UNITED NATIONS The United States and eight allies on the United Nations Safety Council on Thursday referred to as for reviving discussions on human rights in North Korea, which has been accused by a U.N. inquiry of abuses comparable to Nazi-era atrocities.
“Last year in December the U.N. Safety Council convened for the 1st time in history to talk about the human rights in (North Korea),” Hagar Chemali, spokeswoman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, stated in a statement.
“Right now, Chile, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States have requested an additional meeting of the Security Council to examine circumstances in DPRK (North Korea) and their effects on international peace and safety,” she added.
Chemali stated the United States, which holds the council’s rotating presidency this month, would operate rapidly to schedule the meeting.
Final month China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, said it would be a “poor thought” for the 15-nation Safety Council to hold such a meeting, adding that the council “is not about human rights.” [nL1N136007]
The Safety Council added human rights in North Korea to its agenda last year, despite objections by China that led to a uncommon procedural vote. Beijing is a sturdy ally of Pyongyang.
When speaking to reporters last month, Liu did not rule out a new procedural vote, though Western diplomats say they have enough votes to overcome Chinese objections.
China’s and North Korea’s U.N. missions did not respond right away to requests for comment.
A year ago this month the 193-member U.N. Common Assembly urged the U.N. Security Council to take into account referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court following a U.N. Commission of Inquiry detailed wide-ranging abuses in the hermit Asian state.
China is most likely to veto any Security Council bid to refer North Korea to the ICC, diplomats said.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Energy stated it was crucial to keep council discussions on the situation in North Korea alive.
“We believe it is essential for the council to continue to shine a light on the abuses in North Korea and speak regularly about the DPRK’s human rights circumstance – and what we can do to adjust it – for as long as the crimes committed there persist,” she said in the statement.
(Additonal reporting by Michelle Nichols Editing by Sandra Maler)