Hoppa yfir valmynd

Statements and alignments

Statements delivered by representatives of Iceland to international organisations and alignments with statements made by other states and groups of states.

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DateTitillCategoryPermanent mission
May 13, 202234th Special Session of the Human Rights CouncilStatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p><span>34th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>National statement by Iceland as well as a statement by Estonia on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries and a s</span>tatement by the Marshall Islands on behalf of the “Group of Friends of Accountability following the Aggression against Ukraine”, that Iceland is a member of.</p> <ul> <li><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/HRC%2034th%20Special%20Session.pdf"><span class="pdf">Statements</span></a></li> </ul>

May 12, 2022On Women, Peace and Security in the Context of the War in UkraineVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1373%20Iceland.pdf">Statement by Ambassador Kristín A. Árnadóttir, Permanent Representative of Iceland, at the 1373rd Permanent Council Meeting, Vienna, 12 May 2022.</a></span>

May 09, 2022Joint Nordic Statement on Implications of Sea Level Rise for International SecurityNew York - United Nations

<p>Chairs, Briefers, ladies and gentlemen,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the five Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country Denmark.</p> &nbsp; <p>We commend Malta, in partnership with Nauru and Germany, for hosting today’s important meeting. As the briefers have outlined, sea level rise poses a clear risk to peace and security worldwide. According to the IPCC’s special report on the Ocean and Cryosphere, 680 million people live in low-lying coastal areas – a number that could rise to 950 million by 2030. The impacts of sea level rise on the livelihoods and security of these populations are real and immediate – and must be high on the agenda for multilateral action on the nexus between climate and security.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Threats emanating from climate change take many shapes and forms. For many low-lying and small island developing states, they take a very concrete and imminent shape: As an existential threat of being flooded due to sea level rise. And in places such as the coastal states of Western Africa rising sea levels increasingly cause villages to be flooded and agricultural land to be damaged. This intensifies the existing pressure on scarce resources, which multiplies the risk of conflict and displacement; with clear and direct implications for international peace and security</p> &nbsp; <p>Let me share three reflections on this issue:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Firstly, climate change, incl. sea level rise, must be addressed as a complex security issue that requires a nexus-approach; taking into account climate, humanitarian, development and peacebuilding issues.&nbsp;We fully support the Security Council’s strengthened focus on the interactions between climate and security. Further, we encourage a regular report by the Secretary General on climate-related security risks, including as caused by sea level rise.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Second, we must accelerate action on climate adaptation now to avoid and minimize the impacts of sea level rise on peoples and economies. While fragile regions and vulnerable communities bear the brunt of the negative effects of climate change,&nbsp;finding solutions is a collective responsibility. It requires cooperation, and a renewed commitment to multilateralism and solidarity. We must strengthen cooperation between all relevant partners, including civil society, weather services and regional and sub-regional actors to make better use of, for example,&nbsp;climate-sensitive analysis and early warning systems. The findings of these must then be made accessible and understandable to those affected on the ground.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, sea level rise will be particularly challenging for small island states and countries with a significant part of their population and infrastructure placed in low-lying coastal areas. There may be a need to look at the global support architecture to address the increased risks in these countries. Our current set-up may not be fully fit-for purpose. We must&nbsp;increase climate financing for adaptation in these vulnerable regions. The Nordic countries are at the forefront of international efforts to scale up climate finance for adaptation. This underpins our commitment to addressing the adverse consequences of climate change and overcoming the obstacles it poses to sustainable development and peace.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we continue to respond to the crises unfolding across the world, we must ensure that we build back better and greener for a sustainable, climate resilient and peaceful future in full support of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

May 05, 2022On the Right to Freedom of Expression and Russia's Aggression Against UkraineVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0640%20iceland%201372pc.pdf">Statement by Ambassador Kristín A. Árnadóttir, Permanent Representative of Iceland, at the 1372nd Permanent Council Meeting, Vienna, 5 May 2022.</a></span>

Apr 28, 2022On Russia's War Against Ukraine and the Specific Impacts on Children and YouthVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0613%20iceland%201371%20pc.pdf">Statement by Ms. Eva Dröfn Hassell Gudmundsdóttir, Temporary Officer at&nbsp;the Permanent Mission of Iceland, at the 1371st Permanent Council Meeting, Vienna, 28 April 2022.</a></span>

Apr 28, 2022On the Right to a Fair Trial and the Conviction of Kavala to Life in PrisonVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0619%20iceland%201371%20pc.pdf">Statement by Ambassador Kristín A. Árnadóttir, Permanent Representative&nbsp;of Iceland, at the 1371st Permanent Council Meeting, Vienna, 28 April 2022.</a></span>

Apr 27, 2022Statement by GoF of Accountability following the Aggression against Ukraine at UNSC Arria meeting: Ensuring Accountability for Atrocities committed in UkraineNew York - United Nations

<div> <p paraid="908157790" paraeid="{d8420369-f40a-4aa1-8441-ac4fce9352cc}{172}"><span data-contrast="none"><strong>Statement by the Group of Friends of Accountability following the Aggression against Ukraine</strong></span></p> </div> <div> <p paraid="971893992" paraeid="{d8420369-f40a-4aa1-8441-ac4fce9352cc}{178}"><strong><span data-contrast="none">UN Security Council Arria-formula meeting: Ensuring Accountability for Atrocities committed in Ukraine</span></strong></p> </div> <div> <p paraid="1151688673" paraeid="{d8420369-f40a-4aa1-8441-ac4fce9352cc}{190}">&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p paraid="391915152" paraeid="{d8420369-f40a-4aa1-8441-ac4fce9352cc}{194}"><span data-contrast="none"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of Friends of Accountability following the </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">a</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">ggression against Ukraine</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">,</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> consisting of 48 Member States and the European Union</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">.&nbsp;</span></span></p> </div> <div> <p paraid="1220624086" paraeid="{d8420369-f40a-4aa1-8441-ac4fce9352cc}{216}"><span data-contrast="none"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">W</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">e have </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">since the 24</span></span><span data-contrast="none">th</span><span data-contrast="none"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> of February </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">witnessed images and reports of indiscriminate killings of civilians, including women, children and elderly, </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">as well as attacks </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">on civilian infrastructure.&nbsp;</span></span></p> </div> <div> <p paraid="949252904" paraeid="{d8420369-f40a-4aa1-8441-ac4fce9352cc}{236}"><span data-contrast="none"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">We are horrified by </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">the </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">r</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">eports from Bucha</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">, the </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">s</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">trike on the Kramator</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">s</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">k railway station</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">,</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">and </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">the widespread reports of crimes of sexual and </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">gender based</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> violence.&nbsp;</span></span></p> </div> <div> <p paraid="221146002" paraeid="{58789f27-5690-46cc-9697-e6d7f843cd5c}{17}"><span data-contrast="none">As underlined by the UN Secretary General, s</span><span data-contrast="none"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">uch</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> attacks are gross violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, for which the perpetrators must be held accountable.&nbsp;</span></span></p> </div> <div> <p paraid="1222733765" paraeid="{58789f27-5690-46cc-9697-e6d7f843cd5c}{25}"><span data-contrast="auto">The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is already investigating the situation. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine will investigate violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. And the three experts appointed under the OSCE Moscow Mechanism have recently delivered their report, citing </span><span data-contrast="none">a clear pattern of violations of international humanitarian law and </span><span data-contrast="auto">the most basic human rights</span><span data-contrast="none"> by Russian forces.</span></p> </div> <div> <p paraid="987497723" paraeid="{58789f27-5690-46cc-9697-e6d7f843cd5c}{81}"><span data-contrast="auto">These efforts are complemented by national investigations, and the important work carried out on the ground by OHCHR and civil society actors to collect and preserve evidence.</span></p> </div> <div> <p paraid="485730564" paraeid="{58789f27-5690-46cc-9697-e6d7f843cd5c}{101}"><span data-contrast="none"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">The Group of Friends will support the</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">se efforts</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> to bring war</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">criminals to justice. </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">We acknowledge this journey can sometimes be long and costly. </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">It</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> can</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> take years. </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">And</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> w</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">e will be there to sustain the proces</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">s</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">.</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">No matter how many years.</span></span></p> </div> <div> <p paraid="557385834" paraeid="{58789f27-5690-46cc-9697-e6d7f843cd5c}{143}"><span data-contrast="none"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">While we pursue the legal path of accountability, </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">t</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">he UN Security Council and General Assembly can and should express </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">their </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">concerns and condemnations of the unprovoked acts of aggression, the </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">attacks on</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> innocent civilians and civilian infrastructure, </span></span><span data-contrast="none"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">reports of human rights violations and breaches o</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">f</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> humanitarian law.&nbsp;</span></span></p> </div> <div> <p paraid="604282133" paraeid="{58789f27-5690-46cc-9697-e6d7f843cd5c}{167}"><span data-contrast="none">Our quest for justice, our fight against impunity for violations of international law</span><span data-contrast="none">,</span><span data-contrast="none"> should not</span><span data-contrast="none">, must not,</span><span data-contrast="none"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">and </span></span><span data-contrast="none">cannot </span><span data-contrast="none"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">be </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">pursued without collectively </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">taking a stand against a powerful aggressor.  </span></span></p> </div> <div> <p paraid="1611327628" paraeid="{58789f27-5690-46cc-9697-e6d7f843cd5c}{191}"><span data-contrast="none"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">It is </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">therefore </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">not premature to react politically</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">- in real time - against Russia </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">given credible reports that </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">its military forces are </span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">committing atrocities against</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1"> civilians</span><span data-ccp-parastyle="Brødtekst1">.</span></span></p> </div> <div> <p paraid="2098732409" paraeid="{58789f27-5690-46cc-9697-e6d7f843cd5c}{231}"><span data-contrast="none">Today we underline the importance of ensuring accountability for</span><span data-contrast="none"> these</span><span data-contrast="none"> crimes.&nbsp;</span></p> <p paraid="2098732409" paraeid="{58789f27-5690-46cc-9697-e6d7f843cd5c}{231}"><span data-contrast="none">Without accountability, crimes will continue, and impunity will persist, undermining legitimacy and the prospects for future peace and reconciliation.&nbsp;</span></p> <p paraid="2098732409" paraeid="{58789f27-5690-46cc-9697-e6d7f843cd5c}{231}"><span data-contrast="none">Thank you.&nbsp;</span></p> </div>

Apr 26, 2022Joint Nordic statement at the vote of the General Assembly on the Veto InitiativeNew York - United Nations

<div> <p><strong>Delivered by Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at the vote of the General Assembly on the Veto Initiative, <br /> New York, April 26 2022</strong></p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic Countries, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and my own country, Sweden.</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>We would like to thank Liechtenstein for this important initiative. The Nordic Countries wholeheartedly support the resolution.</p> <p>The fulfilment of the principal task of the United Nations, the maintenance of &nbsp;international peace and security, depends on the Security Council that delivers in accordance with its mandate. The Charter of the United Nations entrusts the Security Council with the primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security. The use of the veto to prevent the Council from discharging its Charter-based duties is a matter of great concern. During the last five years, for instance, the veto has been cast to block the action of the Council no less than 17 times.</p> <p>As the most recent instance of the use of veto by Russia further highlights, there is an urgent need for veto restraint and for more transparency and accountability when the veto power is used.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic countries have been consistent supporters of initiatives that seek to make sure that the Council is not prevented by the use of the veto from taking action with the aim of preventing or bringing an end to situations involving the commission of mass atrocities.</p> <p>This «Veto Initiative» will supplement these efforts. If adopted, this mandate will be a significant step towards accountability and transparency in the use of the veto power. That is why we have supported the initiative since its inception two years ago.</p> <p>The Security Council is entrusted with the responsibility to maintain peace and security on behalf of us, the Member States represented here in this assembly. Thus, it is natural that when permanent members of the Council use their veto to block Council action, they are invited to the General Assembly to explain their positions, and that all Member States have &nbsp;the opportunity to discuss the matter. &nbsp;</p> <p>The resolution adopted today in no way encroaches on the veto power, but seeks to increase transparency and accountability in its use. We hope that the new mandate will contribute to the effectiveness of the Security Council and to its ability to discharge its duties.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Apr 26, 2022Statement at Financing for Development Forum General DebateNew York - United Nations

<p><span><strong>Financing for Development,<br /> </strong></span><strong>Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland <br /> H.E. Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir</strong></p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The ramifications of COVID-19, climate change, conflicts, and, most recently, Russia´s senseless war in Ukraine, are moving us in the wrong direction during what was meant to be the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We must significantly step up our efforts to deliver on the important commitments we made seven years ago, to ensure that the impacts of these crises are not felt for generations to come.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As far as the pandemic is concerned, it seems that the most sensible strategy now is to allow societies to return to normal if possible. A high rate of vaccination, in particular among those most vulnerable, is essential and enabling vaccination for vulnerable groups across the globe should be a priority. Iceland has played its part with significant contributions to ACT-A, including its COVAX pillar and UNICEF. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is also essential to lessen the impacts of higher food and energy costs, which have only increased because of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. It is a horrifying fact that the heaviest burden will yet again fall on the shoulders of populations that are least prepared to bear them. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although I don't know, I suspect that when the dust of the pandemic has settled, and we become willing to look critically at our response—it will be hard not to critizise some of the responses among the rich nations of the west. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If nothing else - I hope that we will not fool ourselves about the effects that severe economic disruption in the West, and the loss of schooling for children will have on the populations that have the least opportunity to respond to external shocks. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In parallel, we must ensure an equitable recovery from the pandemic. Promoting the key drivers of green and inclusive economic growth, enhancing developing countries´ access to finance and meeting aid commitments are all critically important. Iceland will continue to increase its ODA this year. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Chairman, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In these times of multiple crises, we must all do our part and work together for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable global recovery.&nbsp; </p> <p>Iceland stands ready to meet the moment and deliver on our commitments.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Apr 25, 2022Statement at 21st Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous IssuesNew York - United Nations

<p><span><strong>21st Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues,</strong></span></p> <p><span><strong> Item 5(f): Thematic dialogues International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022–2032</strong></span></p> &nbsp; <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We align with the statement delivered earlier by Finland on behalf of the Nordic Countries - and please allow me some brief remarks in national capacity. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Language has always been of great significance to Icelandic society and currently, over 120 languages are spoken in the country. In recent years, institutions and academics have paid great attention to heritage language teaching and promoting bilingualism and plurilingualism. Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, in line with the SDGs, are high on the agenda of our educational institutions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a sign of the importance we attach to the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032; it has just been launched within Iceland with an international event on the 22<sup>nd</sup> of April. The leading promoter of the Decade in Iceland is the Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding; named after the first female democratically elected Head of State, who now serves as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for languages. During the IDIL there will be a focus on promoting in Iceland and the West Nordic region equality and diversity in thematic fields such as indigenous peoples and languages, linguistic rights as human rights, language revitalization and preservation. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our aim is to contribute Icelandic knowledge and expertise on language documentation and preservation in the digital age; digital tools for language learning and revitalization; overcoming challenges small linguistic communities face; and the importance of translations and cultural production for language development, among others. With this, we hope to contribute to the general aim of The International Decade – to draw attention to the importance of linguistic diversity and the critical loss of indigenous languages. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Only through valuing and supporting the diversity and equality of cultures, languages and peoples, can we build diverse, informed, democratic, and sustainable societies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>*Written Statement submitted on 25 April 2022</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Apr 22, 2022On Russia's War Against Ukraine and the Humanitarian SituationVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0600%20iceland%201370%20special%20pc%20(1).pdf">Statement by Ambassador Kristín A. Árnadóttir, Permanent Representative of Iceland, at the 1370 the Permanent Council Meeting, Vienna, 22 April 2022.</a></span>

Apr 19, 2022Joint Nordic Statement at the Security Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in UkraineNew York - United Nations

<p><span><strong>Statement by H.E. Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström on behalf of the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) at the Security Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine (19 April 2022).</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and my own country, Sweden.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me start by thanking the briefers for their clear and concise remarks. I also want to pay tribute to the staff of your respective organizations and all other humanitarian workers on the ground in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries. We are immensely grateful for their efforts, which sadly are essential for the safety and dignity of so many Ukrainians. UNHCR and IOM are doing impressive work to assist refugees and IDPs and we encourage you to continue to scale up your work.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we have heard from you, and as evidenced by so many testimonies from those who have fled, the efforts of humanitarian actors are dwarfed by the unspeakable horrors caused by the unprovoked, unjustified and illegal Russian aggression against Ukraine. The decision to launch this war places a heavy responsibility on those who made it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We welcome the efforts of humanitarian actors to assist and protect as many people in need as possible, as well as the hospitality and generosity of those countries who are hosting refugees from Ukraine, where Ukraine’s immediate neighbours – Poland, Moldova, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia – deserve particular recognition. The Nordic countries are proud to be part of a donor community that has mustered an impressive response to the initial humanitarian appeal of 1.1 billion dollars.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Going forward, let me highlight a few elements that we see as particularly important to further improve the efficiency of humanitarian work:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>First, safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access must be ensured. Not least to the areas hardest hit by the conflict and particularly places which risk being encircled. Access to places like Mariupol and Kharkiv is still granted on a case-by-case basis and requires complicated negotiations, while the humanitarian needs are on a scale that requires sustained access. The main cause for the lack of access are attacks by the Russian Federation on areas where civilians are located, which compromises the safety and security of humanitarian actors on the ground. We call on both parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations to allow and facilitate access to the east and to other hard-to-reach areas, recalling again the particular responsibility that rests on the shoulders of the invading forces. We welcome in this regard the efforts by the Emergency Relief Coordinator, to negotiate a humanitarian ceasefire, during his recent visit to Moscow and Ukraine and we support the call of the Secretary-General for a humanitarian pause.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Second, in line with the humanitarian principles, protection and assistance must take into account the needs of everyone living in a situation of vulnerability. We see how women who have chosen to stay are at heightened risk of sexual and gender-based violence. We also see how the elderly and people with disabilities are unable to leave. These aspects must be fully integrated in the humanitarian response.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Third, international humanitarian law must be respected. Civilians must never be a target. And civilian infrastructure must be protected. Sexual violence can never tolerated. This brings me back to the issue of responsibility. No amount of denial and disinformation will prevent accountability for serious international crimes including war crimes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are now almost eight weeks into Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine. During that time, we have witnessed horrific atrocities that have ended, ruined and disrupted the lives of millions. But we have also seen the international community coming together in solidarity with Ukraine. And, most importantly, we have been deeply impressed by the incredible resilience of the Ukrainian people.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In conclusion, we recall the two resolutions from the Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly, as well as the order by the International Court of Justice issued on 16 March this year. All of them include a clear call on Russia to stop this war. But let us be candid: no UN resolutions or court orders are necessary in this regard. It is obvious to everyone what the right course of action is. This aggression should never have been launched in the first place and it must end now. It is never too late to make the right choice.</p>

