Adoption of the Agenda Item “the Situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”
- Commission of inquiry
- Human Rights
- Peace and Security
UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL
Statement by HE Mr Gary Quinlan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations
Thank you Mr President, and thank you for convening this meeting
I will make only a few brief remarks.
I would like to start by reading the letter that a group of ten Council members addressed to you, Mr President, in your capacity as President of the Council, on 5 December 2014. The letter stated, and I quote:
"We the undersigned members of the Security Council – Australia, Chile, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, the United Kingdom and the United States – are deeply concerned about the situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
We are particularly concerned by the scale and gravity of human rights violations detailed in the comprehensive report undertaken by the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (A/HRC/25/63), contained in document S/2014/276. These violations threaten to have a destabilizing impact on the region and the maintenance of international peace and security.
Therefore, we write to request that the situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea be formally placed on the Council's agenda without prejudice to the item on non-proliferation in the DPRK. We request a meeting of the Security Council on the situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, pursuant to Rule 2 of the Council's Provisional Rules of Procedure, and request that a senior official from the UN Secretariat and a senior official from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights formally brief at a meeting of the Security Council under that agenda item, which will enable Council members to receive further information from the Secretariat on this situation and its implications for international peace and security."
The letter was issued as Council document S/2014/872.
The ten members of the Council which signed the letter are firstly seeking the establishment of a new agenda item, "the situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" under which the Council can, as a matter of urgency and then as necessary, consider the serious and deteriorating human rights situation in that country. Given the gravity and systematic nature of the human rights violations taking place in the DPRK, and the threat to the maintenance of international peace and security, we do not consider that this can be appropriately considered by the Council on an ad hoc or informal basis.
Second, a formal Council meeting under the new agenda item must take place today. Rule 2 of the Council's Provisional Rules of Procedure provides that the President shall call a meeting of the Security Council on the request of any one member of the Council – and it has been over two weeks since ten Council members requested such a meeting.
We should therefore proceed to adopt the provisional agenda on "the situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea".