Nuclear Proliferation and The Singapore Summit: A Challenge to International Law
Presented by The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CGM
Between 2013-14, the Hon Michael Kirby, past Justice of the High Court of Australia, chaired a commission of inquiry established by the United Nations Human Rights Council on human rights violations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The report of the commission was shocking and disturbing. It attracted large supporting votes in the Council and in the General Assembly. Unusually, it was also referred to the Security Council and remains on its table. It is possible that the dire situation concerning human rights in North Korea contributed to the affirmative participation by China and the Russian Federation in the imposition of increasing sanctions by the Security Council upon North Korea. Those sanctions appear to have played a part in bringing North Korea to the conference table at the Singapore Summit in June 2018.
In this Mayo lecture, the speaker will explain the steps that lead to Singapore. He will analyse the outcome of that meeting both from the point of view of security and denuclearisation and also from the point of view of human rights, especially crimes against humanity. He will suggest the minimum requirements that will be necessary to ensure that the undertaking in Singapore that North Korea would ‘’work towards ‘’ denuclearisation will include steps that are complete, verifiable and irreversible, so far as nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems are concerned. But also as providing responses to crimes against humanity.