Apr 13, 2022On the Report by Independent Experts of the OSCE Moscow MechanismVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0602%20iceland%201369%20special%20pc.pdf">Statement by Ms. María Mjöll Jónsdóttir, Director General of the Directorate of International Affairs and Development Co-operation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, at the 1369th Permanent Council&nbsp;Meeting, Vienna, 13 April 2022.</a></span>

Apr 11, 2022Joint Nordic Statement at UN Security Council Open Briefing under the Agenda Item "Peace and Security of Ukraine"New York - United Nations

<p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I am delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and my own country, Sweden.</p> <p>Repeated attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, a growing number of reports of sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances and reported massacres.</p> <p>The list of unfolding horrors in Ukraine, many of which may amount to war crimes, goes on and it is reminding us of some of the worst atrocities in history. We condemn Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified and unlawful aggression in the strongest possible terms and demand Russia to immediately stop its aggression and withdraw all forces. We also strongly condemn the active involvement of Belarus in this aggression against Ukraine. We call for accountability and stand with the Ukrainian people and all actors inside and outside of Ukraine who are standing up against this injustice and promoting peace.</p> <p>We commend and thank Albania, the US and the UK for making today’s crucial meeting possible.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What is happening today in Ukraine is having immediate impact on the lives of millions and is going to have a long-term, structural impact on Ukraine, the region and globally. Who is represented and what is discussed in peace, political and humanitarian decisions and responses will play a key role in determining whether the invasion’s vast gender implications are taken into account.</p> <p>Today’s meeting provides an important reminder to the international community that Women, Peace and Security and gender equality are integral to all analyses, responses and decisions in relation to Russia’s aggression. Women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace and political processes is a matter of rights, but also a prerequisite for sustainable and legitimate processes. In addition, the inclusion of gender and intersectional perspectives is a must for identifying and addressing the needs of different groups.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me stress four points:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>• One, we must defend civic space. Civil society actors are leading key efforts on the frontline – responding to protection needs, monitoring the situation and providing peacebuilding and humanitarian support. Their voices are essential and must feed into policy and decision-making. Yet, their work comes at a great risk. We – Member States and the UN – have a responsibility to support an enabling environment, offer spaces to be heard by policymakers, prevent and address reprisals and provide adequate, rapid and flexible funding, in particular to organizations focusing on women’s full enjoyment of human rights.</p> <p>• Two, accountability must start now. Not later. It starts with gender-responsive monitoring and investigations of the alarming testimonies of SGBV, including allegations of rape, and the indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, which may amount to war crimes. It starts with ensuring immediate survivor-centred support, access to rights and services, including sexual and reproductive health and rights. The Nordic countries are taking action in support of investigative measures, for example, through financial support and seconded personnel to the ICC.</p> <p>• Three, we need to focus on the link between participation and protection. Promoting women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace and political processes requires support to safe and enabling environments. In addition, if we are to create effective protection mechanisms, this cannot be developed without the inputs from affected communities, not least diverse women and LGBTQI+ human rights defenders and peacebuilders. The diverse knowledge and experience of women politicians, civil society leaders, activists, peacebuilders and human rights defenders already active in policymaking at all levels within Ukraine's society, and not least working with conflict-related issues since 2014, is a considerable resource.</p> <p>• Finally, we must be able to address both immediate and long-term issues simultaneously. The international community must have the readiness to address both the humanitarian and refugee crises while providing support to long-term peacebuilding efforts. Gender and women, peace and security-related issues must be integrated throughout. The millions of children that are internally displaced or forced to flee Ukraine are particularly vulnerable and facing a crisis that could last for generations. Their homes, schools and medical facilities have been destroyed. Immediate and long-term support – and the bridge in between – will be particularly essential for their protection, psychosocial and educational needs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>*Written statement submitted to the Security Council.</p>

Apr 07, 2022Nordic Statement at the 11th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly on UkraineNew York - United Nations

<p>Mr. President,</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic Countries, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Denmark.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,<br /> The General Assembly has just voted to suspend the Russian Federation’s rights of membership in the Human Rights Council. The Nordic countries voted in favour.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The suspension of the rights of a member state in the UN Human Rights Council is not an easy decision. The Nordic countries strongly support the Human Rights Council as an inclusive forum for dialogue on important human rights issues.</p> <p >But a membership of the Council encompasses responsibilities. Members of the Council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The General Assembly has a responsibility to safeguard the integrity and credibility of the Council. This includes considering the suspension of the rights of membership of the Council of a member that commits gross and systematic violations of human rights.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Russian Federation’s unprovoked unjustified and unlawful attack on Ukraine is a gross violation of international law and the UN Charter and it has had a catastrophic impact on Ukraine, in particular on its civilians.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Already on 4 March 2022, the Human Rights Council expressed grave concern regarding reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” and “violations of international humanitarian law” by the Russian Federation during its aggression against Ukraine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are appalled by the shocking reports of human rights violations in the Russian controlled areas including sexual and gender based violence against women and girls, extrajudicial killings arbitrary arrests, abductions, enforced disappearances, as well as deportations. We condemn in the strongest terms the reported massacres, torture and sexual violence, including rape, used against civilians in Bucha, the liberated areas around Kyiv and other regions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Investigations into these crimes are ongoing. We welcome the establishment by the Human Rights Council of a Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law And we also welcome that the ICC has opened an investigation into the situation in Ukraine. Due process in the pursuit of<br /> accountability will be ensured.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the meantime, t he UN Human Rights Council should not, and will no t, be tainted by a full fledged membership of a state accused of some of the most horrific war crimes seen in Europe since the end of World War II.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We created the United Nations and its institutions to ensure international cooperation around peace, security, social and economic development and human rights. The institutions of the United Nations must be respected as such. We should not allow them to be used deliberately to disseminate propaganda and disinformation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We thank member states today for standing up for the international rule based order, the integrity of the Human Rights Council and the rules and principles of the UN Charter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Apr 07, 2022Introduction by Iceland for resolution on the Islamic Republic of Iran in HRC49StatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>UN Human Rights Council 49<sup>th</sup> session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Introduction of L.7 – Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>1. April 2022</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by Iceland</strong> <strong>on behalf of a core group</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I would like to introduce the resolution L.7, Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of a core group, consisting of the Republic of Moldova, North Macedonia, the United Kingdom, and my own country Iceland.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The resolution is a short procedural text, aiming at extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a further period of one year, with a view to improving the human rights situation in Iran, in light of the persisting human rights concerns.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The core group held negotiations in an open and transparent manner and </p> <p>no changes were made to the text adopted last year apart from technical updates. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We thank the Special Rapporteur for his work and welcome his report. We also note positively the improved and increased engagement of the Government of Iran with the Office of the High Commissioner, and we call on the Government to facilitate the request from the Special Rapporteur for visits to the country. Cooperation with the Special Rapporteur, and other mandate holders, offers an important opportunity for the Government of Iran to engage with the Council on the concerns that persist about the human rights situation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, it is our sincere hope that the resolution will be adopted by consensus today.</p> <p>I thank you, Mr. President.</p>

Apr 07, 20229 Joint Statements supported by Iceland in HRC49StatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/Joint%20Statements%20HRC49.pdf"><span class="pdf">9 Joint Statements supported by Iceland in HRC49</span></a></p>

Apr 07, 2022Nordic-Baltic Statements and National Statements in HRC49StatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/HRC49-Statements.pdf"><span class="pdf">Nordic-Baltic Statements and National Statements in HRC49</span></a></p>

Apr 07, 2022On Russia's War Against Ukraine and International Accountability MechanismsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0513%20iceland%201367pc.pdf">Statement by Ambassador Kristín A. Árnadóttir, Permanent Representative of Iceland, at the 1367 the Permanent Council Meeting, Vienna, 7 April 2022.</a></span>

Apr 05, 2022NB8 statement in connection to the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine, 5 AprilNew York - United Nations

<p>Mme President,</p> <p>I am speaking on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and my own country, Estonia. We place a high importance on the possibility to participate in the Council discussions on this issue.</p> <p>We thank the Secretary-General and Under-Secretaries-General DiCarlo and Griffiths for their presentations, and welcome the participation of President Zelensky in the briefing today.</p> <p>Forty-one days ago, on the evening of 23 February in New York, as the Council had gathered in this Chamber to discuss and urge the Russian Federation to refrain from threats and further aggression against Ukraine, including its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Russian Federation launched an unprovoked, unjustified and unlawful attack on Ukraine.</p> <p>It was, and remains, a war of choice. This choice was made by Russia in full knowledge of its violation of international law and the UN Charter as well as its catastrophic impact on Ukraine, particular of its civilians. It was also made in full awareness of &nbsp;the broader, global impact of the war – including on the most vulnerable countries and people. The Russian aggression – a war of choice – is now undermining the food security and development of countless nations around the world by driving up the cost of energy, fertilizers and staple foods, with the most vulnerable hit hardest.</p> <p>The Russian Federation, together with its accomplice, Belarus, has continued its aggression in blatant disregard of the calls by the UN General Assembly, the Secretary-General as well as the legally binding order by the International Court of Justice.</p> <p>This war is both cruel and unnecessary. It is systematically waged against civilians and civilian objects, turning living and thriving cities into ruins. The death toll of civilians, including children, recorded by the UN raises daily. But we know that the real figures of civilians killed and wounded are significantly higher. In forty-one days over 10 million people have been forced to flee their homes, over 4 million have left the country. Large numbers of those remaining, in particular in cities under Russian siege, are deprived of water, food, shelter, and medication. In addition, the Russian attacks have recklessly jeopardized the safety of nuclear power plants.</p> <p>This is accompanied by reports of human rights violations in the Russian-controlled areas – about sexual and gender based violence against women and girls, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, abductions, enforced disappearances, as well as deportations – bringing echoes of the century past. The aggression has led to attacks against journalists who have a critical role in providing information during a conflict, including the death of Mantas Kvedaravičius, a documentary filmmaker from Lithuania, who was killed on 2 April in Mariupol, where he was documenting Russia’s atrocities.</p> <p>We cannot look aside from the haunting images of the atrocities committed by the Russian forces emerging from Bucha, the liberated areas around Kyiv and other regions, which show the brutal face of this war of aggression Russia is waging against Ukraine and its people. We condemn in the strongest terms the reported massacres, torture and sexual violence, including rape, used against civilians. In the areas they held, the Russian forces destroyed homes, hospitals, and other civilian infrastructure, and reportedly left areas mined. The responsibility for these actions, which show how far Russia is willing to go in pursuing its unlawful objectives, lies with the Russian authorities, who were in effective control of these areas during their commission.</p> <p>Mme President,</p> <p>We call for Russia’s full respect for its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law.</p> <p>We demand that Russia immediately and unconditionally withdraw all of its troops from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and implement with immediate effect the provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice.</p> <p>We urge Russia to immediately cease its attacks and deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian objects, as well as their &nbsp;use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in residential areas &nbsp;in clear violation of international humanitarian law, and fully implement UN General Assembly resolutions A/RES/ES-11/1 and A/RES/ES-11/2.</p> <p>We urge Russia to grant immediately full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian actors and assistance as well as protection and safe passage to allow civilians to safely and voluntarily leave conflict-affected areas to a destination of their choice. This includes the civilians in an extremely dire humanitarian situation in Mariupol.</p> <p>We call for accountability for all violations of international law, including the atrocities committed by the Russian forces in Bucha and other areas. This includes holding accountable the perpetrators of these violations as well as the responsible government officials and military leaders. We welcome the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry by the UN Human Rights Council as well as the work under the OSCE Moscow Mechanism. In addition, all Nordic and Baltic countries have joined the referral of the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court. We fully support the efforts of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in conducting the investigation concerning allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. We encourage UN member states to join the newly established Group of Friends of Accountability following the Aggression against Ukraine.</p> <p>We underline the importance of continued UN monitoring, documenting and reporting on violations against civilians, including women and children, through its established mechanisms. We underline and recognize the important role women can play in responding to these atrocities to ensure efficient action and to build resilience.</p> <p>Mme President,</p> <p>The Nordic and Baltic countries have continued to assist those affected by conflicts around the world – and together with the international community, the UN system and civil society we will continue provide support to the courageous people of Ukraine.</p> <p>We stand for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We stand for humanity in the face of cruelty. We stand for accountability. We stand with the people – women, men and children – of Ukraine. This is our choice.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Apr 05, 2022On the Russian War Against Ukraine and Atrocities Discovered in the Kyiv Liberated RegionVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1366%20PC,%205.4.2022.pdf">Statement by H.E. Ambassador Kristín A. Árnadóttir at the 1366 Special Meeting of the Permanent Council, 5 April 2022.</a>

Apr 01, 2022Joint Nordic Statement at the IIIM debate, 65th Plenary Meeting, on Prevention of armed conflictNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><span>Delivered by H.E. Ms. Miia Rainne, Chargé d'Affairs, Deputy Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, on 1 April 2022.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The conflict in Syria has been one of the bloodiest in recent history. Starting out as a peaceful popular uprising, the escalating violence, caused by the regime’s brutal crackdown, has over the past 11 years led to the disappearance or death of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. Thousands more have been subject to torture, rape, or other forms of cruel and degrading treatment. Millions have fled their homes. Towns and cities have been left in ruins.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>All parties have committed countless atrocities during the protracted conflict. It is well documented, not least by the IIIM, that the Syrian regime bears the main responsibility for most of the flagrant violations of international law, including international human rights law and international humanitarian law.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There can be no impunity. All perpetrators must be brought to justice. This is necessary not only to ensure justice for victims, but also to prevent and deter future violations. Ensuring accountability is also an integral part of our obligation to respect and ensure compliance with international law. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I wish to thank the Head of IIIM, Madame Marchi-Uhel, for presenting the latest report today. The report shows that despite the many ongoing challenges to its work, the Mechanism has been very successful in continuing to implement its vital mandate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The number of States cooperating and requesting assistance from the mechanism continues to increase. We welcome the extensive cooperation of the mechanism with other parts of the UN System, the OPCW, as well as civil society. It is harnessing new technologies to fight impunity. We also welcome that the Mechanism has opened two new case files focusing on unlawful attacks, including conventional and chemical attacks. It has made significant headway in its analytical work on detention-related crimes, as well as cross-cutting thematic work on gender, children and missing persons.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic countries highly appreciate all the work undertaken by the Mechanism. We also commend the ongoing efforts in the courts of a number of countries to prosecute, on the basis of universal jurisdiction, crimes committed in Syria. We however need to do more. In this regard, we also reiterate our call to the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Member States’ collaboration with the IIIM is key in achieving accountability. We call on all States to cooperate with the Mechanism in information sharing and to provide it with the necessary operational support.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The important work of the IIIM necessitates sustainable and predictable resources. The Nordic countries remain convinced that this can only be guaranteed through funding from the UN Programme budget. Assessed contributions may be supplemented, but never subsidized, by voluntary funding. We call on all Member States to ensure that the Mechanism has the necessary funding to carry out its mandate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To conclude, Mr. President, the Nordic countries remain fully committed to the IIIM and its mandate.</p>

Apr 01, 2022Conference of the Parties to the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (A/CPPNM) 28 March - 1 April 2022Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/NV(2022)031%20-%202022%20aCPPNM%20Joint%20Statement.pdf">Joint Statement at the&nbsp;<span>Conference of the Parties to the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material&nbsp; (A/CPPNM) 28 March - 1 April 2022.</span></a>

Mar 31, 20221365 PC 31 March 2022 (Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Uzbekistan)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0467r1%20eu%20in%20response%20hom%20bih%201365pc.pdf">EU Statement in response to the Report of the Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ambassador Kavalec.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0471%20eu%20in%20response%20PCiUz%201365pc.pdf">EU on the Report by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan, Ambassador Pierre von Arx.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0469%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201365pc.pdf">EU Statement on the Russian Federation’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine.</a></span></p> <p><span>&nbsp;</span></p>

