NEW YORK, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- The United Nations General Assembly's Third Committee, which oversees human rights issues, voted Tuesday in favor of a draft resolution condemning North Korea for human rights abuses.
The non-binding resolution was written by the European Union and Japan based on a damning U.N. Commission of Inquiry report issued in February. The report found North Korean leaders responsible for "widespread, systematic and gross" human rights violations and recommended that the International Criminal Court consider the allegations and evidence of "crimes against humanity."
With 62 cosponsors, the draft resolution was overwhelmingly supported with 111 votes in favor, 19 against and 55 abstentions. It will be put to a plenary vote in December.
The resolution was passed with a recommendation that North Korean officials be referred to the ICC, an amendment the North Korean delegation sought unsuccessfully to remove. North Korea's representative to the U.N., Choe Myong Nam, warned the North may undertake more nuclear weapons tests in response to the resolution.
China and Russia, allies of North Korea, were among the 19 countries that opposed the resolution. Both are members of the U.N. Security Council, the only body with the authority to refer cases to the ICC, and would be expected to voice similar opposition if the resolution were put to a Council vote.