Explanation of Vote by Sweden at the UN Security Council Adoption of Resolution on North Korea
Explanation of Vote delivered by Ambassador Olof Skoog on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Adoption of Resolution on North Korea (DPRK), 11 September 2017, New York.
The persistent disregard for global norms and consistent defying of UN Security Council resolutions by North Korea puts millions of people at risk. North Korea's actions represent a threat, not only to the region, but to all of us. This is indeed a clear threat to international peace and security.
For this reason, Sweden welcomes the adoption of today's resolution. In the face of North Korea's destabilising actions, it is important that the Council once again stands united, and determined to address the most dangerous crisis we are facing today.
Sweden reiterates its condemnation of North Korea's recent nuclear test. We once again urge North Korea to heed this Council's decisions and the call of the entire international community that it cease provocations, fulfil its international obligations, engage in meaningful dialogue, and abandon its nuclear weapons and missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
The strengthened sanctions adopted today aim to add further pressure on the North Korean regime, and to contribute to a change in behaviour. To achieve this end, the sanctions must be implemented in full. More efforts are needed in this regard.
Recommendations by the the Panel of Experts to the Sanctions Committee must be implemented. All UN member states have a responsibility to do their utmost to ensure the sanctions regime works.
Sanctions alone will not resolve the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Nor is there a feasible military option to end the crisis. The solution must be a peaceful, diplomatic and political one. We welcome the call in this resolution for "further work to reduce tensions so as to advance the prospects for a comprehensive settlement". Therefore, in parallel to the tightened sanctions adopted today, we must urgently put in place intensified and creative diplomatic efforts to decrease tensions, increase confidence and prevent escalation, paving the way for dialogue on a peaceful and comprehensive solution. It is clear that in order to achieve the longer term objective, there is a pressing need for a regional security arrangement. The UN should provide additional support, especially with regard to confidence building activities in the region, and we should explore how the good offices of the Secretary-General can contribute.
The continued provocations by North Korea, as well as the current confrontational rhetoric are dangerous and risk leading to unintended consequences. In the immediate term, while tensions are running high, lines for direct inter-Korean communication are critical to avoid misunderstanding and miscalculations. As member of the NNSC (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission), we call on North Korea to resume contact at the border station in Panmunjom.
While the North Korean regime invests in expensive weapons programmes, it shows an utter disregard for the wellbeing of its own people, who continue to suffer from serious human rights violations and a grave humanitarian situation. It is important to underline that none of the measures adopted today or in previous resolutions should prevent or make more difficult the ongoing efforts by the UN and its partners to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance. It is also important to note that as the harsh North Korean winter approaches, more support for humanitarian efforts are likely to be needed.
Thank you Mr President.