Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Human Rights Resolutions in the Third Committee

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
November 27, 2012


The United States is pleased to co-sponsor three important resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly's Third Committee condemning human rights abuses in Iran, North Korea and Syria. Today's votes show the international community deplores these continued violations of fundamental human rights.

On Iran, we share the General Assembly’s deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations, including torture and such cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments as flogging, amputations and arbitrary executions. Lawyers, journalists, Internet providers, bloggers and netizens face harassment, intimidation and arbitrary detention in Iran, which also continues to violently repress women and minority groups. The General Assembly called upon the Government of Iran to cooperate fully with the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights.

On North Korea, for the first time ever, the General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution condemning the atrocious state of human rights there. Today’s resolution expresses serious concern about “persistent reports of systematic, widespread and grave violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights” in the DPRK, including torture, the absence of due process, restrictions of movement, the mistreatment of refugees and asylum-seekers and pervasive and severe restrictions on the freedom of thought.

On Syria, the General Assembly strongly condemned the continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights by Syrian authorities and the government-controlled “shabbiha” militia, including the use of heavy weapons and aerial bombardments. The resolution condemns the massacres, arbitrary executions, extrajudicial killings, torture, sexual violence, ill-treatment against children, and the killing and persecution of protestors, human rights defenders and journalists. Importantly, today’s resolution urges Syrian authorities to release immediately all persons arbitrarily detained, including the members of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, which works to promote freedom of opinion and expression in Syria and throughout the Arab world, and is the only Syrian NGO accredited to the UN.



PRN: 2012/269