China fails in bid to block UN meeting on North Korea
UNITED NATIONS – China failed on Monday, December 22, to block the first-ever UN Security Council meeting on North Korea's dismal rights record after a strong majority of members voted in favor of the measure.
Eleven of the 15 council members voted in support of putting North Korea on the agenda, with Russia and China opposing the decision. Chad and Nigeria abstained.
China, Pyongyang's ally, said the Security Council was not the forum to discuss human rights issues, triggering the procedural vote at the top UN body.
Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi said de-nuclearization, encouraging dialogue and maintaining stability on the Korean peninsula were the shared priorities of the global community.
"Getting involved in the human rights situation will go against the above goals and can only bring harm instead of benefits," said Liu.
The vote was a rare occurrence at the Security Council - the last time was in 2006 when the body voted to discuss the situation in Myanmar at the request of the United States.
In that instance, Russia and China voted against.
The UN General Assembly put the international spotlight on North Korea when it adopted a landmark resolution last week calling on the Security Council to consider referring Pyongyang to the International Criminal Court. – Rappler.com