The UN Human Rights Council has kicked off Monday (local time), which will run for a month on various agenda including the human right records in North Korea, Myanmar, and Iran. With the U.S. returning for the first time in three years, the council is expected to reflect the voice of the Joe Biden administration, which has emphasized the values of democracy and human rights, ultimately sending stronger pressure to the international community to improve human rights conditions. In June 2018, the U.S. bolted the human rights council under the Trump administration, and it officially announced to come back on February 8, a month after President Joe Biden was sworn in. This time, the U.S. will participate in the capacity of an observer, not a full-fledged member.
According to Voice of America (VOA), the 46th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council will take place in the form of video conferences from February 22 to March 23. VOA reported that the council, which will discuss how to tackle human rights issues across the globe, will tackle North Korean human rights record as the main agenda along with racial discriminations in other countries. There is also a possibility that the council will address the concerns over leaflets ban on Pyongyang, which is feared to shut out information flowing into the regime.
The human rights issues in the North will be chosen as the main agenda on March 10 and 11. Tomas Ojea Quintana, the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea, will lead a discussion with the representatives from each government, and a UN report will be presented, laying bare the reality of human rights infringements under the communist regime. In a report disclosed late last month, Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, claimed that crimes against humanity are still rampant in North Korea and urged the international community to take immediate actions for prevention.