United Nations Security Council Arria-formula Meeting on
“The Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”
17 March 2023
Statement of Italy delivered by the Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Gianluca Greco
Italy thanks the United States and Albania for convening this timely meeting and the briefers for their moving testimony.
We align ourselves with the Statement of the European Union and would like to add the following remarks in our national capacity.
Italy, in light of the importance it attaches to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, believes that the grave situation of widespread and systematic violation of human rights in the DPRK represents a dangerous threat and the reason for deep concern. We welcome the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council’s Resolutions that contribute to raise the awareness about the human rights situation in the country and show the consensus that exists over such concerns and recommendations across the international community.
We reiterate our full support for the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on human rights and for the work of the Office of the High commissioner for Human Rights, and we call on the DPRK to engage constructively with the UN Human rights bodies. Ensuring the full, equal and effective promotion and protection of all human rights should be central to any policy, in order to grant the welfare and the dignity of the people in the country. On the contrary, the North Korean regime continues to deny its citizens even the most basic rights and liberties, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration on human rights, suffocating any form of dissent.
We also remain deeply concerned at the consequences of the protracted entrenched humanitarian situation: economic hardship, lack of food and lack medical care exposes the population, including children, to food insecurity and malnutrition, in a context where essential resources are diverted away from the population to the benefit of the production of weapons of mass destruction.
We call on DPRK to grant access to international humanitarian staff and agencies to conduct independent needs assessments, implement humanitarian programmes consistent with international standards and humanitarian principles, and provide assistance to persons in the most vulnerable situations.
Holding perpetrators of human rights violations accountable for their actions is critical to deter further violations and abuses. We bear a collective responsibility to promote the accountability of perpetrators of human rights violations for their crimes.
Human rights, including gender equality, are intrinsically linked to peace and security. This intimate link between violations of human rights and their repercussions on the maintenance of international peace and security cannot be denied, and the security Council has an important role to play in this endeavour.
Italy has joined the letter that last February 62 member States have addressed to the President of the Security Council requesting that the Agenda item “The situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” remain on the list of items with which the Council is seized in accordance with document S/2017/507.
We reiterate our call today, recalling that engaging with UN human rights bodies represents a critical element in promoting peace and security in the region and beyond.