Mar 30, 2022Joint Nordic-Baltic statement for the Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner's Oral Update on Ukraine Geneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Human Rights Council<br /> 49th session<br /> Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner‘s Oral Update on Ukraine<br /> Statement delivered by Lithuania on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">(90 sec. 217)</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. President,</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">On behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries, I thank the High Commissioner for her oral update and the </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">UN Human Rights monitoring mission in Ukraine for its work.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We stand united with Ukraine facing large scale unprovoked, unlawful and unjustified aggression by Russia, </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">enabled by Belarus. </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We admire the courage of the Ukrainian people defending their country and legally binding norms of the international law and the principles of the United Nations Charter</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We urge Russia to immediately cease the attacks </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">and deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">especially</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;"> </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">using explosive weapons, such as cluster munitions</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">, in residential areas, </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">which are grave violations of international humanitarian law. We demand Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops from the entire territory of Ukraine. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Russia is responsible </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">for the bloodshed of innocent people, including women and children, and for millions lives destroyed.</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;"> All human rights violations and suspected war crimes must be investigated and accountability ensured. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Accountability matters. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Justice cannot be escaped. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The international community must do everything to hold Russia and its accomplice Belarus to account. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The Nordic-Baltic countries commend the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry and call for its immediate operationalization. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><span>Madam High Commissioner, what more could be done to strengthen our efforts in seeking justice for victims and accountability of perpetrators? </span></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p>

Mar 30, 202249th session of the Human Rights Council: statement by Iceland during interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner on the oral report on Ukraine Geneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner <br /> on the oral report on Ukraine</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">30 March</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Statement by Iceland</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. President.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland thanks the High Commissioner for her Oral Report and the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine for its work. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland reiterates its support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, within its internationally recognized borders. Our position remains clear: we do not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia and strongly condemn Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We are witnessing an escalating pattern of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, including Russia’s indiscriminate attacks on civilian lives and infrastructure. We urge Russia to uphold its obligations for safe and unhindered humanitarian access in Ukraine.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. President, </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We are deeply alarmed at the security risks faced by journalists and human rights defenders in areas occupied by Russia, as well as increased repression of media freedom and right to freedom of expression in Russia relating to the war in Ukraine. The right to freedom of opinion and expression must be respected. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Prisoners of war must be treated humanely and protected against acts of violence or intimidation, including public curiosity.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland stands in full unity with the people of Ukraine and demands the withdrawal of all Russian military personnel and equipment from Ukraine.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I thank you.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p>

Mar 30, 20221006 FSC 30 March 2022 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0159%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201006fsc.pdf">EU Statement on Russia’s ongoing military aggression against Ukraine.</a></span></p> <p><span>&nbsp;</span></p>

Mar 29, 2022Joint Nordic-Baltic statement on the human rights situation in SyriaGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">UN Human Rights Council&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> 49th session</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry <br /> on the Syrian Arab Republic </span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Intervention by Iceland, on behalf of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><em><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">[Check against delivery]</span></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I speak on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #0f1419; background: white; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Eleven years have passed since a peaceful uprising in Syria descended into a brutal war </span><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">that has since caused enormous human suffering, grave and widespread human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">As the Commission’s findings reveals, the human rights situation continues to deteriorate, inflicting new levels of hardship and suffering, including </span><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, targeted attacks and killings, torture and sexual and gender-based violence. </span></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 14pt;">Accountability is key. We call on all parties to fulfil their obligations under human rights law and international humanitarian law. </span><span style="color: black; font-size: 14pt;">Impunity must end, </span><span style="color: black; font-size: 14pt;">independent monitors given unimpeded access to places of detention, and </span><span style="color: black; font-size: 14pt;">the respect for human rights for all in Syria must be restored. </span></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black; background: white; font-size: 14pt;">The Syrian regime must engage in the UN-facilitated political process </span><span style="color: black; font-size: 14pt;">in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 with the aim of creating stability and peace in Syria. Safe and unhindered access for i</span><span style="color: black; font-size: 14pt;">nternational humanitarian and human rights organisations must be ensured. </span></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We reiterate our strong support for the crucial work of the UN Special Envoy for Syria, the Commission of Inquiry and the triple IM. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Commissioners: </span></em><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">What can be done to accelerate the work to achieve accountability and justice? What more can be done for those missing and/or arbitrarily detained? </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank you.</span></p>

Mar 29, 2022Joint Nordic-Baltic statement on the situation of human rights in Iran Geneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Human Rights Council</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt;">49th session</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Interactive Dialogue on the Oral Update by <br /> the Special Rapporteur on Islamic Republic of Iran</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt;">17 March 2022</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. President,</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for his update.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We remain deeply concerned about the persistent human rights violations and abuses in Iran, and the absence of a system of accountability. Iran must undertake fundamental reforms to establish appropriate legal and political structures of governance, and ensure independence of the judiciary. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The continuous use of death penalty, including the execution of child offenders remains an issue of deep concern. We urge Iran to abolish the death penalty for all offences and impose an immediate moratorium on executions. Moreover, the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, online and offline, peaceful assembly and association must be protected.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We regret the fact that discriminatory laws and practices against women and girls persist in Iran, including child marriage. We share the Special Rapporteur’s grave concerns about the new family law and its consequences on sexual and reproductive health and rights. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Finally, we urge Iran to fully cooperate with the Special Rapporteur, including by granting full and unhindered access to the country.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I thank you.</span></p>

Mar 29, 2022Joint Nordic-Baltic statement on the situation of human rights in BelarusGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Interactive Dialogue on OHCHR report</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">on the situation of human rights in Belarus</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">17 March 2022</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">H.E. Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. President,</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We are deeply concerned by the findings of the OHCHR examination, in particular that violations have been widespread and systematic, and executed as an official policy.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The Lukashenko regime is on a destructive path, at home and abroad. We reiterate in the strongest possible terms our condemnation of Russia’s illegal and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine and Belarus’ involvement in it. We stand in full solidarity with Ukraine and its people. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black; background: white; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. President,</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black; background: white; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We call on Belarus to adhere to its international commitments and obligations under human rights law. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black; background: white; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The relentless attack on civil society and independent voices, and the widespread use of disinformation in Belarus must stop. We urge an immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners and other arbitrarily detained persons, whose numbers rise constantly.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We continue to stand with the Belarusian people in their fight for a free and democratic society. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The Nordic-Baltic countries fully support a renewal of the OHCHR examination mandate, to ensure a further assessment of evidence from the perspective of applicable international criminal law.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Madame High Commissioner, how can civil society best continue to contribute to accountability efforts?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I thank you.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p>

Mar 29, 2022Joint Nordic-Baltic Statement on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan Geneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <div> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">UNITED NATIONS <br /> HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL<br /> <br /> </span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>WITH HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, MICHELLE BACHELET, ON HER REPORT ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN AFGHANISTAN</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>7 March 2022</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>Statement delivered by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic–Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. President,</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We welcome the High Commissioner’s report and this opportunity to highlight key concerns regarding the human rights situation in Afghanistan in the wake of the fall of the democratically elected Government. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Our countries have been actively engaged in efforts for the stabilisation and development of Afghanistan. We are deeply concerned by the findings of the report and the deterioration in the human rights situation, particularly by reports of arbitrary killings, violence and intimidation against peaceful protestors, journalists and other media workers, human rights defenders, persons associated with the previous government and persons belonging to ethnic, religious and sexual minorities. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Equally, we are gravely worried about the erosion of the enjoyment of the rights of women and girls, in particular their access to education, and the exclusion of women from political, social and economic spheres of Afghan society. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We express our strong support for the new mandate of a special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank you.</span></p> </div>

Mar 29, 2022Joint Nordic-Baltic statement on the situation of human rights in the Tigray region of EthiopiaGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">UN Human Rights Council</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">49th&nbsp;Session</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">Interactive Dialogue&nbsp;with the High Commissioner on the situation <br /> of human rights in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, 7 March 2022</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">Intervention by Iceland on behalf of NB8</span></strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: #232323;">[check against delivery]</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: #232323;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: #232323;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: #232323;">I speak on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: #232323;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: #232323;">We thank the High Commissioner for her update. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: #232323;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: #232323;">We welcome recent positive steps taken by the Government of Ethiopia. However, we call on all parties to abide by international humanitarian law and allow full, safe and unfettered humanitarian access to all people in need, including in Tigray.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: #232323;">We remain deeply concerned about human rights violations and abuses in the Northern parts of Ethiopia. This must stop and accountability must be ensured for all crimes committed. We urge all parties to the conflict to cease hostilities, seek a negotiated settlement and respect the human rights, security and safety of civilians and humanitarian workers. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: #232323;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: black;">Finally, we urge the Government of Ethiopia to strengthen its engagement with the Council’s mechanisms by granting the international commission of human rights experts full, safe and unhindered access to the country. The commission complements ongoing national efforts and is key to help hold all perpetrators to account for their actions, including non-Ethiopian actors. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: #232323;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="background: white; font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond, serif; color: black;">Madam High Commissioner,</span></p> <p><span style="background: white; font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond, serif; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="background: white; font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond, serif; color: black;">Taking into account the investigation and findings by the Joint Investigation Team, how can it best be ensured that the work of the international commission of human rights experts on Ethiopia will complement those findings?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: #232323;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond; color: black;">Thank you. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Garamond, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p>

Mar 29, 2022Joint Nordic-Baltic Statement on the situation of human rights in EritreaGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>Human Rights Council</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>49th session</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-family: Garamond, serif;">I</span></strong><strong><span>nteractive Dialogue on the Oral Update by the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>4 March 2022</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="background: yellow; font-family: Garamond, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>Mr President,</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>We would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for his update.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>We remain highly concerned about persistent human rights violations and abuses in Eritrea, including arbitrary detention, imprisonment of refugees and asylum seekers, indefinite national service, and restrictions on the rights to freedoms of expression and religion or belief.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>We are deeply concerned about the reported human rights violations and abuses committed by Eritrean Defence Forces on Ethiopian territory and call for their immediate and unconditional departure from Ethiopia. We urge the Government of Eritrea to undertake investigations meeting international standards and to hold those responsible to account. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>The inhumane prison conditions exacerbated by COVID-19 and reports of increased pervasive controls by the Eritrean authorities on its population are of great concern. We call on the Government to fully comply with its international obligations and to ensure respect for all human rights.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>Finally, we reiterate our call to the Government to strengthen its engagement with the Council’s mechanisms, including by granting the Special Rapporteur full and unhindered access to the country.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>How can the international community support efforts to improve the human rights situation in the country?</span></p> <p><span>&nbsp;</span></p>

Mar 29, 202249th session of the Human Rights Council: Iceland's Statement about Ukraine, Venezuela, Myanmar, Ethiopia and AfghanistanGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Item 4 – General Debate&nbsp; </span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt;">21-22 March 2022</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Statement by Iceland</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank you, Mr. President.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We reiterate in the strongest possible terms our condemnation of <strong>Russia</strong>’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Russian forces continue to demonstrate utter disregard for civilian lives through indiscriminate attacks that can amount to war crimes. We call on Russia to immediately withdraw all military personnel and equipment from Ukraine. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In <strong>Venezuela</strong>, we remain deeply concerned about restrictions of fundamental freedoms and the erosion of the rule of law.<strong> </strong>We urge the government to end its policy of repression and to restore judicial independence. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In <strong>Myanmar</strong>, we call on the military to cease all violations and abuses against the people of Myanmar, including ethnic minorities, and call for accountability and the immediate return to democratic rule. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. President,</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We urge all parties to the conflict in<strong> Ethiopia</strong> to respect international humanitarian law and to ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access across Ethiopia. Accountability must be ensured for all human rights violations and abuses and perpetrators must be held to account.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Lastly, in<strong> Afghanistan</strong>, we call for the full enjoyment of human rights of women and girls, including the right to education and the right to work, and strongly condemn the use of violence and arbitrary detention by the Taliban. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I thank you.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Mar 28, 2022Joint Nordic Statement - Working Group on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the context of International SecurityNew York - United Nations

<p>Mr. Chair, I am speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and my own country, Finland). The EU member states among us align with the EU statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the outset, let me underline that the Nordic countries express their full solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. The Nordic countries condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia's military aggression against Ukraine. It violates flagrantly international law and the UN Charter, and undermines international security, stability and the core principles of the international rules-based order. The Nordic countries demand that Russia ceases its military actions immediately and stops its disinformation campaign and cyber-attacks against Ukraine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Russian Government’s repeated violations of international law including the continuous use of cyberattacks clearly illustrates Russia’s disregard for the subject matter we are discussing today. In fact, it shows that Russia has no intentions to engage in good faith in negotiations in our efforts to ensure peace and stability in cyberspace.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The United Nations is the core of multilateral cooperation and has a leading role in promoting dialogue on the use of ICTs by States. Strong multilateral institutions and a rules-based international order are of utmost importance to the Nordic countries. Therefore, we have been committed to constructive participation in this process as well as in the Ad Hoc Committee -process on cybercrime. Whilst we will continue to engage constructively to uphold the strength of multilateralism, the prospects for achieving meaningful progress without an agreement on the modalities for multistakeholder participation are, however, in our view questionable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic countries have shown willingness to compromise in order to reach consensus on multiple occasions and we therefore deeply regret the unwillingness demonstrated by a few member states to find common ground. Inclusion and mutual understanding is the bedrock of the United Nations, and the views and experiences from a wide array of stakeholders – including the private sector, academia, and civil society- are invaluable assets to our work.</p> <p>We had previously agreed to allowing the formal discussions to proceed in the first substantive session under the shared understanding that a progress on the issue of modalities will be made before the current session. However, since we do not have such an agreement, it is clear that we cannot continue to proceed on the same basis from last December.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is therefore our position that we should not proceed our formal discussions before we reach an agreement on the modalities. At this stage, we can agreed to allowing informal discussions to take place in accordance with the established UN practice, but in order of the formal substantive discussions to continue, there needs to be an agreement on the modalities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Proceeding without an agreement would not only undermine the meaningfulness of this round of the OEWG, but could also undercut the credibility of the consensus-based outcome achieved so far in the OEWG-process.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I thank you Mr. Chair</p>

Mar 28, 2022Standing Committee of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme (83rd meeting): Statement by IcelandGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <p class="Default" style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 11pt;">Standing Committee of the Executive Committee of</span></strong></p> <p class="Default" style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 11pt;">the High Commissioner's Programme (83rd meeting)</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">8-10 March 2022</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Statement by Iceland</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">H.E. Harald Aspelund, Permanent Representative of Iceland</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank you, Madame Chair.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland is gravely concerned about the plight of the Ukrainian people and condemns Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine in the strongest possible terms.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Civilians are suffering, lives and livelihoods lost and we are looking at consequences that will not only be horrific for Ukraine, but also tragic for the world as whole. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The outflow of refugees from Ukraine is nearing 2 million, with the majority being women and children. Neighboring countries have kept their borders open and shown tremendous hospitality, albeit under immense pressure. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">And let us not forget about those who remain internally displaced or bunkered down with nowhere to go due to the intensity of aerial and ground attacks on civilian infrastructure – homes, schools, and health facilities. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">This is a flagrant breach of international humanitarian law and must stop. Adherence to international human rights law and international humanitarian law is not optional. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Unhindered humanitarian access, including freedom of movement, must be guaranteed. Civilians, humanitarian and medical workers can never be a target. Every precaution must be taken to ensure and guarantee their safety, including their safe passage.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. Chair, </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The refugee crisis Europe is facing is the largest since the Second World War. It is absolutely essential that we all demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine, and its neighboring countries, and welcome Ukrainians to our lands. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland is committed to do so and is already receiving asylum seekers from Ukraine. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">These actions are in addition to our resettlement programme and efforts following the Taliban take-over in Afghanistan last year.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">On the funding side, we remain committed to providing unearmarked multi-year contributions, but in addition we have also allocated three hundred million Icelandic krona to humanitarian actors working in and around Ukraine, including to UNHCR. Emphasis has been on flexibility of funding to allow our humanitarian partners to programme and reprogramme as necessary. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. Chair,</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine comes on top of an extremely dire global humanitarian outlook. Already, humanitarian needs were at record high and so was the number of people displaced from their homes – be it in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Ethiopia or elsewhere.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">It is in times like these that enhanced solidarity, unity, and human compassion is what is most needed – let us work together towards that end.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I thank you. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p>

Mar 28, 202249th session of the Human Rights Council: Response to Oral Update by the High Commissioner for Human RightsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>Item 2 – General Debate&nbsp; </span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>Response to Oral Update by the High Commissioner for Human Rights</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>8 March 2022</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>Statement by Iceland</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank you, </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland thanks the High Commissioner for her Oral Update.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. President,</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We are concerned over intensification of restrictions on freedom of expression, media freedom, and right to peaceful assembly.</span></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black;">Iceland strongly condemns <strong>Russia</strong>’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, as well as violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including attacks on journalists and media workers. Measures to restrict peaceful protests is of great concern. The right to freedom of peaceful assembly must be respected. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In <strong>Egypt</strong>, human rights defenders, journalists, and activists face repression, including by application of terrorism legislation against peaceful critics. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In <strong>Sudan</strong>, the use of excessive force and unlawful dispersal of protests countering opposition against the military coup is of great concern. We call for accountability and immediate end to impunity. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. President,</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Women and girls still face disadvantages due to discriminatory laws and practices in <strong>Saudi Arabia</strong>, we acknowledge women’s increasing participation in society and workforce but remain concerned about severe restrictions imposed on women human rights defenders, including travel bans. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Finally, we are concerned regarding grave human rights violations and abuses committed against the Uyghur and other minority groups in <strong>China</strong>.<strong> </strong>Human rights must be ensured for all persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities, also in Xinjiang.<strong> </strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I thank you.</span></p>

