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Ministry News

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Insun Attends High-level Segment of 55th Session of United Nations Human Rights Council

Date
2024-02-29
hit
15400

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Insun Attends High-level Segment of 55th Session of United Nations Human Rights Council



Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Insun visited Geneva from February 26 to 28 and attended the high-level segment of the 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the UN's annual high-level meeting on human rights.



In her keynote speech on the afternoon of February 27, Vice Minister Kang emphasized the need for the international community to pay greater attention to the human rights situation in North Korea, where even watching dramas produced in the Republic of Korea can lead to severe punishment such as execution. She also stressed that North Korea continues to deprive its people of their basic rights by diverting funds into illegal weapons development. Additionally, Vice Minister Kang expressed concern about ongoing reports of forced repatriation of North Korean defectors and urged UN member states to respect the principle of non-refoulement.



Vice Minister Kang stated that in order to address human rights issues around the world, the Korean government, which is pursuing a foreign policy vision of becoming a Global Pivotal State, is committed to contributing to enhancing the human rights capacity of countries, including by expanding its Official Development Assistance (ODA).



Furthermore, Vice Minister Kang emphasized that Korea is leading the resolution on “new and emerging digital technologies and human rights” at the Human Rights Council to ensure that the development of digital and other new technologies leads to the advancement of human rights, and that as President Yoon Suk Yeol stated in his keynote address at last year's UN General Assembly, Korea will continue contributing to bridging the digital gap in the international community. She also introduced Korea's active promotion of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda in the international community to protect the human rights of vulnerable groups, including the launch of the "Action with Women and Peace Fund (worth $2 million)" this year.



Finally, Vice Minister Kang stated that Korea will participate more actively in the UN’s human rights discussions, and asked member states to support Korea’s candidacy for the Human Rights Council for the 2025-27 term.



Vice Minister Kang also met with representatives of major international organizations based in Geneva on February 27. In her meeting with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, she exchanged views on key human rights issues, including North Korean human rights, and discussed ways to enhance cooperation between the Korean government and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Additionally, Vice Minister Kang had a meeting with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, in which she appreciated the active role of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in the unprecedented global refugee crisis and affirmed the Korean government's commitment to continuing to provide necessary support as a major donor to the UNHCR.



Vice Minister Kang’s participation in the 55th session of the Human Rights Council served as an opportunity to reaffirm Korea's commitment to protecting and promoting international human rights as a Global Pivotal State and to enhance international attention on and understanding of North Korean human rights issues, with this year marking the 10th anniversary of the release of the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on human rights in North Korea.