New Zealand Statement 49th Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on DPRK

Ministry Statements & Speeches:

Mr President,

New Zealand welcomes the report provided by the Special Rapporteur and endorses its recommendations.

New Zealand is gravely concerned by the further deterioration of the human rights situation in the DPRK.

New Zealand is concerned that the DPRK’s prolonged border closure has contributed to the worsening human rights situation and exacerbated chronic food insecurity. We endorse the Special Rapporteur’s recommendation that the DPRK fulfil the necessary technical requirements for receiving vaccines under COVAX. This must include granting full and unimpeded access to both medical and related staff involved in COVID-19 vaccines and to humanitarian actors providing critical support.

New Zealand is committed to the abolition of the death penalty worldwide. We are particularly concerned by the DPRK’s Law on the Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture, which contains grossly disproportionate punishments, including the death penalty for accessing information and foreign content. We strongly endorse the Special Rapporteur’s recommendation for the DPRK to urgently review this legislation.

The Special Rapporteur is a critical role to hold the DPRK to account for its human rights violations and to find collective solutions to improve the human rights situation in the DPRK.

New Zealand would like to reiterate our sincere thanks to Mr. Tomás Ojea Quintana, and we urge all States to support the continuation of this important mandate.

Thank you Mr President


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