venezuela, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka), and those who were clearly unhappy with the State’s lack of clarity in relation to all pending recommendations (Japan, Republic of Korea, United States, France). Human Rights Watch was most condemnatory of the DPRK’s behaviour, stating that it neither cooperated with nor understood the UPR process, that it claimed to have held national consultations with civil society but that in reality suppression is so severe that civil society does not exist in the country, and that they had purposefully ignored important recommendations related to labour camps, arbitrary detention, collective punishment, and restrictions on religious practices.

 

France asserted that the Ambassador needed to answer the question of which recommendations had been accepted, or they would interpret the DPRK's actions as non-cooperation with the Council. In his closing comments the Ambassador of the DPRK claimed that he simply ‘took note’ of such recommendations. On moving to the adoption of the report, Norway intervened to support France’s assertion that the DPRK’s position was unclear, and therefore requested a two minute suspension to clarify the matter. Cuba, on the other hand, expressed that the DPRK’s noting of recommendations was in accordance with the UPR and their right as a sovereign State. Upon resuming, the Ambassador of the DPRK simply reiterated that he took note of the outstanding recommendations. This prompted France to state that it understood this to mean that the DPRK had not accepted any of the UPR’s 167 recommendations. The DPRK did not respond and the report was adopted.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 17:13
 
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