UN Special Rapporteur’s Visit to DPRK

Pyongyang, May 10 (KCNA) — Catalina Devandas Aguilar, UN special rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and her party visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from May 2 to 9.

The purpose of her visit to the DPRK was to learn about the general situation of the persons with disabilities and discuss the issues concerning the implementation of the convention related to rights of the disabled to which the DPRK recently acceded and to explore the way for possible offer of technical cooperation necessary for abiding by the convention.
It is the consistent stand of the DPRK to categorically reject the anti-DPRK “resolutions” cooked up by the hostile forces in the UN human rights arena on the basis of the “false testimonies” made by “defectors from the north” and fabrications with a sinister aim to bring down the socialist system of the DPRK, and never to recognize anyone as “special rapporteur” related to human rights situation in the DPRK if he or she appears, pursuant to the “resolutions.”
But the DPRK, out of its stand to attach importance to true dialogue and cooperation in the international human rights field and remain true to the international human rights conventions it acceded to, invited the special rapporteur to visit it and did its best to make the visit successful.
During the visit, the special rapporteur and her party paid courtesy calls on Minister of Public Health Kang Ha Guk and Ambassador of the Foreign Ministry Ri Hung Sik of the DPRK, and met officials concerning the issue of the disabled including those of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly (Legislative Department), the Foreign Ministry, the Education Commission, the Ministry of Public Health, the Central Committee of the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled, the Deaf Association of Korea and the Blind Association of Korea to thrash out the issues for implementing the convention on rights of the disabled.
During the calls and talks, the DPRK informed the special rapporteur in detail of the facts that all its people are fully enjoying genuine rights under respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un’s politics of prioritizing, respecting and loving the people and that the disabled are leading a worthy life without suffering any discrimination, thanks to the advantageous policies and measures of the state including the universal 12-year compulsory education and the universal free medical care system.
The special rapporteur thanked the DPRK government for its cooperation with her and offering convenience to her for her successful visit, and evinced her will to proactively cooperate with the DPRK side to implement the convention on rights of the disabled, thoroughly preserving the principle of fairness and objectivity in her future activities.
She said that exchange of views with officials of various organs of the DPRK including the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly (Legislative Department) during her visit was positive and she was pleased to obtain valuable detailed information to be consulted in outlining the report on her visit to be submitted to the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council due in March 2018.
During their sojourn in the DPRK, the special rapporteur and her party toured the Okryu Children’s Hospital, the library for the disabled at the Sci-Tech Complex, the Korean Rehabilitation Centre for Children with Disability and the Pyongyang Primary School for Orphans in the city of Pyongyang and the Pongchon Blind School in South Hwanghae Province.
They also watched a performance of the art group of the disabled and met them at the building of the Korean Art Association of the Disabled and enjoyed the 2017 Spring Table-Tennis Tournament for the Disabled and Amateurs at the gymnasium of Kim Il Sung University.

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ninjawil/1612788214/

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