Mar 28, 202249th session of the Human Rights Council: Iceland's Statement in Urgent Debate on the Situation of Human Rights in UkraineGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Human Rights Council – 49<sup>th</sup> session, 3. March 2022</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Urgent Debate on the Situation of Human Rights in Ukraine </span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">stemming from the Russian Aggression</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, </span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">H.E. Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir </span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">As we meet here today, a brutal war is being fought in Ukraine.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Russia has chosen a path of war and destruction: to invade Ukraine and create a serious threat to European and global&nbsp;security. It has enlisted Belarussian authorities, a regime that has shown utter disregard for the human rights of its own people, as its enabler.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">This war is waged to turn back the clock, to stop the advance of tolerance, understanding, peace - to take back the human rights that we have worked so hard for, and this Council is tasked with promoting and protecting.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The human suffering will be severe – in fact, it already is. Civilians are being killed and injured. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have arrived in neighbouring countries. With humanitarian needs mounting, humanitarian access must be secured, and international humanitarian law respected.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Russia bears full responsibility for this military aggression and all the destruction and loss of life it will cause. We stand in full unity with Ukraine and call on Russia to stop this senseless war and to immediately&nbsp;withdraw all its forces from Ukraine without precondition.</span></p> <p><span>&nbsp;</span></p>

Mar 25, 2022Joint Nordic Statement at Arria formula Meeting on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in ConflictNew York - United Nations

<p>Dear Excellencies,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I am honoured to be making this intervention on behalf of the Nordic countries including Finland, Iceland, Norway Sweden and my own country, Denmark. Let me at the outset thank the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations for convening this important and timely meeting. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Addressing the need for mental health services and psychosocial support in armed conflict and emergencies is critical. As Russia’s military aggression which grossly violates international law and the UN Charter, and undermines international security and stability continues, a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Ukraine. We just marked 11 years of armed conflict in Syria. Yemen is torn to pieces. The humanitarian situation in South Sudan and Afghanistan is critical. These are just some examples of where civilian harm and humanitarian emergencies cause devastating physical and metal traumas for the population.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As always, the most marginalized are impacted the most. Not least children, whose physical and mental safety and wellbeing is under immense risks. Thousands of children are traveling alone and we must ensure that MHPSS and SGBV services are swiftly scaled up in order to ensure that children are offered the support and protection they need. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Recent numbers point to the fact that around 20 percent of people affected by humanitarian crises are in need of psychosocial care. Yet, only 2 percent have access to the services and care they require.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The numbers speak for themselves and only underline that, we need to keep the momentum and continue to push for joint efforts to address the dire and persisting mental health and psychosocial needs of people faced by armed conflict and humanitarian crisis.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">* * *</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Psychological distress, caused by humanitarian crisis, assaults or armed conflict can have long-term impacts and severe consequences. Psychological distress manifests itself in many ways in protracted and post-conflict settings. Living with anxiety, trauma, acute stress disorder and clinical depression makes it difficult to take care of yourself and your family without the right access to support. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We know that significant barriers remain in ensuring access to MHPSS services. Just to mention a few: there are lack of coordinated MHPSS systems. There is widespread stigma and discrimination of people and caregivers with mental health disorders in communities and in health systems. There is a critical lack of financial and human resources in the MHPSS sector including lack of technical expertise. Finally, silos remain between MHPSS service provision, SGBV services and primary health services and lack strong referral systems. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In order to tackle these challenges, we would like to highlight three key priorities to take forward our collective efforts to further integrate mental health and psychosocial support into preparedness, response and recovery to meet the needs of all people affected by crises:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>First of all, we need to integrate and prioritize mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian needs assessments across sectors, and in Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs) and Refugee Response Plans (RRPs). It is important that MHPSS considerations are mainstreamed and that everyone in need are reached with services both when it comes to protection, health and nutrition, education, WASH and shelter. The Inter Agency Standing Committee MHPSS guidelines is a useful tool to ensure integration across sectors and interventions. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And we must ensure that the MHPSS services are available, indiscriminate and safe to access for everyone who needs them. This includes for survivors of sexual and gender based violence, and that providers of MHPSS services have the capacity to manage SGBV cases.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Second, we must acknowledge that ‘one size does not fit all’ and that engagement with affected people, communities and local organizations, including local women-led organizations is critical. This will ensure that MHPSS services are efficient and targeted specific needs on the ground. And it will also increase community awareness about mental health issues and decrease the risk of stigma. We all have a collective task to continue to push for more localization and local leadership in our humanitarian responses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Third, strengthening capacity of medical officers, health workers in the health facilities to integrate mental health and psychosocial services into the existing primary health care system is important as is improving the access to these services and ensuring strong referral mechanism to SGBV services. In this regards, we must ensure that providers of MHPSS services have the capacity to manage cases of sexual and gender based violence.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">* * *</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>It is critical that all humanitarian actors step up on this. In this regard, we are happy to have the IFRC Reference Center for Psychosocial support in Copenhagen with broad Nordic support promoting and enabling the psychosocial support to beneficiaries, humanitarian staff and volunteers among other important things. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic countries also welcome the fact that MHPSS is the topic for UNHCRs Executive Committee Conclusions this year and we hope that the inputs to the pertinent questions raised in your concept note will provide clear and forward-looking recommendations that will be integrated into this work. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">* * *</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Once again we thank the Mexican Mission to the UN to set up this meeting and for giving us the opportunity provide inputs on how to pursue the MHPSS agenda. </p> <p>Thank you! </p>

Mar 24, 2022Opening remarks at UNDP side event on CSW66: From Pledges to Actions: advancing gender equality in national climate plansNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>From Pledges to Action: advancing gender equality in national climate plans</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Opening remarks by Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>March 24 2022 </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I warmly welcome you to this event on the importance of making national climate plans, our climate commitments, gender-responsive.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, we will be hearing about how the nexus between gender equality and climate action can accelerate SDG progress and how, by making national climate plans, the NDCs, gender responsive, we can deliver stronger climate action.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland joined UNDP´s Climate Promise because we firmly believe that the NDCs are a critical pathway to address climate change and we wanted to lend our support to the objective of helping countries translate their NDC ambition into action.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The initiative´s focus on gender-responsive climate action was also critical for us – an impressive 96% of the Climate Promise countries include gender considerations. This is absolutely in line with the key priority we attach to gender equality in our foreign policy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Regrettably, while important progress has been made globally in making climate action more gender responsive – including under the Climate Promise - we still have a long way to go. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to IRENA, for example, women comprise only 32% of the renewable energy workforce globally, while we all know the key role that sector has in tackling climate change. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>IRENA has also highlighted how women entrepreneurs in the energy field face significantly more difficulties in securing funding – something which is also a challenge in Iceland, even if we measure as the most gender equal society in the world. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And, when it comes to Official Development Assistance, a staggering low of 0,04% of climate-related ODA is dedicated to gender equality as the “principal” objective, according to the OECD-DAC. So, clearly, there is work to be done.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland is firmly committed to significantly increasing its contribution to international climate finance and, in so doing, we are determined to keep a strong gender focus. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Last year, for instance, we took on a role as a Global Champion for Just and Inclusive Energy Transition, and we are one of the founding partners of the Gender and Energy Compact, whose objective is to promote a just, inclusive and gender responsive energy transition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Overall, we need to recognize that successfully addressing climate challenges and implementing climate actions is about people just as much as it is about infrastructure and financial investments. For that to happen we need to bridge the gender divide, we need more women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and we need to be inclusive all the way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In this context, I would like to highlight the important work being done by the Generation Equality Forum under the leadership of UN Women – a broad based coalition focused on accelerating progress on gender equality, including in the area of climate. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In conclusion – the issues for discussion today are incredibly important for effective and ambitious climate action. I thank UNDP for bringing us here together and wish you a fruitful discussion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Mar 24, 20221364 PC 24 March 2022 (Ukraine, ODIHR Report)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0431%20eu%20reply%20odihr%20dir%201364pc.pdf">EU Statement&nbsp;<span>in response to the report of the ODIHR Director, Matteo Mecacci.</span></a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0430%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201364pc%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU Statement on the Russian Federation’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine.</a></span></p>

Mar 23, 2022Statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries at the General Assembly “General Assembly Emergency Special Session on Ukraine”New York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><span><br /> <br /> Statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries at the General Assembly “General Assembly Emergency Special Session on Ukraine” on 23 March 2022.<br /> </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span><br /> Mr. President,<br /> <br /> I have the honour to speak on behalf of the eight Nordic-Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden and my own country Lithuania. [Align with the EU-statement].<br /> <br /> On 2nd March, 141 countries voted for the resolution entitled “Aggression against Ukraine.”<br /> <br /> We deplored in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine in violation of Article 2 (4) of the Charter and demanded that the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine and to refrain from any further unlawful threat or use of force against any Member State.<br /> <br /> We also demanded that the Russian Federation immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.<br /> <br /> Instead, Russia has continued the war against Ukraine, causing extensive human suffering and many civilian casualties, including those of children. The devastating humanitarian consequences and rapidly deteriorating situation are obvious. When millions of people globally stand on the brink of famine, we are deeply worried about the impact of the invasion and the risk of increased food insecurity.<br /> <br /> This is an unprovoked act of aggression and Russia – together with its accomplice, Belarus - are responsible for the tremendous suffering inflicted upon the Ukrainian people. Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine grossly violates international law and the principles of the UN Charter and undermines European and global peace and security.<br /> <br /> All parties in armed conflict must comply with international law, including international humanitarian law, and ensure protection of civilians. In this respect, Russia’s disregard for international humanitarian law (IHL) and attacks against civilian populations and civilian infrastructure are appalling. Civilians must not be targeted. Russian forces’ attacks on health care and schools are serious violations of IHL and must cease immediately.<br /> <br /> Since the General Assembly passed its resolution, the list of alleged war crimes and reported atrocities have mounted.<br /> <br /> Russia has bombed civilian infrastructure and objects, including hospitals, medical facilities, schools, residential buildings and churches. Russia has continued shelling peaceful, densely populated cities. Several, like Volnovakha and Mariupol, have been almost completely destroyed.<br /> <br /> According to reliable sources, Russia is not only using cluster munitions, but also thermobaric and phosphorous bombs in populated areas.<br /> <br /> These are not standalone cases, but an illustration of the systematic manner in which Russia is waging its war on Ukraine. These inhuman and immoral actions embody Russia’s disregard for international law, including international humanitarian law, and the principles upon which the UN is based.<br /> <br /> More than 10 million people – nearly one quarter of the population of Ukraine - have been forced to flee their homes. 3.6 million people left Ukraine, mostly women and children. We commend those neighboring countries that have kept their borders open to those seeking protection outside Ukraine, without discrimination.<br /> <br /> Current obstructions of humanitarian access and rapidly changing frontlines hinder the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian assistance. Russia also has an obligation to allow rapid, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian actors to reach all those in need of lifesaving assistance including food, water, healthcare, protection, and shelter, wherever they are. Safe, voluntary, passage for civilians and humanitarian actors must be guaranteed and respected, including through the opening of humanitarian corridors.<br /> <br /> Last week, the International Court of Justice explicitly ordered Russia to stop its so-called “military operation”. An investigation has also been opened by the ICC prosecutor.<br /> <br /> There will be no impunity for violations of international law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. All perpetrators must be brought to justice. This is necessary to ensure justice for victims, but also to prevent and deter future violations. Ensuring accountability is an integral part of our obligation to respect and ensure compliance with international humanitarian law. <br /> <br /> Mr. President,<br /> <br /> We encourage all UN member states to vote for the resolution L.2 on the humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine. In doing so, we send a clear message to Russia.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We demand respect for international law, including international humanitarian law.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We demand that every effort is taken to protect civilians at all times wherever they may be.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We demand safe, timely and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance, and to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian personnel.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We demand safe humanitarian passage for those who decide to leave voluntarily and protection for those who decide to stay. Agreements for safe humanitarian passage must be respected fully.<br /> <br /> But first and foremost, we demand that Russia ends this war now. Russia, with Belarus as an accomplice,&nbsp; bears the sole responsibility for the war and the humanitarian crisis.<br /> <br /> I wish to conclude by expressing our admiration and deep solidarity with the people of Ukraine who are fighting, not only for their country, but for universal, democratic values. Your courage is truly an inspiration for us all. We stand with you.<br /> <br /> Thank you.<br /> <br /> </span> </p>

Mar 23, 20221005 FSC 23 March 2022 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0144%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201005fsc.pdf">EU Statement on Russia’s ongoing military aggression against Ukraine.</a></span>

Mar 22, 2022ILO Governing Body - Cross-Regional Joint Statement on the Russian Federation’s aggression against UkraineGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>ILO GB344 – Cross-Regional Joint Statement</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Presentation of the resolution on the </strong><strong>Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine from the perspective of the mandate of the International Labour Organization (ILO)</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Delivered by Canada’s DPR Tamara Mawhinney on March 22, 2022</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Madam Chair,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">I have the honour of delivering this cross-regional joint statement on behalf of the 47 original co-sponsors of the resolution, namely Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, and my own country, Canada,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">As well as the following countries: Costa Rica, Israel, and the Republic of Korea.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">One week ago, this room spoke in unison to urge this Governing Body not to stay silent on the Russian Federation’s blatant violations of international law, the UN Charter, and the fundamental principles enshrined in the ILO’s constitution.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">For the people of Ukraine, the past week has meant seven more days of brutal and senseless bombing, displacement, and suffering.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The lives and livelihoods of the Ukrainian people, workers, employers, and their families are under attack. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">Madam Chair,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The ILO was created with a mandate to pursue universal and lasting peace through social justice. 100 years later, we re-affirmed this commitment in the Centenary Declaration, and today, it’s time to do so again. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">It’s this Governing Body’s responsibility to take measures - within its purview - to urge Russia to abide by international law, and prevent further devastating impacts on the world of work in Ukraine and beyond.&nbsp; </p> <p style="text-align: left;">This is why we support the resolution text as submitted and entrust this Governing Body to adopt it in solidarity with the tripartite constituents of Ukraine. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is unjustifiable. It is a flagrant violation of international law, the UN Charter and the principles upon which this Organization is founded. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">We call on Russia to immediately and unconditionally cease its aggression, withdraw its military forces from Ukraine and end the suffering it is inflicting. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">The Ukrainian people, including workers and employers, must have the freedom to determine their own future.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Thousands of Ukrainian businesses have been destroyed, or forced to stop operating, and their workers have fled from hostilities.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We call for the protection of workers, employers and their families in Ukraine.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We commend the ILO for quickly adjusting its programming in support of aid for those who fled Ukraine. We count on the ILO to do all it can to support the tripartite constituents of Ukraine and aid constituents in their efforts to protect labour rights and promote decent work for those who have fled Ukraine. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Madam Chair,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Let us pay tribute to ILO’s staff in Ukraine, who have continued their tireless work amidst unfolding conflict.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Let us pay tribute to the unwavering efforts of trade unions and the business community from around the world to help Ukraine’s people.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">And most importantly, let us pay tribute to the solidarity of workers, employers and the government <span style="text-decoration: underline;">of</span> Ukraine, who are risking their lives in the name of freedom and social justice.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The Russian Federation’s disregard for the ILO’s Constitution cannot be tolerated, and must not be ignored by this Governing Body.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Today, we must condemn the Russian Federation with one voice. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">We must stand firmly with the&nbsp;brave and resilient workers, employers and&nbsp;government&nbsp;of Ukraine.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Thank you.</p>

Mar 22, 2022ILO Governing Body, 344th session - The Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine from the perspective of the mandate of the ILO Geneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p><span><strong>ILO Governing Body, 344th session&nbsp;<br /> 14th to 26th March 2022&nbsp;<br /> The Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine from the perspective of the mandate of the ILO&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong><br /> </span></p> <p><span>Chair,&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>The Candidate Countries, the Republic of North Macedonia1 , Montenegro* and Albania* and the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, align themselves with this statement.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>We align with the cross-regional joint statement as delivered by Canada&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>On 24 February, the Russian Federation brought war back to Europe. Its unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine grossly violates international law and the principles of the UN Charter and undermines European and global security and stability. It is inflicting unspeakable suffering on the Ukrainian population.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>The Russian Federation, and its accomplice Belarus, bear full responsibility for this war of aggression and those responsible will be held to account for their war crimes, including for indiscriminately targeting civilians and civilian objects.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>We call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its military actions, to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine, and to fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders. We ask our partners to speak out in support of this call.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>We stand by the women and men of Ukraine whose extraordinary courage and determination exemplifies their commitment to the shared and universal values of freedom, sovereignty and democracy. We will not abandon them in this time of need. As pointed out by DG Ryder, working people are among the first victims of this aggression and the devastation of jobs, enterprises and livelihoods will be massive and endure for many years to come.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>Chair,&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>We reaffirm the principle enshrined in the ILO Constitution that universal and lasting peace can only be established if it is based upon social justice. We recall the incontrovertible truth enshrined in the Centenary Declaration which states that ‘the experience of the past century has confirmed that the continuous and concerted action of governments and representatives of employers and workers is essential to the achievement of social justice, democracy and the promotion of universal and lasting peace’.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>The EU and its Member States express their unwavering support for the tripartite constituents in Ukraine - workers, employers and its freely-elected government - at this most difficult time.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>This is why we support the resolution text as submitted and fully trust that this Governing Body will adopt it, in solidarity with the tripartite constituents of Ukraine.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>Chair,&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>While it is the Russian aggression against Ukraine that we are discussing today, we cannot forget other situations across the world where human and labour rights are being violated. We once again commend the ILO for its invaluable work striving for fundamental principles and rights at work, supporting governments, workers and employers throughout the world.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>The EU and its Member States will continue to be seized of this matter. We are determined to redouble our engagement with all ILO constituents and partners and push for an immediate end to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>Thank you, Chair.&nbsp;</span></p>

