Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva
Switzerland, Liechtenstein

statement680

Human Rights Council - 28th Regular Session

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on DPR of Korea

Australian statement

16 March 2015

Australia remains deeply troubled by the DPRK’s systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations.

We thank the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK for persisting in his important work and producing yet another insightful report. It provides an update on an important aspect of the work of the Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the DPRK.

Australia welcomes the proposed multi-track strategy aimed at addressing international abductions, enforced disappearances and related matters. The strategy provides a strong approach for all stakeholders in the international community to maintain momentum and focus on these concerning issues.

Australia is very disappointed at the backward steps taken by the Government of the DPRK on its engagement on human rights issues. Despite accepting 113 of the recommendations of its second universal periodic review in September 2014 and signalling improvements in access for international human rights officials and an interest in receiving technical assistance on these issues, it is now clear that these signs of positive engagement were not proffered in good faith.

The DPRK’s continuing refusal to allow access by the Rapporteur and the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights remains an affront to the United Nations and its members, and a clear indication that the DPRK is unwilling to engage constructively on human rights issues.

We would welcome the Special Rapporteur’s views on how he, in conjunction with the OHCHR field-based structure, intends to find avenues to engage with the DPRK.

We call on the Government of the DPRK to immediately begin protecting and promoting the human rights of its people, and to participate in meaningful and constructive engagement on human rights.