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UN strongly condemns human rights abuses in Iran and North Korea

The UN General Assembly has denounced North Korea and Iran over their human rights abuses. North Korea has also been referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Both countries have rejected the resolutions.

The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution denouncing human rights abuses in North Korea and Iran. Pyongyang and Tehran have rejected the resolutions.

Of the 193 UN General Assembly members, 119 had voted in favor of adopting the resolution against North Korea, 19 were against and 48 abstained. Iran's resolution received 81 votes in favor, 37 against and 67 members abstained.

North Korea responded saying that it rejected the resolution and would "strongly respond."

It said further that the move is "a sinister conspiracy against the DPRK (North Korea) on the part of the United States, Japan and other forces in their attempt to break down the state and social system of the DPRK."

The General Assembly has also encouraged the Security Council to refer North Korea to the ICC. However, despite the resolution, the chance for referral against North Korea is not expected because General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding. Also, North Korea's ally China is expected to veto the move.

The resolution on Iran

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani

Canada drafted a resolution on Tehran for cracking down on activists and journalists and for increasingly using the death penalty. However, Canada also praised Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for "eliminating discrimination against women and members of ethnic minorities, and on greater space for freedom of expression and opinion."

Iran rebuked the resolution saying it comes at a time when Tehran "has pursued a policy of constructive engagement with the world," which refers to

six world powers and Iran reaching a nuclear deal in July.

Resolutions on Syria and Myanmar are expected to be voted on at a later date.

smm/jm (AP, Reuters)

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