Mar 18, 202265th session Commission on Narcotic Drugs 14-18 March 2022Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/3.EU%2065CND%20-%20General%20Debate%20(final).pdf">Agenda item 3: General Debate.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/5b.EU%2065CND%20-%20Challenges%20and%20future%20work%20of%20the%20CND,%20WHO%20&%20INCB%20(final).pdf"><span></span>Agenda item 5b: Challenges and future work of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) in the review of substances for possible scheduling recommendations.</a></span></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/5c.EU%2065CND%20-%20INCB%20(final).pdf">Agenda item 5c: International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/5d.EU%2065CND%20-%20International%20cooperation%20to%20ensure%20the%20availability%20of%20narcotic%20drugs%20(final).pdf">Agenda item 5d: International cooperation to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/6.EU%2065CND%20-%20Follow-up%20to%20the%202019%20Ministerial%20Declaration%20(final).pdf">Agenda item 6: Follow-up on the implementation at the national, regional and international levels of all commitments, as reflected in the Ministerial Declaration of 2019, to address and counter the world drug problem.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/7.EU%2065CND%20-%20Inter-agency%20cooperation%20(final).pdf">Agenda item 7: Inter-agency cooperation and coordination of efforts in addressing and countering the world drug problem.</a></p> <div>&nbsp;</div>

Mar 17, 2022Joint Nordic Statement at the Security Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in UkraineNew York - United Nations

<div> <p style="text-align: center;">Written Statement by H.E. Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström </p> <p style="text-align: center;">on behalf of the Nordic Countries at the UN Security Council meeting </p> <p style="text-align: center;">on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, </p> <p style="text-align: center;">New York, 17 March 2022</p> </div> <p>Madam president,</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and my own country, Sweden.</p> <p>Let me start by condemning Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against a peaceful neighbour state and its 44 million citizens in the strongest possible terms. During these three weeks of war, Russia has caused widespread human suffering and a high number of civilian casualties, including children. We are appalled about the devastating humanitarian consequences and the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation.</p> <p>We are deeply concerned about the continuous rise in the number of people forced to flee. In these three weeks, more than three million people have had to leave Ukraine, most of whom are women and children, and we see an ever-increasing number of internally displaced persons and refugees. We are particularly concerned regarding unaccompanied and separated children, as well as the risk of trafficking of women and children. The women, peace and security agenda must be integrated into every aspect of the response, including in humanitarian efforts. From a gender perspective in needs analysis to funding local women’s organizations.</p> <p>Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine is a flagrant violation of international law and the principles of the UN Charter and undermines international peace and security. In addition, this will also have devastating human consequences far beyond the borders of Ukraine. When millions of people globally are facing acute malnutrition and stand on the brink of famine, we are deeply worried about the impact of the invasion and the risk of increased food insecurity globally. To quote the Secretary-General, their breadbasket is being bombed.</p> <p>Madam President,</p> <p>The Nordic countries are strong defenders of a rules-based international order with international law, including international humanitarian law, at its heart. The targeting of healthcare and humanitarian personnel must end. International humanitarian law is clear: medical personnel, facilities and transports must be protected. The wounded and sick must be cared for and spared.</p> <p>In this regard, Russia’s flagrant violations of international humanitarian law are unacceptable. We condemn Russia’s attacks on civilian objects in Ukraine, including hospitals and schools, causing disruption of the delivery of basic services and increasing the burden on the humanitarian system. Civilians must never be a target and must be protected at all times.</p> <p>There should be no impunity for war crimes and we, the Nordic countries, will do our share to bring the perpetrators to justice. This is necessary to ensure justice for victims, but also to prevent and deter future violations. Accountability is an integral part of our obligation to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law.</p> <p>Madam President,</p> <p>This Council, and the international community as a whole, has a responsibility to fully uphold and respect international law, including international humanitarian law. humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence in the provision of humanitarian assistance must be respected at all times.</p> <p>Current access constraints and rapidly changing frontlines hinder the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian assistance. The parties have an obligation to allow rapid, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian actors to reach all those in need of lifesaving assistance including food, water, healthcare, protection, and shelter, wherever they are. Safe passage for civilians must be guaranteed.</p> <p>Let me express our deep solidarity with the people of Ukraine at this dark hour. Last but not least, we would like to pay tribute to the brave humanitarian personnel who are working on the ground in extremely challenging and dangerous circumstances to address the needs of the people in Ukraine.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Mar 17, 20221363 PC 17 March 2022 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0409%20eu%201363pc.pdf">EU Statement on the Russian Federation's ongoing aggression against Ukraine.</a>

Mar 16, 20221004 FSC 16 March 2022 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0409%20eu%201363pc.pdf">EU Statement on&nbsp;<span>Russia’s ongoing military aggression against Ukraine.</span></a>

Mar 15, 2022ILO Governing Body, opening of the 344th session - Cross-Regional Statement on Russia's aggression against UkraineGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Cross-Regional Statement</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Opening of the ILO GB344</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Delivered by Canada’s Ambassador Leslie E. Norton on March 15, 2022</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Madam Chair,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">I have the honour of delivering this cross-regional joint statement on behalf of 55 countries, namely: Albania, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Republic of Moldova, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and my own country, Canada,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">103 years ago, the ILO was created with a mandate to pursue universal and lasting peace through social justice. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">As we meet today, these very aims are being violated. Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine is causing enormous suffering and tragic loss of life. It is an egregious violation of international law, the UN Charter, and the fundamental principles of the ILO.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We strongly condemn this senseless military assault, which is supported by the Belarusian government,and we call on the Russian leadership to cease its aggression immediately. No more precious lives should be lost.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The invasion has forced Ukrainian people, workers, employers, and their families, to flee their homes, their workplaces, their businesses, and their country. Those who stay to continue their livelihoods are risking their lives. Many have already died in the course of doing so. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">The destruction of jobs, enterprises, and the forced displacement of the workforce, will have a long-lasting, devastating impact on the world of work in Ukraine—and beyond. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">It is this Governing Body’s responsibility to call for the protection of workers, employers and their families in Ukraine, and to take measures - within its purview - to urge Russia to end its aggression.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">ILO membership comes with duties and obligations, and all Member States must be accountable to them.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We, the ILO’s tripartite constituents, unanimously reaffirmed in the ILO Centenary Declaration what the ILO Constitution recognized more than a century ago – namely, that the concerted action of governments, employers and workers is essential to the achievement of social justice, democracy and the promotion of universal and lasting peace. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">We also recognized that conflict and humanitarian emergencies are not only a threat to economic and social progress, but also to securing shared prosperity and decent work for all.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">This Governing Body cannot remain indifferent whilst the ILO’s founding principles are treated with contempt and undermined by two of its members.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">In the face of such suffering, our tripartite constituents are translating those principles into action. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">Each day, we are witnessing incredible acts of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, who desperately need assistance. Trade unions and the business community from around the world are providing help and support to Ukrainian partners and their families. Governments, trade unions, employers and communities outside of Ukraine are also providing a safe haven and livelihoods for those who have fled. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">We are proud of the joint efforts of the ILO community, but this should never have happened. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">The brave Ukrainians who are fighting for their freedom, and for the right to choose their own future, should have been safe at home and at work. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">Chair,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We must stand up for international law and the principles on which this Organization is founded.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We must stand in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">We must stand, hand in hand, with the workers, employers and people of Ukraine.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We welcome the addition of this urgent matter on the agenda and we urge this Governing Body to voice its unequivocal support to the the tripartite constituents of Ukraine in this most difficult time.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is unprecedented in nature, and it requires a strong and urgent response from this room. The Governing Body cannot stay silent.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Mar 15, 2022ILO Governing Body, 344th session - statement on UkraineGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p><span><strong>ILO Governing Body, 344th session&nbsp;<br /> 14th to 26th March 2022&nbsp;<br /> INS Opening&nbsp;</strong><br /> <br /> Chair,&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span><em>The Candidate Countries Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia[1], Montenegro*&nbsp;and Albania*, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European&nbsp;Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia align&nbsp;themselves with this statement.&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p><span>Many thanks for giving us the floor&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>And many thanks to the DG Ryder for his opening speech&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>As we gather today, at the 344th session of ILO Governing Body, the Russian Federation is pursuing its aggression against Ukraine, including attacks on civilians.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>This is not only an attack on a free, democratic and peaceful Ukraine. It is an attack on global stability and security; an outrageous violation of international law, including the UN Charter, and a violation of human rights and basic humanitarian principles .&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>So, let us begin by making it very clear: the EU condemns in the strongest terms Russia's unprovoked and unjustified aggression against Ukraine. The EU also condemns the involvement of Belarus in this aggression against Ukraine. We support the democratically elected government of Ukraine and its efforts to defend its territory within its internationally recognised borders and its people.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>We fully align with the UN Secretary General's appeal to Russia to stop its aggression and his grave concern over civilian casualties and the human rights implications of Russia's actions. We also fully endorse Director General Ryder’s statement which describes this as one of the darkest chapters in the ILO’s century long history and a brutal repudiation of the organization’s mission to promote peace through social justice.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>We stand by the women and men of Ukraine whose extraordinary courage and determination exemplifies their commitment to freedom, sovereignty and democratic values&nbsp; . As pointed out by DG Ryder, working people are among the first victims of&nbsp;this aggression and the devastation of jobs, enterprises and livelihoods will be massive and endure for many years to come.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>The EU and its Member States express its unwavering support for the tripartite constituents in Ukraine – workers, employers and its freely-elected government – at this most difficult time.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>Chair,&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>While now we are focused on the Russian aggression&nbsp; against Ukraine, we cannot forget other situations where human and labour rights are violated. We once again commend ILO for its invaluable work striving for fundamental principles and rights at work, supporting governments, workers and employers throughout the world.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>This aggression not only brings suffering to the people of Ukraine. We are seeing this as an attempt by the Russian Federation to reshape the core principles of international relations.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>Multilateralism, with the United Nations and ILO at its core, remains the only way to achieve global peace, security and prosperity.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>We are ready to work with all ILO members, governments, workers and employers, to firmly defend the principles and values enshrined in the Constitution of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The Declaration of Philadelphia asserts that all human beings have the right to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic security and equal opportunity.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>Together with a group of countries, we will propose a resolution on the matter for consideration of the Governing Body and we count on the wide support of all constituents&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>The EU and its Member States will continue to be seized of this matter and call for the ILO to consider the impact of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine on ILO’s work, mandate and tripartite constituents in this and future sessions of the Governing Body and the International Labour Conference.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>Thank you, Chair.&nbsp;</span></p>

Mar 14, 2022Statement at the CSW66 side event Gender Equality and Empowerment in the ArcticNew York - United Nations

<p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>Gender Equality and Empowerment in the Arctic</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Side event CSW66, 14 March 2022</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Opening remarks,</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Jörundur Valtýsson,</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span>Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p>Thank you, madame moderator, dear Embla, and let me thank the organizers for giving me the opportunity to address you today on the important topic of gender equality and empowerment in the Arctic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ladies and gentlemen,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here at the United Nations in New York, colleagues from afar sometimes raise their eyebrows when I start talking about thriving Arctic communities and people, which for me only highlights the importance to talk about the human dimension of the Arctic – a dimension that is too often downplayed or ignored. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we speak, the 66th meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women has just started here in the UN Headquarters in New York, and the theme of today’s event is closely linked to this year’s Commission´s priority theme, namely the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, which also marries two foreign policy priorities of Iceland. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Climate change is one of the most critical challenges of our times – even existential. It increasingly affects our everyday life, our environment, and our societies. The signs are evident, science is clear, and the plans are in place. All states need to scale up and implement the Paris agreement, and more broadly the Sustainable Development Goals. Iceland’s ambition is to go above and beyond the Paris commitments by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than half by 2030, reaching complete carbon neutrality by 2040 - and becoming fossil-fuel-free by 2050.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is, however, important to keep in mind, that climate change is not only an environmental challenge but has also social justice and economic aspects. It will greatly affect those most vulnerable and marginalized, both globally and within our own societies. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although significant advances have been made globally, there is still a long way to go to reach gender parity and data shows that women and girls are often more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Women should, however, not only be seen as victims but also as active agents of adaptation and mitigation. But for that to happen, they need to be included and empowered – a message that resonated in UN Secretary General´s remarks this morning.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our own experience has been that greater inclusivity and equality generate more resilient and adaptive societies. That is why gender equality and women ‘s empowerment are cornerstones of Iceland‘s foreign policy, both here at the United Nations and in our Arctic cooperation. We are therefore proud to have led and supported the Gender Equality in the Arctic project from its inception in 2013. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The project has brought together multiple stakeholders from across the Arctic - academics, researchers, youth, indigenous representatives, and other experts. It has provided us with a truly circumpolar perspective while highlighting the fact that environmental, social, and economic changes impact people and communities differently depending on a variety of factors, including gender. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A key contribution of this project is to strengthen scientific knowledge that should be used to inform policy and action on gender issues in the Arctic. I also believe the report could feed broader discussions on gender equality, sustainable development, and climate change - including here at the UN during the session of the Commission on the Status of Women. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I hope today’s discussions will provide you with a window into the Arctic, its vibrant social and cultural realities, to inform our debate about gender and empowerment in the context of climate change – and, ultimately, in our common pursuit of building back better and more equal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Mar 11, 20221362 PC 10-11 March 2022 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0384%20eu%201362pc.pdf">EU Statement on&nbsp;<span>on the Russian Federation’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine.</span></a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/Statement%20by%20the%20Women%20Ambassadors%2010%20March%202022%20FINAL.pdf">Joint-Statement of Women's Ambassadors.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/Statement%20by%20the%20Women%20Ambassadors%2010%20March%202022%20FINAL.pdf"></a><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0380%20eu%201362pc%20fr.pdf">EU Statement on the Follow-up to the high-level meetings of 14 December 2021 and 4 February 2022.</a></span></p>

Mar 11, 2022IAEA Board of Governors 7-11 March 2022Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2.EU%20NSR.pdf">Agenda item 2: Nuclear and Radiation Safety: Nuclear Safety Review 2022.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/3.EU%20NTR.pdf">Agenda item 3: Strengthening the Agency’s activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/4.EU%20IRN%20Quarterly.pdf">Agenda item 4: Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015).</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/5a.EU%20DPRK.pdf">Agenda item 5(a): Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/5b.EU%20SYR.pdf">Agenda item 5(b): Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/5c.EU%20NPT%20sfgs%20in%20IRN.pdf">Agenda item 5c: NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran.</a></span></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/6.EU%20UKR.pdf"></a><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=35fdafe4-ae78-11ec-8147-005056bcf582">Agenda item 6: The safety, security and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/7.%20EU%20on%20AUKUS%20(item%207).pdf"></a><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=4713bdcd-ae78-11ec-8147-005056bcf582">Agenda item 7: Transfer of the nuclear materials in the context of AUKUS and its safeguards in all aspects under the NPT.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/9.%20EU%20INC.pdf"></a><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=55f9f28e-ae78-11ec-8147-005056bcf582">Agenda item 9: Any Other Business (Israeli Nuclear Capabilities).</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/9.%20EU%20International%20Womens%20Day.pdf"></a><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=619f6e9d-ae78-11ec-8147-005056bcf582">Agenda item 9: Any Other Business (International Women’s Day).</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/9.EU%20on%20AUKUS%20(AOB).pdf"></a><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=772a1e93-ae78-11ec-8147-005056bcf582">Agenda item 9: Any other Business&nbsp;(AUKUS).</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/9.EU%20sfgs%20ME.pdf"></a><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=895e406a-ae78-11ec-8147-005056bcf582">Agenda item 9: Any other Business (Application of Safeguards in the Middle East).</a></p>

Mar 10, 2022On the Russian Invasion in Ukraine at the 1362 Permanent Council MeetingVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0375%20iceland%201362pc.pdf">Statement by Ambassador Kristín A. Árnadóttir, Permanent Representative of Iceland, at the 1362nd Permanent Council Meeting, Vienna, 10 March 2022.</a>

Mar 09, 20221003 FSC 9 March 2022 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0119%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201003fsc.pdf">EU Statement for the Forum for Security Cooperation, on Ukraine.</a>

Mar 08, 2022Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security at the Open Debate of the UN Security Council on Advancing the WPS agenda through partnershipsNew York - United Nations

