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Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg and Ambassador Martin Palouš hosted a launch of a report "Failure to Protect: The Ongoing Challenge of North Korea"

(This article expired 17.09.2013.)

Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, H.E. Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg, and the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Martin Palouš, hosted a launch of a report commissioned by Hon. Václav Havel, Hon. Kjell Magne Bondevik and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, "Failure to Protect: The Ongoing Challenge of North Korea" at the outset of the Ministerial Week opening the 63rd General Assembly.

Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, H.E. Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg, and the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Martin Palouš, hosted a launch of a report commissioned by Hon.Václav Havel, Hon. Kjell Magne Bondevik and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, "Failure to Protect: The Ongoing Challenge of North Korea" at the outset of the Ministerial Week opening the 63rd General Assembly.

Updating the 2006 report, "Failure to Protect: A Call for the UN Security Council to Act in North Korea," the new report on human rights situation in North Korea provides important new details on the serious violations of rights by North Korea and calls for greater international engagement on human rights and humanitarian concerns. The launch of the report was followed by a discussion on the Responsibility to Protect concept in regards to the situation in North Korea. (This relatively new international relations doctrine holds that while a state retains sovereignty over its own territory, the international community has an obligation to act should that state fail to protect its own citizens from the most severe of human rights abuses).

According to Ambassador Palouš, the hosting of the event reflected both the long-term emphasis on human rights by the Czech diplomacy as well as its aim to open the debate held at the UN to representatives of civil society and NGOs.

"We recommend that the UN General Assembly strengthens its annual resolution on North Korea by referencing the "responsibility to protect" doctrine and calling for an investigation into whether the human-rights situation in North Korea constitutes a violation of this doctrine. ("The Real Problem in North Korea" by Václav Havel, Kjell Magne Bondevik and Elie Diesel)

The report will be presented by:
• Kjell Magne Bondevik, President of the Oslo Center and Former Prime Minister of Norway
• Václav Havel, Former President of the Czech Republic (via video presentation)
• Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy and Board Member of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea
• Jared Genser, DLA Piper Attorney
• David Hawk, Consultant to the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

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from left to right: David Hawk, Jared Genser, H.E. Karel Schwarzenberg, Hon. Kjell Magne Bondevik, H.E. Martin Palouš

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Selected media reports of the event:

To get the photographs in a higher resolution please contact Borek Lizec, spokesman of the Mission at borek_lizec@mzv.cz .