Civil society empowers UN actionsIn the recent UN investigation concluding that North Korea has committed crimes against humanity, the final report fails to command “authority,” even though it claims to be the most “authoritative indictment” to date of North Korea’s human rights infringement. Numerous reports to date have condemned the human rights infringements of the North, but it has remained insular to international pressure every time, with China and Russia standing by the regime.
Although the UN panel went further this time, recommending the Security Council to refer the North’s crimes to the International Criminal Court, China and Russia will clearly veto citing “internal affairs.”
To empower UN actions on regimes abusing human rights in future, international nongovernmental organizations should adopt them as guidelines or binding opinions regarding their humanitarian assistance to those countries. With less pressure to observe vested interests, civil society remains freer to adopt UN actions in their administration, thus empowering what usually ends in hollow political rhetoric.
By Choi Si-young, Editing adviser of Yonsei European Studies at Yonsei University