<p>Madam President,</p> <p>I am pleased to speak on behalf of the 56 Member States of the Group of Friends of Women, Peace, and Security <a href="file:///G:/Vilborg/Uppl%C3%BDsingam%C3%A1l/R%C3%A6%C3%B0ur%20%C3%A1%20vef%20og%20m%C3%A1laskr%C3%A1%202022/03.08.2022%20-%20SC%20GoF%20of%20WPS.docx#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1">[1]</a>. </p> <p>On this International Women’s Day, the Group of Friends would like to express our solidarity with all women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and advocates for gender equality around the world who are tirelessly working to build peace, defend human rights and implement the Women, Peace and Security agenda. We hear you. We continue to call on all Member States to protect and promote women and girls’ rights everywhere. We call on all Member States and partners to ensure women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace, political and security decision-making processes, at all levels, in line with UN Security Council resolution 1325 and subsequent Women, Peace and Security resolutions.</p> <p>We express our full solidarity with all women and girls in Ukraine and deplore the loss of life and human suffering caused by the situation stemming from the aggression by the Russian Federation. We are deeply concerned about the distinct impact of violence on women and girls, many of whom have been displaced or forced to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. The current situation places women and girls at increased risk of sexual and gender-based violence. We must integrate a gender perspective in the delivery of humanitarian assistance and ensure that their needs are fully taken into account and their rights are safeguarded and respected. We commend the action by women’s organizations and other civil society organizations in support of humanitarian efforts.</p> <p>Madam President,</p> <p>Women face persistent barriers to economic empowerment and security particularly during times of crisis. This is a serious human rights issue which impedes women’s participation in peace processes and public life at large. In conflict-affected countries -- such as in Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen -- there are significant gender gaps in employment, with women less likely to be in paid work and with limited access to social protection systems and public services. Women’s financial and digital inclusion is also systematically lower in these settings. This has been further exacerbated by the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We encourage Members States to increase their support for human-rights based initiatives that advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment and security, particularly in conflict and post-conflict situations. This includes support to civil society and women-led organizations as well as to Member States to improve women and girls’ safe and equitable access to quality education, training and capacity-building.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We encourage the UN Security Council to recognize, as it addresses conflict and post-conflict situations, the importance of women’s economic inclusion for women, their families, their communities, and their countries’ economic security and well-being. Their economic inclusion is as an essential enabler of meaningful participation, sustainable peace and economic recovery in post-conflict settings. We also encourage the Council to strengthen its cooperation with other UN entities, including the UN Peacebuilding Commission and Economic and Social Council, as well as regional and sub-regional organizations, to better promote women’s economic inclusion in fragile, conflict and post-conflict settings.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We recognize the role that the private sector can play in increasing women’s economic participation in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, including through dismantling systemic barriers; eliminating gender-based violence and harassment; the creation of training, mentoring and leadership opportunities; and the provision of decent jobs and livelihoods. We encourage increased cooperation among all partners and take note of multi-stakeholder initiatives, including the Generation Equality Forum and its Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Assistance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam President,</p> <p>We must remind ourselves today and every day of our responsibility to apply a human-rights based approach and to fully implement the Women, Peace and Security agenda for the women and girls around the world in conflict or crisis environments. We must do our utmost to ensure their full, equal and meaningful participation and to protect them from sexual and gender-based violence.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <div><br clear="all" /> <hr align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div id="ftn1"> <p><a href="file:///G:/Vilborg/Uppl%C3%BDsingam%C3%A1l/R%C3%A6%C3%B0ur%20%C3%A1%20vef%20og%20m%C3%A1laskr%C3%A1%202022/03.08.2022%20-%20SC%20GoF%20of%20WPS.docx#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1">[1]</a> Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda, Senegal, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, United States of America.</p> </div> </div>

Mar 08, 2022Joint Nordic Baltic Statement at the Open Debate of the UN Security Council on Advancing the WPS agenda through partnershipsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Joint Nordic Baltic Statement for Open Debate of the UN Security Council on “Advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda through partnerships: Women’s economic inclusion and participation as a key to building peace”</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>delivered by Ambassador Anna-Karin Eneström,<br /> </strong><strong>Sweden's Permanent Representative to the UN in New York</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Tuesday, 8 March 2022</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong></strong><br /> Madam President,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">I am delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries.<br /> <br /> We thank you for organizing today’s important meeting on Women, Peace and Security and welcome the briefers’ statements.<br /> <br /> I want to emphasize our countries’ full solidarity with Ukraine and its people, including women and girls in Ukraine. The unprovoked Russian military aggression towards a sovereign UN member state is an appalling violation of international law and UN principles and must stop immediately. We condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms and fully support the initiated accountability preparations at the UN Human Rights Council. The disproportionate consequences of war on women and girls are well documented and conflict-related sexual violence is a horrifying part of this. We are extremely concerned about the reports of sexual and gender-based violence and call for accountability and prevention of further incidents. We are also concerned that large-scale displacement is seriously curtailing women’s and girls’ access to basic services, which could infringe on their sexual and reproductive health and rights. We commend Ukrainian women for their courage and resilience in their role in the political, military and humanitarian response. Women’s and other civil society organizations are playing a critical role. We, the international community, must ensure that WPS is at the heart of our response.<br /> <br /> We urge the Security Council to stay focused on WPS throughout its agenda, including the deeply concerning situation for women and girls and their human rights protection in Afghanistan.<br /> <br /> The WPS agenda rests on the pillars of prevention, participation, protection, relief and recovery, which are all crucial, interlinked and must be implemented in an integrated manner. The agenda is based on and cannot be achieved without ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights by all women and girls, which includes civil, political, social, cultural and economic rights. This is why we are committed to human rights-based approaches to the WPS agenda, including women’s economic empowerment.<br /> <br /> Women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace and political processes is not possible if the effects of women’s economic realities are ignored. Their safety and protection, including from sexual and gender-based violence, is not possible without removing discriminatory legislation and other barriers to women’s economic empowerment. The role women can play in any part of the conflict cycle is also shaped by their disproportionate burden of unpaid domestic and care work, and limited access to social protection.<br /> <br /> Women’s economic conditions have deteriorated as a result of the pandemic. When building back better and greener, we must ensure targeted measures for women rights and gender equality in all public policies and budgeting. We must promote transformative measures that address the power structures that sustain and reproduce women’s exclusion and gender inequality.<br /> <br /> We agree that multi-stakeholder partnerships are critical. We must engage all relevant actors, including the private sector, in order to holistically and efficiently address the WPS implementation gaps. The Generation Equality initiative with its multi-stakeholder approach provides a positive example. We are pleased to note that the WPS-HA Compact finds several catalytic and board members among the Nordic and Baltic countries.<br /> <br /> Let me end by reiterating that we all need to step up our efforts to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by all women and girls. We must step up support to women human rights defenders, women’s and other civil society organizations at the grass root level. When unjust obstacles are removed, women will empower themselves. It is imperative that the Security Council maintains an active discussion on the WPS agenda and all its pillars and that we keep building on the Trio Presidency and some subsequent presidencies’ efforts to place WPS at the heart of the Council’s work.<br /> <br /> Thank you.</p>

Mar 07, 2022Joint Nordic Statement at the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reformNew York - United Nations

<p><span><strong>Statement by Counsellor Sofia Ekfeldt Nyman, Sweden on behalf of the Nordic countries at the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on the Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters, United Nations, 7 March 2022</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Your Excellencies, Co-Chairs,</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries.</p> <p>At the outset, let me express the Nordic countries full solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. The Nordic Countries recalls the resolution “Aggression against Ukraine” adopted by an overwhelming majority of 141 States during the UN General Assembly's 11th emergency session last Wednesday. We condemn in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which grossly violates international law and the Charter of the United Nations, and undermines international security and stability. We stand by Ukraine and reiterate our unwavering commitment to its sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.</p> <p>Co-Chairs, thank you for convening this session today.</p> <p>The Nordic countries would like to reference to previous statements.</p> <p>Turning to today’s important discussion [categories of membership] and the question of the veto, the last two weeks have shown, that reflecting on the impacts of the act of the veto is more important than ever. We are all aware that the effectiveness of the work of the Security Council, a key element for the success of the United Nations, has been increasingly hampered by the use - or threat of use - of the veto. Permanent members’ use of veto has restrained the Council’s ability to act on critical issues and fulfill its mandate to maintain international peace and security.</p> <p>Use of the veto should be restrained and come with greater accountability and transparency. In particular, the use of the veto in situations of mass atrocities is not in line with the spirit of the UN Charter. The Nordic countries urge all Member States to join the ACT ‘Code of Conduct regarding Security Council action against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes’ and the ‘Political Declaration on Suspension of Veto Powers in Cases of Mass Atrocity’ launched by France and Mexico. These are important initiatives dealing with the present composition of the Council that we must implement now, while also separately continuing to carefully consider the impacts of the act of the veto in our deliberations on a future reformed Security Council,&nbsp; through our discussions here in the IGN.</p> <p>Finally, Your Excellencies, in closing, please allow me to reiterate that the Nordic Countries thank you for the work plan you have outlined and we stand ready for constructive dialogue this session with all Member States and groups of States, building on the progress of previous years, including the Framework Document and the Co-Chairs’ Elements Paper of last year, which form the basis of our work.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Mar 07, 20221361 Special PC 7 March 2022 (Russian Aggression)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0366%20eu%201361special%20pc.pdf">EU on the Russian Federation’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine.</a></span>

Mar 07, 20221361 Special PC 7 March 2022 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1361%20PC,%207.3.2022.pdf">Statement of H.E. Ambassador Kristín A. Árnadóttir, Permanent Representative of Iceland at the 1361th Special Permanent Council, 7 March 2022.</a></span><br />

Mar 04, 2022Our Common Agenda, 4th ConsultationsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>OUR COMMON AGENDA, 4th CONSULTATIONS</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Protecting our planet and being prepared for the future</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement of Iceland by DPR Jonas G. Allansson</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>3 March 2022</span></strong></p> <p><span></span>Mr Vice President</p> <p>At the outset, let me underline Iceland's full solidarity with Ukraine and condemn in the strongest terms Russia's invasion, which is in flagrant violation of international law and the UN charter.</p> <p>Iceland reiterates its unwavering support of the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders.</p> <p>Iceland aligns with the statement delivered earlier by Sweden on behalf of the Nordic Countries, but I would like to highlight a few points in my national capacity.</p> <p>Mr Vice President</p> <p>Thank you for convening today's consultations on protecting our planet and preparing for the future. These two themes need to be addressed together and rest on our effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030.</p> <p>We need to accelerate our efforts in fulfilling our climate commitments at home and by supporting lower-income countries in advancing their climate ambitions through international climate finance.</p> <p>Over 760 million people still lack access to electricity. A third of the world relies on harmful, polluting fuels for cooking. </p> <p>Just and Inclusive energy transition, ensuring Sustainable Energy for All, needs to be a fundamental part of all policy discourse on climate change and is the key to building a better and greener future.</p> <p>Given the clear links between climate change and sustainable food systems, transforming food systems must also be an integral part of this effort.</p> <p>With over three billion people relying on food from the Ocean and freshwater for animal protein proper attention should be given to blue food. Yet, the global policy and funding community seem to undervalue the importance of aquatic foods.</p> <p>The health of the World Oceans - our Blue Planet - is increasingly under pressure. </p> <p>We must take concrete steps to strengthen regional and international cooperation on Ocean Affairs and make full use of the best scientific advice and the Law of the Sea. </p> <p>The UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon will be an important milestone on this journey, and we look forward to active participation</p> <p>Finally, Mr Vice President, to build a better and greener future, our efforts and action need to be just and inclusive, anchored in human rights, fundamental freedoms and gender equality.</p>

Mar 03, 20221360 PC, 3 March 2022 (Russian Invasion)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0334%20iceland%201360pc.pdf">Statement on the Russian invasion in Ukraine.</a>

Mar 03, 20221360 PC 3 March 2022 (Russian Invasion in Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0338%20joint%201360pc.pdf">Joint Statement on Invocation of the Moscow Mechanism to Address the Human Rights and Humanitarian Impacts of Russia’s Invasion and Acts of War against Ukraine</a>.</span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0333r1%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201360pc%200303.docx.pdf">EU Statement on the Russian Federation’s ongoing aggression&nbsp;against Ukraine.</a></span></p>

Mar 03, 2022UN Women Peer to Peer Dialogue - Sexual Harassment and IntersectionalityNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Making Zero Tolerance a Reality: Understanding and tackling the intersectional nature of sexual harassment in cross-cultural contexts</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Jointly organized by the </span></em><a href="https://unsceb.org/topics/addressing-sexual-harassment"><em><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">CEB Task Force on Addressing Sexual Harassment</span></em></a><em><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">, the UN Secretariat and UN Women</span></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the UN: Opening Remarks</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Deputy Executive Director Anita Bhatia, colleagues.</span></li> </ul> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">While it is my distinct honor to open this peer-to-peer dialogue on the intersectional nature of sexual harassment, I would be remiss if I did not start by referencing the terrible turn of events this past week. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">It was exactly one week ago that we woke up here in New York to the horrible news that the Russian Federation had invaded Ukraine – an aggression my country has condemned in strongest possible terms.</span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Yesterday, Iceland was honoured to cosponsor and pleased to see the overwhelming vote and adoption of the important “Aggression Against Ukraine” resolution in the Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The UN has also demonstrated its value through its humanitarian response, and we would like to praise UN Women for keeping us updated and highlighting the plight of women and girls in Ukraine. Here, women representation in all key decision-making platforms on de-escalation and other processes in pursuit of peace and security is of key importance. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Colleagues, I do look forward to listening and learning from the panelists and all participants today. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I could focus my remarks on the advances Iceland has made in gender equality. For the past 11 years Iceland has, indeed, led the World Economic Forum´s Gender Gap Index so we do have some success stories to share. However, the worrying fact is that even Iceland has a long way to go to achieve SDG5. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The important MeToo movement continues to painfully remind us of how far off track we currently are. It has also brought to light the importance of focusing on intersectionality to address institutional discrimination, unequal power relations, gender stereotypes, and norms that in turn perpetuate sexual harassment and violence. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">My government commissioned a survey in 2019 on harassment within the Icelandic labor market. The results paint a worrying picture. Survey participants with a foreign citizenship were found to be far less likely to report sexual harassment than others. Also, people with disabilities were far more likely to have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace than other participants. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">These results also point to the fact that power imbalances are, indeed, at the root of sexual harassment.</span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Recently, the Government of Iceland has taken some decisive actions to address the issue of sexual violence and harassment. These include Iceland’s first comprehensive plan for preventive action against sexual and gender-based violence and harassment for the period 2021-2025, with full budget appropriations. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Through this plan, the government will promote education and awareness of sexual and gender-based violence and harassment. This will be directed towards professionals, volunteers and others working with children and young people with disabilities. This is an important step in terms of preventive measures against the intersectional nature of sexual harassment. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland also recently adopted an updated law on equal status and gender equality. With this legislation, some important advancements were made. These include a definition, for the first time, of intersectional discrimination. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Perhaps as a slight sidenote, another important step for Iceland is the fact that our current gender law no longer has the binary definition of male and female, but now aligns with the recently adopted act on sexual autonomy that allows individuals to define their own gender. This addresses the too-often overlooked legal discrimination people face for their non-binary gender identity. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">While we applaud the recently updated gender law with a provision on intersectional discrimination, we still do not have much evidence on how it fares in practice. The jury is still out there – so to speak. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">And as a contributor to the UN Development System, Iceland requires its partner institutions to follow best practices, including all guidelines from the CEB Task Force and OECD-DAC recommendations.</span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">All agreements we enter with our UN partners must include a clause on the responsibility of the respective organization when it comes to sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment.</span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In the Icelandic context, we must continue to implement intersectional considerations that reflect the specific needs and circumstances of different individuals and groups. This includes people with disabilities, LGBTI persons and those who have limited knowledge of or do not speak Icelandic. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The least we can do, as governments, as private sector employers, as responsible citizens, is to empower vulnerable populations through knowledge, enlightenment and information sharing, and by ensuring decisive and prompt action when these issues do come up.</span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I am confident that our discussions today will provide me and my colleagues back in capital with valuable information to improve our approach towards preventing and responding to sexual harassment with a focus on those most vulnerable. </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank you.</span></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Mar 02, 2022Ad Hoc Committee against CybercrimeNew York - United Nations

<p>Madam Chair, </p> <p>Firstly, allow me to express Iceland's full solidarity with Ukraine. Our thoughts are with innocent people in Ukraine who suffer a brutal, unprovoked attack by Russia. Iceland condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the Russian invasion, which is in flagrant violation of international law and the UN charter. Iceland reiterates its unwavering support of the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam Chair, </p> <p>Thank you and the Secretariat for your tireless efforts in preparing us for this first session of the Committee. </p> <p>Our societies are increasingly reliant on a free, open, and safe digital environment; it is an integral part of our lives, connecting people, communities, and economies. But it also makes us more vulnerable to criminal acts, disinformation, and surveillance.&nbsp; Cybercrime is on the rise and does not respect any borders; targeting individuals, businesses, and governments; that's why we need to strengthen international cooperation to address this global challenge. </p> <p>I will now highlight some of the key elements which Iceland believes should guide the work of the Ad Hoc Committee. </p> <p>Firstly, we need to fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms - in order to ensure a free, open, and safe digital environment.</p> <p>Secondly, on that note, we need to take into account the particular impact of cybercrime on women and girls, and in general be mindful of the role of victims of cybercrime.</p> <p>Thirdly, we should develop a practical tool that assists law enforcement and judicial authorities in fighting global cybercrime.</p> <p>Fourthly, a new instrument should complement existing international and regional agreements. </p> <p>Finally, we should be open and transparent during our negotiations, drawing on the experience and insight of various stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, academia, and the private sector. </p> <p>Thank you, Madam Chair.</p>

Mar 02, 2022Statement on behalf of NB8 at the General Assembly Emergency Special Session on UkraineNew York - United Nations

<div class="page-author page-metadata-content-item" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #3b3b3b; font-family: 'Noto Sans', sans-serif; font-size: 20px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span><strong>Statement by Permanent Representative of Denmark, Mr. Martin Bille Hermann, on behalf of the 8 Nordic-Baltic countries at the General Assembly Emergency Special Session on Ukraine</strong></span></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the eight Nordic-Baltic countries: Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Denmark.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From all corners of the world, we have come together.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To send a resounding YES to uphold international law and the UN Charter</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A resounding YES to the principle of the sovereign equality of all UN Member States.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A resounding YES to the need to respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of all UN Member States.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A resounding message to Ukraine and all Ukrainians – in the words of a colleague who spoke yesterday: You are not alone. We stand with you. Today, tomorrow and until peace is restored and Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity are fully restored and respected.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We have also sent a clear message to Russia – and to Belarus. STOP the aggression now. Full stop.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What you are doing is unacceptable. It is wrong.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Your unprovoked aggression against Ukraine is a violation of the core principles that you signed up to when you laid the foundation of this very organization, of this community of nations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Your invasion of Ukraine deserves our strongest condemnation. You will be held accountable. Every legal avenue available must and will be used to hold the aggressor to account.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You must stop the war immediately. You must return your troops to Russia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You must return to the path of peace. Of genuine dialogue.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is not too late to stop. It is not too late to reverse the course. It is not too late for you to return to this community, where we believe – with all our faults and imperfections – in the principle of the sovereign equality of all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are deeply concerned by the grave unfolding humanitarian crisis. We demand that all parties fully comply with their obligations under IHL and human rights law, protect civilians and critical civilian infrastructure and ensure safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access and passage. Humanitarian and medical personnel as well as hospitals and other medical facilities must be protected.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thousands of civilians have been killed. More have been injured. Close to a million innocent civilians have been forced to flee across borders. Even more have been internally displaced inside Ukraine. They are in need of help and assistance - without delay, without hindrance and pre-conditions. We take this opportunity to salute and express our deepest respect, appreciation and admiration for the generous assistance and protection that Ukraine’s neighbours have shown to all those fleeing the conflict. Men, women and children from all corners of the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Once again we echo the words of a protester had written on her sign:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If Russia stops fighting, there will be no more war.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If Ukrainians stop fighting, there will be no more Ukraine.</p>

