Washington, DC, April 17, 2018 – At 10 am this morning, the 54 member UN Economic and Social Council took action on a resolution to grant UN consultative status to the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK).
The resolution, introduced by the United States and co-sponsored by Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, passed with 29 votes in favor, 6 against, and 13 abstentions. Six ECOSOC member states were absent.
Afghanistan, Andorra, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ghana, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Spain, Togo, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay voted in favor.
Belarus, China, Russian Federation, South Africa, Venezuela and Vietnam voted against.
Algeria, Benin, Chad, Ecuador, El Salvador, India, Lebanon, Peru, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan and Tajikistan abstained.
Cameroon, Guyana, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia and Swaziland were not present.
UN consultative status tremendously amplifies the already strong voice of HRNK as an organization dedicated to promoting human rights for the people of the DPRK through UN channels. UN consultative status is a significant landmark in the 17-year history of HRNK.
Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK’s executive director said: “This is more than a victory for HRNK and other organizations endeavoring to promote observance of human rights in the DPRK. This is a victory for civil society and its participation in informing the UN process.”
Established in 2001 by a group of scholars, human rights and democracy experts, private sector representatives, and former diplomats, The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) is the leading US-based bipartisan, non-governmental organization in the field of DPRK human rights research and advocacy. HRNK has published more than thirty major reports documenting the status of DPRK compliance with fundamental human rights standards embedded in UN treaties and documents including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the DPRK has accepted.
HRNK first submitted its application for UN consultative status in May 2015. The application was considered and subsequently deferred three times. Yesterday’s resolution overturned a vote taken in the NGO Committee on February 2, 2018. The NGO Committee voted on HRNK’s consultative status on February 2, 2018. Out of 19 NGO Committee member states, 5 voted in favor of HRNK consultative status, 9 against, 2 abstained, and 3 were absent. This procedure was the only way for HRNK to avoid being deferred indefinitely. The NGO Committee recommendations subsequently went to the larger management meeting of all 54 ECOSOC member states today.