Statement by Estonia at UNSC Arria meeting on DPRK

77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

UN Security Council Arria-formula Meeting on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Statement by the Republic of Estonia

17 March 2023, New York

Madame/ Mister Chair,

Estonia aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

Estonia remains deeply concerned by the long-standing and ongoing systematic and widespread human rights violations in the DPRK. As of today, there are reportedly around hundred thousand political prisoners who are incarcerated in extremely brutal conditions, facing constant abuse, torture and violence. The constantly deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the country, as well as the issue of international abductions committed by the DPRK, calls for continued international attention.

Yet the DPRK’s ruling regime continues to spend large resources on its weapons programmes instead of providing its population with food, medicine and basic services – an appalling discrepancy illustrated by the DPRK’s relentless increase in ballistic missile tests since 2021. Only this week the DPRK has launched already three missile tests, including an ICBM.  This is a flagrant violation of the Security Council resolutions and poses a serious threat to international peace and security. Estonia strongly condemns these launches.

As human rights and rule of law are essential elements for sustainable peace and security, the Security Council needs to remain seized with the situation of human rights in the DPRK, as reflected in the letter to the Security Council last month signed by 62 UN Member States. The role of the Security Council is important in raising global awareness of the dangers to international peace and security posed by the violation of human rights by the DPRK, as well as in persuading the DPRK to engage meaningfully with the UN human rights system to improve the situation.

Thank you!