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Top UN relief official to visit DPR Korea

Article / Review by on October 4, 2011 – 8:48 pmNo Comments

Top UN relief official to visit DPR Korea

The top United Nations humanitarian official will visit the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) later this month to assess the extent of the country’s food crisis and hear from authorities what longer-term plans they have to deal with the food shortages.

Humanitarian chief Valerie Amos announces her 17-21 October trip to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, told reporters at UN Headquarters that her 17-21 October trip to DPRK will focus on humanitarian issues in a country where, she said, an estimated six million people are in need of assistance.

“My visit is to raise greater awareness of the situation, to be able to explain exactly what I have seen, to talk to the authorities there about their plans in the longer-term to deal with the food security situation, and I will be making field visits to two different parts of the country as well,” said Ms. Amos, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Only about 27 per cent of the $218.7 million that UN agencies require to respond to the food crisis in DPRK this year has been received from donors, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Ms. Amos said that donors have in the past raised concern about the possibility of humanitarian assistance for those in need in DPRK being diverted to other uses.

“I have been at pains to explain that the monitoring mechanisms have been strengthened substantially,” she said, adding that the UN World Food Programme (WFP) can, for example, now make random visits to DPRK and employ Korean-language international staff.

Last week, food shortages and other humanitarian concerns, among others issues, topped discussions between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the DPRK’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pak Gil Yon.

Mr. Ban encouraged more donor commitments to meeting humanitarian needs in DPRK during the meeting at UN Headquarters. He also emphasized the need for the country to enhance its cooperation with UN agencies, including through improved access and monitoring.

 

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> United Nations (UN).

The General Assembly in session. Photo credit: UN / Eskinder Debebe

  • The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 192 countries.
  • When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:
  • to maintain international peace and security;
  • to develop friendly relations among nations;
  • to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
  • and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

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* The above story is adapted from materials provided by United Nations (UN)
** More information at United Nations (UN)

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