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North Korea praised in UN human rights review

Published: Sat 11 May 2019 12:23 PM
North Korea praised in UN human rights review
GENEVA, May 10, 2019 — Following this week’s glowing review of DR Congo’s human rights record, the UN Human Rights Council gathered yesterday to shower praise upon North Korea, one of the most abusive regimes in the world. (See quotes below.)
While the mandatory review exercise is meant to scrutinize all nations once every five years in order to improve the lives of victims, most countries who took the floor, in what is a peer review process, chose not to speak against North Korea’s practices of torture, forced labor camps, public execution and violence against children and women.
According to a count by UN Watch, 49 out of 88 countries that spoke praised the regime.
An additional 20 countries expressed some praise for North Korea’s alleged achievements, while also applying scrutiny in their statements. If one includes these statements, then 69 out of 88 countries, or 78%, expressed praise for the North Korean government.
Representing North Korea at the UN session was Tae Song Han, Permanent Representative of North Korea to the UN in Geneva, who claimed the government respected human rights. “In the DPRK, people are the genuine masters of the state and society. Top and absolute priority is given to their interests,” he said.
Following is a selection of the praise of North Korea at yesterday's review:
China: We “welcome His Excellency and recognize DPRK’s efforts and achievements.”
Cuba: We “thank the delegation for the efforts put into improving the wellbeing of its people.”
Russia: Recent achievements “indicate that the DPRK is improving the human rights situation.”
Burundi: “The government is respectful of human rights obligations both locally and internationally.”
Venezuela: “We welcome the progress made and note free universal medical assistance.”
Pakistan: We “note with appreciation cooperation with human rights framework.”
The Philippines: We commend “efforts made for the protection and promotion of women’s rights.”
Syria: “We commend legislations that have been adopted.”
Myanmar: We “commend DPRK for amending its labor laws.”
Nigeria: We “note achievements in protecting women and children.”
Belarus: We note efforts for “improvement of daily life and strengthening the legal system.”
Equatorial Guinea: We “admire the country’s progress in education.”
Zimbabwe: “The DPRK worked to enact and amend human rights-related laws.”
Algeria: We “welcome legal reforms in respect of the labor law.”
Iran: “We commend constructive engagement with the UPR process with a view of rejecting any politicization and double standards.”
Haiti: “Notes efforts made to improve the quality of life of its citizens despite heavy economic sanctions."
However, a minority of countries—including the United States, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, Croatia, and Canada—rightly called out the Pyongyang regime for its prison camps, denial of freedom of expression and blocking of humanitarian assistance.

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