UPDATE, MARCH 2, 2020: Due to the global COVID-19 situation, all side events at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva have been canceled. (effective 3 March 2020 until the end of the session)
For immediate release:
February 24, 2020
Panel to Address the Link Between Peace and Human Rights on the Korean Peninsula
UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the DPRK will be among the speakers
Geneva, Switzerland—As the unresolved Korean War enters its 70th year, a panel discussion will explore the connection between peace and human rights, the impact of sanctions on human rights, and the role of women peacebuilders in resolving the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Tomás Ojea Quintana, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), will be among the speakers.
“Peace on the Korean Peninsula as a Human Rights Issue: War, Sanctions, and Women Peacebuilders,” a side event to the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, will also include several co-authors of the Oct. 2019 report The Human Costs and Gendered Impact of Sanctions on North Korea, the first comprehensive assessment of the adverse consequences of sanctions for ordinary North Koreans. The panel is being organized by the global campaign Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, World Council of Churches, and will take place ahead of an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the DPRK and an oral update on the DPRK at the Human Rights Council.
“A declaration on peace and development in the Korean Peninsula, and a swift resolution of the armistice status, would create the atmosphere and space needed for further discussions on denuclearization, less isolation, more access, and respect for human rights,” said Tomás Ojea Quintana, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The unresolved Korean War has perpetuated a worsening security and human rights crisis on the Korean Peninsula,” said Ko YouKyoung, a consultant for Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), one of four women’s peace groups that launched the Korea Peace Now! global campaign in 2019. “But in order to get to peace, women must be included in the process.”
“Sanctions have not only been ineffective at convincing the DPRK to denuclearize, but in their current form may be in violation of international law, in particular humanitarian and human rights norms,” said Henri Feron, a co-author of The Human Costs and Gendered Impact of Sanctions on North Korea and a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Nina Maria Hansen, Communications Manager, WILPF, nina[dot]hansen[at]wilpf[dot]org.
What: Panel discussion on“Peace on the Korean Peninsula as a Human Rights Issue: War, Sanctions, and Women Peacebuilders”
Where: Room VII, Palais Des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
When: 5 March 2020, 11:00 a.m.-12:00pm
- Peter Prove, Director, Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, World Council of Churches (moderator)
- Ewa Eriksson, former Head of Country Delegation in the DPRK for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (retired)
- Kevin Gray, Professor of International Relations, University of Sussex
- Youkyoung Ko, Consultant, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
- Henri Feron, Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy
- Tomás Ojea Quintana, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK