ROME CONFERENCE: “PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN NORTH KOREA: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?”


July 12, 2006

FINAL DECLARATION

We participants,

First of all, we would like to thank the Italian Minister for European Affairs and International Trade Emma Bonino as well as the Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs Gianni Vernetti and the President of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies Umberto Ranieri, for their participation in the Conference “Promoting human rights and religious freedom in North Korea: where do we go from here?” held today in Rome at the initiative of the Trasnational Radical Party and Freedom House.

We also extend our gratitude to all the Members of Parliament, who have participated in the Conference or sent us their messages of support.

We call on the Italian Government and Parliament to:

1) work to achieve the approval of national and international resolutions condemning the abuses by the Pyongyang regime on the 23 million of North Korean citizens, who still live in terror and without any right. It is of utmost importance that a clear message from as many governments as possible is sent to the Pyongyang regime that, despite the menaces and the missile tests, our Government and Parliament will not stop denouncing the criminal ongoing practices in that country, and that the economic aid programs will be conditional to the improvement of the living conditions of the population;

2) promote a serious revision of the current system of international cooperation, which on the one hand allocates millions of Euros to humanitarian interventions or economic assistance for developing countries, but on the other has the serious limit of privileging as partners national governments rather than independent democratic actors engaged in monitoring the respect of human rights, the rule of law and the separation of powers in those same countries.

International cooperation should, and can, represent a concrete investment for Italy - in order not to neo-colonize the developing countries according to a neo-imperialistic logic – but in order to sustain the emergence of leading groups, who are interested in the respect of fundamental rights of their citizens and able to prevent the corrupted elites from misappropriating the funding allocated to the government, as too often happened in those countries, first of all in North Korea.

3) Promote in Italy the swift establishment of a Foundation for the promotion of democracy financed both by public and private money, and administered by a board of personalities of different political orientation and background, possibly with the participation of international actors, united by the conviction that the defense and the promotion of human rights should be a priority.

We believe that investing public resources to organize an independent monitoring of elections – which should be organized also for the advanced democracies – or to support the broadcasting of free information programs, is something to be pursued and realized with conviction and urgency. In this regard, in the next few weeks, we will present to the attention of the Members of the Italian Parliament a draft bill proposal on this subject.

4) Consider the presentation by the Security Council of the United Nations, in the context of the ongoing debate on the North Korean crisis, of a request of investigation to the International Criminal Court on the crimes against humanity, which are still being committed in North Korea.

5) Tak initiatives, directly towards the North Korean Government and the UN General Assembly, to support a moratorium of capital executions, considering that the death penalty in totalitarian States is a practice completely secretive and applied also for “bloodless crimes” and following summary proceedings.

6) Put pressure on the Chinese Government to stop the forcibly repatriations of North Korean citizens and to grant them a safe passage to South Korea and to all other Governments willing to accept them.