Human Rights Protection in Closed Society: Myanmar and North Korea

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Aspects of the current humanitarian crises in Myanmar and the People’s Republic of Korea were discussed in this session. In Myanmar, Islamic members of the Rohingya community in Rakhine State are subject to extreme prejudice. Meanwhile, the citizens of the People’s Republic of Korea are attempting to recover, with insufficient aid, from damage caused by major flooding.

Yanghee Lee, the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, called for action against the systematic discrimination prevalent against vulnerable Islamic minorities in the Rakhine State. There is a shortage of medical care in the region. Ms. Lee discussed how this issue could be combatted through the ratification of core human rights treaties.

Despite six decades of armed conflict, Myanmar has recently been experiencing change at a rapid pace. A democratic governmental system has been put in place to promote the shift from a closed society to an open society. However, radical religious leaders trained by the Taliban still play a role in the nation’s politics.

The representative of the United States emphasized the value of global humanitarian aid and called for it in Myanmar. She strongly supported Ms. Lee’s proposed citizenship program for inhabitants of Myanmar. The US representative expressed concerned about the unwarranted arrest of journalists and political figures, but was pleased to hear of their releases.

The representative of the European Union questioned the role of women in the process of peace negotiations. Furthermore, the representative of Australia addressed the rights of the LGBTQIA community as some are targeted and imprisoned in Myanmar.

Additionally, Tomás Ojea Quintana, the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, stated that despite the massive flooding in North Korea, the nation’s fifth nuclear test launch occurred. Only 10% of the required necessities have been attained for aid and with winter approaching, this was concluded to be an issue for North Korea and the international community.

Meeting: Third Committee, 32nd Meeting on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

Date/Time/Location: Thursday, 27 October, 2016; 10:00 to 13:00; Conference Room 1

Speakers: Yanghee Lee, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar; Representative of Myanmar; Representative of Norway; Representative of United States of America; Representative of China; Representative of Japan; Representative of Eritrea; Representative of Thailand; Representative of European Union; Representative of Australia; Representative of Switzerland; Representative of Egypt; Representative of Russian Federation; Representative of Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Representative of Cuba; Representative of Czech Republic; Representative of Jordan; Representative of Singapore; Representative of United Kingdom; Representative of Philippines; Representative of Vietnam; Representative of Saudi Arabia; Representative of Iran; Representative of Organization of Islamic Cooperation; Tomás Ojea Quintana, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Representative of South Korea; Representative of Venezuela speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement; Representative of Syrian Arab Republic; Representative of Liechtenstein; Representative of Netherlands; Representative of United Kingdom; Representative of Belarus; Representative of Germany; Representative of Jordan; Representative of Maldives; Representative of Ireland; Representative of Argentina

Written By: Donna Sunny, WIT Representative

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