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DPRK: Italy, “human rights violations may constitute war crimes”

NEW YORK, DECEMBER 11 – “Social and political repression is distinctive of the protracted isolation in which North Koreans are forced to live”, the Italian Permanent Representative to the UN Sebastiano Cardi denounced during a Security Council meeting on the situation in DPRK requested by Italy and other eight members of the Council while at UN headquarters authorities marked the beginning of the year dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Declaration if Human Rights.

The Security Council was briefed by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenca: “There is a serious pattern of human rights violations. Crimes against humanity are now being committed. It is a collective responsibility to protect the citizens of North Korea and the stability of the region”. Tomorrow, the Security Council will be briefed in consultations by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman who just got back from a short visit to North Korea from December 5 to 8, the first visit by a senior Secretariat official since 2011, while on the 15 a ministerial meeting will examine the situation in the DPRK following the latest missile and nuclear tests and new report of a North Korean regime’s interest in biochemical weapons.

During today meeting, Italy expressed its gravest concern the lack of accountability. “The North Korean regime continues to deny its citizens even the most basic rights and liberties among a reported surge in arbitrary detention, the unsolved issues of abductions and enforced disappearances, widespread torture as well as forced repatriations”, Cardi said, stressing that some of the most serious human rights violations in the DPRK may constitute war crimes.

“The systematic suppression of such rights is among the regime’s top priorities, as it suffocates any form of dissent in order to ensure its own survival. We must not forget the tens of thousands of political prisoners who continue to be subjected to the harshest forms of abuse in the regime’s vast network of camps. Full accountability for those flagrant violations to international norms and conventions has to be ensured, including through ICC referrals”, said the Italian ambassador.

To read Ambassador cardi full speech, click here. (@OnuItalia)

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