Security Council Extends Mandate of Expert Panel Overseeing Sanctions against Democratic People’s Republic of Korea until 30 April 2024
The Security Council today decided to extend the mandate of the expert panel assisting the committee overseeing its sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea until 30 April 2024.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2680 (2023) (to be issued as document S/RES/2680(2023)) under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the 15-member organ decided that the mandate applies to measures imposed by its relevant resolutions adopted in 2016 and 2017 and overseen by the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006). It expressed its intent to review the mandate and take appropriate action regarding its further extension no later than 22 March 2024.
Underscoring that the Panel of Experts must carry out credible, fact-based, independent assessments, analysis and recommendations in an objective and impartial manner, the Council requested that the Panel provide the Committee with a planned work programme no later than 30 days after the Panel’s reappointment. Members further requested that the Panel of Experts provide the Committee with a midterm report no later than by 8 September, a final report no later than 2 February 2024 and submit a final report to the Council no later than 8 March 2024.
Following the adoption, several delegates expressed appreciation for the unanimous mandate-extension of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006), while some voiced concern that their proposals had not been incorporated in the draft text.
Robert A. Wood (United States), the penholder of the draft resolution, said “this work has never been more important”, considering Pyongyang’s unprecedented number of provocations. He also commended the application of resolution 2664 (2022) — co-penned by the United States and Ireland — to the work of the Committee. He further noted that several proposals were discussed prior to seeking a technical roll-over, including concerns over leaks; inner workings and the composition of the Panel; and improving the process of receiving regular assessments from the Panel on the country’s ballistic-missile advancements, such as briefings or incident reports. Recognizing that Council members could not address all concerns, he welcomed continued discussions.
Geng Shuang (China) said his delegation voted in favour of the draft resolution, while also voicing support for the work of the Committee and the Panel of Experts. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea faces a grave humanitarian situation due to the compound effect of sanctions, COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, he said, recalling China’s repeated appeals to this end. Acknowledging the penholder’s efforts to address the parties’ concerns, he expressed regret that the main elements proposed by China and some of its suggestions on working methods and the performance of the Panel of Experts were not reflected in the draft text.
Anna M. Evstigneeva (Russian Federation), noting that her country voted in favour, also voiced regret that the penholder did not incorporate a number of proposals, including on the need to minimize the sanctions’ impact on Pyongyang’s population and on the Panel’s confidentiality issues. To this end, she encouraged Council members to consider these issues in the future.
Pascale Christine Baeriswyl (Switzerland), welcoming the unanimous adoption of the resolution, underscored the important role of the expert group in providing information on the sanctions’ implementation. Recognizing that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continues to accelerate its illicit nuclear-weapons programme, and that pandemic-related restrictions continue to impede humanitarian access, she said the mandate renewal reflects the Council’s efforts to facilitate the provision of assistance.
Shino Mitsuko (Japan) praised the “active and honest” discussions among Council members, as well as attempts by the penholder to ensure that the negotiations were positive and constructive. The Panel’s reporting activities are more crucial than ever, she said, urging it to continue providing expertise in a timely manner, including on issues of non-compliance with Council resolutions. Noting Pyongyang’s dire humanitarian situation, she nevertheless said that “it is not the sanctions regime, but rather the North Korean regime, that keeps the situation in this state”, including by refusing aid from the United Nations system.
The meeting began at 3:06 p.m. and ended at 3:18 p.m.