Mar 02, 2022IAEA Board of Governors 2 MarchVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/IAEA%20vefs%c3%ad%c3%b0a.pdf">EU Statement on&nbsp;Agenda item 1: The safety, security and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine.</a></span>

Mar 01, 202232 Annual Implementation Assessment Meeting, 1 March 2022Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscaiam0007%20opening,%20eu.pdf">EU Statement on the opening session of the OSCE 32nd Annual Implementation Assessment Meeting in Vienna, 1 March 2022.</a>

Feb 28, 2022EU statement at the General Assembly Emergency Special Session on UkraineNew York - United Nations

<p>Mr. President,</p> <p>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States.</p> <p>The Candidate Countries North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania, the country of the Stabilization and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, San Marino, Andorra and Monaco align themselves with this statement.</p> <p>Let me start by expressing the EU’s full solidarity and support to Ukraine and its people, who are courageously fighting an unprovoked and unjustified military aggression from Russia.</p> <p>Since our GA meeting last week, the situation has dramatically escalated, despite tireless diplomatic efforts including at the highest levels. Russia has decided to turn its back to peace, to the rules-based international order as defined inter alia in the UN Charter, to diplomacy and to the international community.&nbsp; Russia’s military attack against Ukraine has already caused an alarming number of deaths, injured, IDPs and refugees.&nbsp;</p> <p>We condemn in the strongest possible terms the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by armed forces of the Russian Federation in violation of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. We also condemn the involvement of Belarus in this aggression against Ukraine.&nbsp; We urge both Russia and Belarus to abide by their international obligations.</p> <p>We are also alarmed by Russia’s raising of the nuclear alert level.&nbsp; We call on Russia to de-escalate and to immediately return to the previous alert level of its nuclear arsenal and to avoid any actions that could risk the safety or security of the nuclear power plants in Ukraine, a non-nuclear weapon State under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).</p> <p>Russia bears full responsibility for this aggression and the resulting loss of life and destruction. We demand from Russia to cease its military operations immediately and unconditionally and to withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. We further call on Russia to engage in earnest in dialogue with a view to a political and diplomatic solution.</p> <p>Russia’s actions grossly violate international law and are in clear breach of the UN Charter and the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, as well as Russia's specific commitments to<br /> respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity under the Budapest Memorandum of<br /> 1994. &nbsp;This is arguably the biggest aggression in Europe since the end of the Second World War. It follows similar Russian aggression against its neighbours in 2008 and 2014.&nbsp; We underscore our firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and the Republic of Moldova and are closely monitoring the situation in region.</p> <p>This Assembly has a responsibility immediately and effectively to acknowledge and address Russia’s actions.&nbsp; Failing to do so will erode trust in the rules-based global order with the UN at its core and the UN Charter itself.&nbsp; It would send the wrong message to perpetrators of such aggression and heightensimilar risks to other UN member states in the region and beyond.</p> <p>We stand firmly by Ukraine and its people. We deplore the loss of life and human suffering. This is a dire humanitarian catastrophe and humanitarian needs are rapidly increasing. With the toll of IDPs and refuges rising, humanitarian support is a priority in the wider package of EU support offered to Ukraine in these trying days.&nbsp;</p> <p>The EU and its Member States are providing urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian population. Ukraine has activated the Union Civil Protection Mechanism and is receiving urgently needed supplies from EU Member States. In addition, the Republic of Moldova – to which more than 56.000 Ukrainians have fled – has requested and received EU humanitarian support in dealing with the human catastrophe caused deliberately by the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine.</p> <p>We call on Russia and Russia-backed armed formations to respect international law, including international humanitarian law. Civilians and civilian infrastructures must be protected and humanitarian access should be secured. We call on Russia and Russia-backed armed formations to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and to stop their disinformation campaign and cyber-attacks. We strongly condemn the involvement of Belarus in this aggression against Ukraine and call on it to immediately stop such action and to abide by its international obligations</p> <p>We recall our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and call on all UN members not to recognize the two self-proclaimed separatist entities. The EU has reacted swiftly and decisively to Russia’s recognition of Ukraine’s self-proclaimed separatist entities and the invasion of Ukraine by adopting restrictive measures. We intend to take such measures against Belarus.</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>Let us be clear on this. We firmly believe that the use of force and coercion to change borders has no place in the 21st century. Let us recall that the UN Charter prohibits both, the threat and the use of force, against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations. Tensions and conflict should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy. The EU together with like-minded partners have been united in making unprecedented efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution. But Russia has not reciprocated these efforts and instead opted unilaterally for a grave and premeditated escalation. With this one-sided step Russia is further isolating itself. &nbsp;</p> <p>We are today at a crucial and historical moment. Too many times in the past the international community has been blind or too slow in front of unfolding tragedies. Entire generations in many places around the world have paid and are still paying the price of inaction. We can’t make the same mistake again: we have to take action. After the UNSC’s failure last week, the GA has the responsibility to send a strong and united message on the need for Russia to immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations, withdraw its troops and opt for genuine dialogue. We call on Russia to avoid, in particular, any action that places the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear and radioactive waste installations at risk. &nbsp;The people of Ukraine and the whole world are watching us and counting on us. And will judge us on the decision that we will take today. And it’s our duty and responsibility for all of us to do our utmost to defend the UN Charter and the international order. We therefore hope that this Assembly will massively support the resolution tabled by Ukraine.</p> <p>The EU and its Member States will continue to do their utmost to protect the integrity of the rules-based international system, which is key to our collective security, and call on all UN Member States to do the same. On our side, we will continue to stand by Ukraine, support its democratically elected institutions and representatives and its people including through additional political, financial, humanitarian and logistical support.</p>

Feb 28, 2022NB8 Statement at the General Assembly Emergency Special Session on UkraineNew York - United Nations

<p>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the eight Nordic-Baltic countries: Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Denmark. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>On the night of February 24, the Russian leadership decided to attack Ukraine. Let me be clear: We condemn in the strongest terms possible the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. People around the world are watching with horror the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, a member state of this organization. A member of this community of nations.</p> <p>We are struck with a profound sense of injustice and a profound sympathy with the Ukrainian people who are fighting for their country, their cities, their homes, their families, their lives.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Russian leadership’s aggression and brutal armed attack is in clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity within its international recognized borders. Their actions gravely violate international law and the principles of the UN charter.<strong> </strong>It is an attack on this organization.<strong> </strong>This cannot stand. </p> <p> Last week, the Russian leadership decided it would erase Ukraine’s right to determine its own future. This cannot stand.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>Russia counted on the world to remain silent. But we are acting. And on this day – and until peace prevails and every Ukrainian can safely return to their homes – we stand with Ukraine. The devastating consequences of this aggression - not only for Europe, but globally -cannot be overstated.</p> <p>Russian aggression against Ukraine will have global and long-term negative consequences, challenging the rules-based international order, if we let it go unanswered.</p> <p>We fear increased suffering in the time ahead. With potentially large numbers of casualties and extensive destruction of civilian infrastructure. We see fighting unfolding in and around urban areas. We are deeply concerned about the long-term, cumulative and protracted harm to the civilian population. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>We will continue to look at every single instrument in our toolbox, as a matter of urgency. Sanctions have already been enacted to cripple Putin’s ability to finance his war machine. Likewise, the role of the Lukashenko regime in Belarus in enabling the attack on Ukraine also demands a firm response.</p> <p>Nordic-Baltic countries have been delivering financial, humanitarian and military assistance to the people of Ukraine. And many of our partners around the globe have joined us.<strong><em> </em></strong>Every nation must look at how to further support Ukraine. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>During the past days we have watched with horror broadcasted images of families separated, children sheltering in the safety of the Kyiv subway system, kindergartens destroyed by Russian ordnances, and the ruins of bombarded residential buildings in the center of the capital of Ukraine. We are outraged by indiscriminate attacks on civilians in this unlawful and immoral war of conquest which serves no purpose and no principle but the naked quest for power and territory. This cannot stand. Russia must respect international humanitarian law and human rights law. Full and unhindered humanitarian access must be guaranteed. Civilians must be protected.</p> <p>We call on Russia to stop this senseless war. And echo the plea of the Secretary- General. We demand immediate cease-fire. We urge Russia to withdraw all its forces from Ukraine. And return genuinely to the path of dialogue and negotiation. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>Let me be clear: Every civilian death, every war crime, will be recorded and we will ensure that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are held accountable and brought to justice. History has its eyes on us. Every legal avenue available will be used to hold the aggressor to account.</p> <p>Ukraine has sent a request to the International Court of Justice on Russia’s erroneous and absurd allegations of genocide in Ukraine, which the Russian Federation as cynically used as a false pretext for its invasion. The International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor has also noted that he is monitoring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The prosecutor’s office may – and will - exercise its jurisdiction over and investigate any act of genocide, crime against humanity or war crime committed within the territory of Ukraine, as Ukraine has accepted the court's jurisdiction. We fully support the ICC’s monitoring of the situation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Colleagues,</p> <p>The rules based international order, which governs how states interact with one another, was put in place drawing from the horrible lessons of two world wars, promising one another that future generations would be saved from the scourge of war. The attack on Ukraine; the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a direct assault on the principles and purposes of the UN Charter. This cannot stand.</p> <p>The matter is now in the hands of the General Assembly. Where one veto cannot overrule the UN membership. Where the power and legitimacy is manifested in numbers. Russia’s, the aggressor’s, shameful use of the veto on a matter it bears full responsibility for is completely unacceptable. As a permanent member of the Security Council Russia has a special responsibility of maintaining peace and security, not violate the very principles of the UN Charter. The latest meetings of the Council demonstrated the need for reform. It demonstrated who had the firmness and valor to defend the UN Charter.</p> <p>No country can grow and thrive in isolation. Russia knows this. The General Assembly has the power to send a firm message to Putin. What we say today and how we vote on the resolution presented will make a difference on the ground in Ukraine and to the Ukrainian people. They will be watching us. Hoping that the world will come in on the side of the UN Charter and our promise of “never again”. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Colleagues,</p> <p>Russia’s unlawful and brutal armed attack on Ukraine will affect and impact everyone. And if we do not join our forces to turn back this tide today, we will be even less equipped to deal with similar crimes in the future – wherever, on whichever continent they occur.</p> <p>Over the last week we have heard powerful statements from representatives of every continent on this planet, from Africa to Asia, from Europe to the Americas, that Russia’s behaviour (towards a fellow member) of the United Nations cannot stand. And we will hear more today.</p> <p>To those who still refer to “two parties to a conflict”, we echo the words of a protester, who so rightly had written on her sign: </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If Russia stops fighting there will be no more war.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If Ukrainians stop fighting there will be no more Ukraine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That is the simple reality before us. That is the simple truth.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The world will hold Russia and Belarus accountable for their actions. Russia as the main aggressor. Belarus as the enabler.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you Mr. President.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Feb 27, 20221359 Special PC 27 February 2022 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0302%20eu%201359special%20pc.pdf">EU Statement on the Russian Federation’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine.</a></span>

Feb 26, 2022PGA High Level Dialogue: Galvanising Momentum for Universal VaccinationNew York - United Nations

<span></span> <p>Mr. President, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,</p> <p>Let me begin by thanking you, Mr. President, for your commitment to the effort to offer universal access to covid-19 vaccination.</p> <p>No event has upended the day-to-day lives of people across the globe in the past seventy years like the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus that causes covid-19. When enough time has passed, it will be very interesting to see how well many of our decisions will age. One of the issues that are sure to draw scrutiny is the distribution of vaccines among the world’s population.</p> <p>We face the fact that disparity in global vaccine distribution is vast.</p> <p>A full year has passed since wealthy countries undertook a colossal effort to vaccinate their citizens, starting with the old and vulnerable parts of their populations. The effect of protecting those groups with vaccines has been a dramatic decrease in the severity of disease for those who have contracted the virus.</p> <p>Since then, vaccination rates have been steadily climbing, and we have even given booster shots to many of our citizens. Large parts of the populations in wealthier countries who are very unlikely to develop serious illness from infection have been thoroughly protected.</p> <p>Meanwhile, in too many countries, vaccination rates are shockingly low, with vaccines still not available even to health workers or the most vulnerable groups of society, let alone the general population.</p> <p>To add to the travails of some of the poorest people in the world, the economic and social impact of large scale restrictions and disruption in the flow of goods are felt disproportionately by societies that are least prepared to absorb such shocks.</p> <p>Excellencies.</p> <p>Ultimately, working together to ensure equitable access to vaccines is a fundamental matter of global solidarity and a critical test of our times.</p> <p>Let me assure you that Iceland remains firmly committed to play its part.</p> <p>Since the early months of the pandemic, Iceland has made substantial financial contributions to COVAX and shared vaccines through the same mechanism.</p> <p>Earlier this month we also announced a contribution to UNCEF’s Act-A appeal of 250 million ISK.</p> <p>And I can also confirm that we will continue our support to ACT-A this year too and will be announcing a sizable contribution to this end soon.</p> <p>Through our bilateral partnerships, we have also sought to strengthen the resilience of health systems and counter the regressive impact the pandemic has had on gender equality and the empowerment of women.</p> <p>In conclusion, I thank you again for organizing this event. May it indeed be a galvanising moment for universal vaccination.</p>

Feb 24, 2022Statement by Iceland on the situation in UkraineStrasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1426bis (extraordinary) meeting&nbsp;of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</strong></p> <p>Thank you, Mr. Chair, </p> <p>Here we are – just 24 hours after our last meeting on the same item. Yesterday’s united plea from this body on the Russian Federation to revoke the decision to recognize the non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk and to de-escalate have fallen on deaf ears. We woke up to news of a military attack by the Russian Federation on Ukraine this morning. This reckless and unprovoked attack of Russia on Ukraine is a clear breach of international law and the very values and principles upon which this organization is founded.</p> <p>Iceland stands in full solidarity with Ukraine and calls on the Russian Federation to immediately cease hostilities, to withdraw its forces from Ukraine and to return to dialogue and diplomacy. Peace must be restored – without delay. </p> <p>As stated yesterday, this body must react when a Member State seriously violates its Statutory obligations. We had hopes that there was still room for dialogue and diplomacy based on respect for the principles enshrined in the Statute. </p> <p>Unfortunately, the recent developments indicate the opposite. We deeply regret that it has come to this, but this body now needs to follow the provisions of the Statute, including actions under Article 8, and suspend the Russian Federation from the Council.</p> <p>In conclusion, Mr. Chair, Iceland reiterates its unwavering support for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders – a reiteration that cannot be emphasized enough in these dark times.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Feb 24, 20221358 Reinforced PC, 24 February 2022 (Russian Invasion in Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0316%20iceland%201358reinforced%20pc.pdf">Statement by H.E. Ms. Thordís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, at the 1358th (Reinforced) Permanent Council, Vienna, 24 February 2022</a></span>

Feb 24, 20221358 Reinforced PC, 24 February 2022 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0278%20eu%201358reinforced%20pc.pdf">Statement delivered by the High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Union.</a></span>

Feb 23, 2022EU Statement supported by Iceland on the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of UkraineNew York - United Nations

