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February 9, 10

NEWS / UN political chief heads to DPR Korea for talks with senior officials

8 February 2010 – The top United Nations political official will arrive in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) tomorrow for talks with senior Government officials after wrapping up meetings in Beijing and Seoul.
As the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe will depart the Chinese capital tomorrow morning to hold comprehensive talks on all issues of mutual interest and concern with the DPRK during his visit to Pyongyang, slated to run from today through Friday.

While in the DPRK, he also plans to meet with the UN country team and foreign diplomats, as well as visit several UN project sites.

Over the weekend in Seoul, Mr. Pascoe held talks with officials from the Republic of Korea – including Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and the country’s chief negotiator to the Six-Party Talks, which also involve Japan, China, Russia and the United States – on its relationship with the UN as well as the DPRK, among other topics.

Mr. Pascoe also conferred with UN-related civil society leaders, including former prime minister Han Seung-soo, who is now president of the World Federation of UN Associations (WFUNA), before travelling to Beijing for talks with officials from that country.

In September, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with the DPRK’s Vice Foreign Minister Park Gil Yon at UN Headquarters in New York, where he discussed the country’s nuclear issue along with the humanitarian and human rights situations.

In a report to the General Assembly last year, Mr. Ban voiced concern over the impact of the humanitarian situation on human rights in the country, where more than one third of the nearly 24 million-strong population is in need of food assistance.

The Asian nation’s humanitarian problems – including food shortages, a crumbling health system and lack of access to safe drinking water – seriously “hamper the fulfilment of human rights of the population,” he wrote.




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