Lord Alton of Liverpool – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool on 2014-06-09.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what has been done to implement the recommendation of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in North Korea (1225, h: p 371) that States which have ties with North Korea, such as diplomatic relations, should form a Contact Group which would communicate human rights concerns to the regime and support initiatives that help improve the human rights situation on the ground.

Baroness Warsi

The UN Commission of Inquiry’s (COI) report on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) recommended that states with historically friendly ties, major donors and potential donors and those states engaged in the DPRK through the Six-Party Talks framework form a human rights contact group. Although the UK does not fall into the aforementioned categories, a senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office official did meet COI members in April to discuss a range of issues associated with human rights in the DPRK, including the proposal to form a contact group. However, the group has not yet been formed nor have potential members formally been identified. The Minister of State, my Right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), also discussed this with Ambassadors and senior UN Officals in Geneva on 18 June.

The UK continues to raise concerns over the DPRK human rights situation during meetings with the authorities, most recently with the DPRK Ambassador to the UK in May, but also in Pyongyang where we do so both bilaterally and alongside other EU diplomatic missions.