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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About Korea

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About KoreaUN General Assembly Could Pass N.Korea Resolution
The UN General Assembly is likely to see a fresh resolution on human rights in North Korea during the 60th plenary session now under way in New York.

A South Korean official said Thursday EU countries were leading the way, with their resolution on human rights in North Korea adopted at the UN's Human Rights Commission. "At this time there is a 50:50 chance” the resolution will pass, “but after next week, the outlines of what will take shape should become more apparent,” the official said. The UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea Vitit Muntarbhorn, who was appointed in 2004, has already submitted his report to the assembly.

Since 2003, the 53-member UNHRC has passed annual resolutions condemning the North's "severe, systematic and widespread violations of human rights," but this would be the first time the issue is debated on the floor of the 199-country General Assembly.
The South Korean government abstained on all three resolutions citing the “special character” of inter-Korean relations and is expected to abstain in the General Assembly as well. "It would be impossible for us to ignore” the fact that a fifth round of six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program is slated to start in November, the official said.

For a resolution to pass in the General Assembly, a majority of member countries has to vote, and a majority of them has to vote in favor. The situation is different from the Security Council, where permanent members friendly to Pyongyang like China and Russia can veto a resolution. The UNHRC resolution in April passed with 30 in favor, nine against and 14 abstentions.

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