<p>Iceland aligns itself with the EU statement in the UN General Assembly plenary meeting on the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, February 23, 2022.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you Mr. Secretary-General for your presence and for your briefing this morning, and for the legal, moral and political authority of your office clarifying the implications of what we are now seeing on the European continent and how it relates to the UN Charter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I will speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Candidate Countries North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Georgia and Monaco, align themselves with this statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The European Union recalls its unwavering support to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We strongly condemn the decision by President Putin to recognise the non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine as independent entities and the ensuing decision to send Russian troops into these areas. If there was any uncertainty, the Secretary-General has made clear that the decision of the Russian Federation is a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter of this United Nations. We call on Russia to reverse these decisions. The UNSG also stated on Monday this week that “the decision of the Russian Federation is a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”. They undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence and are a severe breach of international law and international agreements, including the UN Charter, Helsinki Final Act, Paris Charter and Budapest Memorandum.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With this decision, Russia is clearly violating the Minsk Agreements. The European Union strongly condemns Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine, including through the unprecedented military build-up near the border with Ukraine and in the Black Sea, and through the deployment of combat forces in, and the joint drills with, Belarus, and calls on Russia to de-escalate, to abide by international law and to engage constructively in dialogue through the established international mechanisms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The EU is responding to these latest violations with additional restrictive measures, including on all economic relations with the non-governmental controlled areas, as well as designations against individuals and entities responsible for undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine, in coordination with our partners.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Russia’s past and present actions against Ukraine are not a matter just for Ukraine or for Europe. They have severe global implications. Violations of the fundamental principles of international law, the UN Charter and basic principles of international relations directed towards another state is of serious global concern. These rules apply to all. And permanent members of the Security Council have particular responsibility in upholding the Charter. The lessons learned from disastrous conflicts of the 20th century, which the international community was not able to prevent, are clear in this regard.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The EU fully subscribes to and, for its part, reaffirms our full commitment to the core principles that European security is built on, enshrined in the UN Charter, commitments that Russia itself has subscribed to in the OSCE, including the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This includes notably the sovereign equality and territorial integrity of States; the inviolability of frontiers; refraining from the threat or use of force; and the freedom of States to choose or change their own security arrangements. These principles are neither negotiable nor subject to revision or re-interpretation. Their violation by Russia is an obstacle to a common security space in Europe and threatens the peace and stability in Europe and worldwide. What is happening in Ukraine affects the security of each and every UN member state. We therefore call on Russia to respect the principles of the Charter, to de-escalate and to engage in the kind of meaningful diplomacy that we have offered and that the Secretary-General has reiterated and supported. The UN Secretary General emphasized last week “There is no alternative to diplomacy. All issues can and must be addressed and resolved through diplomatic frameworks.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We call on Russia to constructively engage in the Normandy Format and the Trilateral Contact Group, to achieve the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements, endorsed by the UN Security Council resolution 2202.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Russia needs to urgently de-escalate tensions caused by the military build-up along its border with Ukraine and on Crimea and cease the provocation and aggressive rhetoric. Russia must change course and constructively contribute in the negotiation in the Normandy Format and the Trilateral Contact Group in line with what was agreed in the recent N4 meeting in Paris and Berlin. We welcome the OSCE Special Representative’s attempts to convene extraordinary sessions of the Trilateral Contact Group to defuse tensions. We expect Russia to accept the invitation to such a meeting in the future. We also call on Russia to immediately stop fuelling the conflict and to remove Russian troops and hardware illegally deployed in areas currently not under the control of the Government of Ukraine. The EU strongly condemns the recent increase of ceasefire violations as well as orders for mobilization issued by the de facto authorities in areas currently not under the control of the Government of Ukraine.&nbsp; We condemn the use of heavy weaponry and recall that the shelling of civilian infrastructures is totally unacceptable and represents a clear violation of the ceasefire, the Minsk Agreements and international humanitarian law. The EU commends Ukraine’s posture of restraint in the face of continued provocations and efforts at destabilisation as we’ve just heard from this rostrum this morning by the Foreign Minister</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The EU underlines the role of the OSCE as the appropriate forum to address security concerns of all interested parties, including Russia. EU Member States are ready to engage in strengthening the existing mechanisms to ensure military transparency and predictability, and to support efforts regarding arms control, in particular within the OSCE framework. In this regard, we urge Russia to abide by its commitments under the Vienna Document and notably to provide full transparency on its military activities in the region, to host visits to the areas which are the cause of concern, to take significant and verifiable steps to de-escalate the situation and to provide information on the reported redeployment of Russian units from the locations of military exercises.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We also express our support for the valuable engagement of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) and its impartial monitoring. Its work is of crucial importance to get objective information from the ground, and its observers play a key role in de-escalation efforts, in particular in the current situation. We are therefore deeply concerned by Russia’s continued actions to obstruct the presence of the SMM in the non-government controlled areas of Ukraine. The SMM is mandated to monitor the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, including in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. We urge Russia to respect the mandate of the SMM as agreed by all participating States and ensure that all restrictions affecting the mission’s work are lifted immediately. We once again deplore the targeting of assets of the mission.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We also call on Russia to stop its policy of issuing Russian passports in large numbers to Ukrainian citizens residing in the non-government controlled areas of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. This practice directly contradicts the spirit and objectives of the Minsk Agreements and is further undermining Ukraine`s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The EU further condemns the continuous deterioration of the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law in the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The volatile security situation in eastern Ukraine has an immense impact on the civilian population, in particular persons in the most vulnerable situations living in the non-government controlled areas and along both sides of the contact line, where people are under continuous threat of shelling. We share a profound concern for their suffering. Adequate social benefits and pensions to the entire conflict affected population, regardless of their place of residence and in accordance with the Ukrainian Constitution should be provided. Protection of the supply of water, energy and other utilities across the Line of Contact and mitigation of environmental risk are key to avoid worsening of the situation. Prompt implementation of the mine action law and setting up a national mine action centre to effectively address the contamination by mines and unexploded ordnances in conflict affected areas is also crucial.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a result of the conflict, 2.9 million Ukrainians are still in need of humanitarian assistance. We call on the sides to respect international humanitarian law and guarantee unhindered and sustained access for humanitarian actors, including UNHCR and other UN agencies, as well as national and international NGOs, to all people in need. The decreasing level of humanitarian funding reduces the ability to deliver humanitarian assistance. The EU, together with its 27 Member States, is the biggest donor of humanitarian aid to Ukraine with over 193.7 million EUR since the beginning of the conflict. The EU will continue to support humanitarian organisations in their important work to alleviate suffering and promote resilience of affected populations, particularly along the contact line.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me turn to the situation in Crimea. These days we commemorate eight years since the beginning of the hostile Russian political and military actions against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, leading to the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation. This illegal annexation and Russia’s subsequent actions on the peninsula and in surrounding waters are in blatant breach of international law and of key principles of the rules-based international order. They remain a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international law that protects the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of all States. In line with the resolutions of this General Assembly, resolutions 68/262 and 76/70, the EU reconfirms its condemnation of this violation of international law and continues to implement its consistent non-recognition policy of the illegal annexation, including through restrictive measures, together with its transatlantic partners. We work in all international organizations – the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the United Nations – to ensure, by diplomatic means, the respect and restoration of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in line with General Assembly resolutions 68/262, 76/70 and 76/179. We also recall our support for the International Crimea Platform, as stated in the Joint Declaration of Participants in the International Crimea Platform, adopted at the ICP Summit held in Kyiv, on 23 August 2021.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As stated in resolution 68/262, the so-called referendum organised by Russia on the Crimean peninsula in March 2014 has no legal validity, as it was a breach of Ukraine’s constitution and thus cannot form a basis for alteration of the status of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. We recall the obligation of all states not to recognize as lawful any territorial acquisition or special advantage resulting from aggression, and we call on all UN Member States to remain steadfast in their policy of non-recognition of Russia’s illegal annexation, in line with UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We welcome Ukraine’s efforts to continue to seek justice using international legal instruments and courts, including in the European Court of Human Rights, in arbitration courts, the International Court of Justice etc. We underline in this regard the importance of respect for judicial decisions and their timely implementation, and recall the decision given by the European Court of Human Rights imposing on Russia clear human rights obligations given its effective control over the Crimean peninsula since 27 February 2014.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The ongoing Russian militarization of the Crimean peninsula has a negative impact on the security situation in the Black Sea region and beyond. We call on Russia to refrain from impeding the lawful exercise of navigational rights and freedoms to and from the Sea of Azov in accordance with international law. Russia's unjustified use of force on 25 November 2018 near the Kerch Strait, the construction of the Kerch Bridge without Ukraine’s consent and the subsequent arbitrary inspection regime at the Kerch Strait limiting the navigation to and from Ukrainian ports are violations of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, which we have repeatedly condemned. We reaffirm the universal and unified character of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We remain seriously concerned about transfers by the Russian Federation of sophisticated weapons systems and military personnel to the peninsula since March 2014. Multiple military exercises of Russian armed forces have been held in Crimea, which undermine regional security and entail considerable long-term negative environmental consequences in the region. As documented in the reports by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Russian citizenship and conscription in the armed forces of the Russian Federation have been imposed on Crimean residents in violation of international humanitarian law. Russian legislative elections have been illegally held in the illegally annexed Crimea and a population census conducted in an attempt to legitimize the illegal annexation of the peninsula. All these developments are extremely worrying and hostile.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The EU remains deeply concerned about the severe deterioration of the human rights situation in the Crimean peninsula since its illegal annexation by the Russian Federation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Residents of the peninsula face systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as the rights to freedom of expression, religion or belief and association, and the right to peaceful assembly. Arbitrary detentions and convictions remain systemic. In particular, the human rights of the Crimean Tatars have been targeted. In this regard we emphasize our calls for the immediate release of all illegally detained and imprisoned human rights defenders in the Crimean peninsula and in Russia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In accordance with UN General Assembly resolution 76/179 adopted last December, it is crucial that regional and international human rights monitoring mechanisms as well as non-governmental human rights organizations are granted proper and unimpeded access to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol illegally annexed by the Russian Federation. Journalists, media workers, human rights defenders and defense lawyers should be able to work independently and without undue interference and intimidation. We welcome the work of Ukrainian human rights organizations and the Crimean prosecutor who, temporarily from mainland Ukraine, record human rights violations and abuses. Violations and abuses of human rights and of international humanitarian law must be investigated and perpetrators brought to justice. We reiterate our call for the immediate release of all those Ukrainian citizens who have been illegally detained by Russia and sentenced in breach of international law. In this regard, we call on the Russian Federation to stop changing the demographic structure in Crimea by the resettlement of its own civilian population to the peninsula.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We also expect Russia to take measures to improve the environmental situation in Crimea, which has considerably worsened.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The EU reaffirms our commitment to further support Ukraine’s resilience, including in countering cyber and hybrid threats and tackling disinformation. The EU underlines the importance of Ukraine’s reform agenda, based on our shared values of democracy, rule of law, respect for international law and human rights, as reiterated in the 23rd EU-Ukraine Summit Joint statement, as a vehicle for enhancing Ukraine’s external and internal resilience. The EU reaffirms its long-standing and steadfast support to this end.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In conclusion, Mr. President, let me reiterate once again our firm belief that tensions and disagreements must be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy and that this issue is not only a matter of regional concern, but global. Threats and violations of international law, including the UN Charter, affect all Member States of the UN and people of the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>* North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilization and Association Process.</p>

Feb 23, 2022Nordic Baltic Statement on the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of UkraineNew York - United Nations

<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite the repeated calls for serious de-escalation by the UN Secretary General and recent intensive diplomatic efforts at all levels, Russia keeps dramatically escalating its aggressive actions against Ukraine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We strongly condemn the decision by President Putin to recognize the non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine as independent entities and the ensuing decision to send Russian troops into these areas under the pretext of so –called “peacekeeping”. We call on Russia to reverse these decisions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As clearly stated by the UN Secretary General and political leaders of our countries, these illegal acts further undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence and constitute a severe breach of international law and international agreements, including the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, Paris Charter and Budapest Memorandum. We underline that Russian forces in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine would be nothing else than an invasion of a sovereign state. Calling them peacekeepers, to quote the Secretary General, is the perversion of the concept of peacekeeping.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By these illegal acts, Russia is breaking its commitment to work within the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group in finding a peaceful settlement to the conflict. It is also violating UN Security Council Resolution 2202, which requires full implementation of the Minsk Agreements.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Russian Federation’s use of force against Ukraine is completely unjustified and unacceptable, and must be met with unity, firmness and determination, including through additional sanctions, in solidarity with Ukraine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Russia’s continued aggressive actions and threats against Ukraine and its recent unprecedented and large-scale military build-up in Ukraine and near its borders, including through the deployment of combat forces in, and the joint drills with, Belarus pose a threat to not only European, but also global security. In addition, Russia’s increased military presence in the Black Sea and in the illegally annexed Crimean Peninsula, as well as the closure of large parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, add to the threat of escalation also in the maritime sphere.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Non-adherence to international law and its fundamental principles undermines the rules-based international order and effective multilateralism. We underscore the crucial importance of upholding these principles, including to the right of all States to the sovereign equality, territorial integrity and political independence, as well as the freedom of States to choose their own security arrangements.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic and Baltic countries stand in full solidarity with Ukraine, supporting its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognized borders.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Russia has a clear and direct responsibility under international law to work to find a peaceful settlement of the conflict. We call on Russia to respect the principles of the UN Charter, to deescalate and to choose to engage in meaningful diplomacy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In three days, we will mark the 8th anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation. The Nordic and Baltic countries continue to condemn this blatant violation of international law and remain committed to implementing the EU’s non-recognition policy, including through restrictive measures. We call on UN Member States to consider similar measures in accordance with the UN General Assembly resolution 68/262.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We continue to condemn the increasing militarization of the Crimean Peninsula and the severe deterioration of the human rights situation there. We recall the obligation of all states not to recognize as lawful any territorial acquisition or special advantage resulting from the use of armed force.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Russia instigated conflict has resulted in around 14 000 deaths, 1.5 million displaced, countless damages and suffering of those living on the both sides of the contact line. Furthermore, we are witnessing Russia’s continuous efforts of de-facto integration and systemic demographic changes of the illegally annexed Crimea as well as non-government-controlled areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, including through accelerated issuing of Russian passports on a massive scale to Ukrainian citizens, and forced conscription to the Russian Armed Forces. Such moves are making the conflict resolution efforts even more difficult.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are concerned about reported arbitrary detentions and arrests, especially of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian speaking minorities, increasing pressure on journalists and media workers, human rights defenders and other members of civil society. Russia must fully respect international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We call for the immediate release of all illegally detained and imprisoned persons in the Crimean Peninsula and in Russia. It is essential that international organisations and human rights actors have an unhindered access to the areas currently not under the control of Ukraine, and the Crimean Peninsula, in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 76/179 of 16 December 2021.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We urge Russia to withdraw its forces and materiel from within Ukraine, including the Crimean Peninsula and non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, as well as from areas adjacent to its borders, and to immediately stop fuelling the conflict.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We reiterate our full support to the efforts towards peaceful and sustainable resolution of this conflict through the established international mechanisms. We commend Ukraine for its constructive approach and urge Russia to assume its responsibility as a party to the conflict, uphold its commitments, abide by international law and return to the discussions within the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is essential that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission have free and unhindered access throughout Ukraine including the Crimean Peninsula and non-government-controlled areas in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine - in accordance with its mandate. We are deeply concerned regarding the continued restrictions to the SMM’s freedom of movement, including security incidents involving its staff and assets.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The position of the Nordic and Baltic countries is clear. It is our duty as members of the UN to defend the rules-based international order. Challenges to this order clearly affect the international community as a whole.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We urge Russia to abide by international law and uphold its international commitments. Like the Secretary General, we recall the obligations under the UN Charter of all members to refrain from the threat or use of force and to settle their international disputes by peaceful means.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We thank the Secretary General for his clear message on Russia’s aggressive actions and call for the UN to continue efforts to restore respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you Mr. President.</p>

Feb 23, 20221002 FSC, 23 February 2022 (Ukraine, Preventing terrorism)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0107%20eu%201002fsc.pdf">EU Statement on Russia’s further aggression against Ukraine.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0108%20eu%20on%20counterring%20terrorism%201002fsc.pdf">EU Statement on Countering Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.</a></span></p>

Feb 22, 20221357 Reinforced PC, 22 February 2022 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0245%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201357pc.pdf">EU Statement on the decisions of the Russian Federation further undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.</a></span>

Feb 22, 20221357 Reinforced PC, 22 February (Russian Invasion in Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0242%20iceland%201357pc.pdf">Statement by H.E. Mr. Martin Eyjólfsson, Permanent Secretary of State of&nbsp;Iceland, at the 1357th (Reinforced) Permanent Council, Vienna, 22 February 2022.</a></span>

Feb 21, 2022Statement on "Our Common Agenda" - promoting peace, international law, and digital cooperationNew York - United Nations

<p>Mr. Vice President,</p> <p>Thank you for convening today’s debate on the proposals in Our Common Agenda Report aimed at promoting peace, international law, and digital cooperation. </p> <p>The main challenge to multilateralism and international cooperation is not lack of instruments and commitments but too often lack of implementation and non-compliance. We do therefore welcome all attempts to reverse this trend. </p> <p>Iceland supports fuller use of human rights mechanisms, including the Universal Periodic Review, to assist UN member states in implementing their commitments, combat discrimination, and proactively support the participation of marginalized groups. </p> <p>The Treaty Body System plays an essential role in promoting and protecting human rights and should, as other human rights mechanisms, be put on more sustainable financial </p> <p>Those seeking to represent the broader UN membership or regional groups should be transparent and open about their policies and priorities. This is particularly important for prospective candidates for the Human Rights Council membership, highlighting their commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms. </p> <p>Digital cooperation anchored in international law and human rights is the key to a more open, free, and secure digital future for all. All discussions about the future of digital cooperation need to be based on an inclusive and transparent multistakeholder approach, drawing on exiting UN workstreams. Bridging the digital divide so that no one is left behind must be an integral part of this work.</p> <p>We appreciate the call for a more preventative and strategic approach to promoting peace and avoiding conflicts as underlined in highlighted in the New Agenda for Peace. We also welcome a firm commitment to the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in peace processes and sustaining peace. </p> <p>Finally, Mr. Vice President,</p> <p>We need to deliver on our commitment to instill new life into the discussions on Security Council reform, including the use of the veto.</p> <p>Thank you</p>

Feb 21, 20221356 Special PC, 21 February 2022 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0235%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201356pc.pdf">EU Statement on the situation in and around Ukraine, including the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine.</a></span>

Feb 21, 20221356 Special PC, 21 February (Russian Invasion in Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0244%20iceland%201356%20special%20pc.pdf">Statement of Ambassador Kristín A. Árnadóttir, Permanent Representative&nbsp;of Iceland, at the 1356th Special Permanent Council Meeting, Vienna, 21&nbsp;February 2022.&nbsp;</a></span>

Feb 18, 202285. Joint Meeting of the FSC and PC, 18 February (Activation of the Vienna Document)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscpcdel0012%20iceland.pdf">Statement by Ambassador Kristín A. Árnadóttir, Permanent Representative&nbsp;of Iceland, at the 85th Joint Meeting of the Forum for Security Co-operation and Permanent Council, Vienna, 18 February 2022.</a></span></p>

Feb 17, 20221355 PC 17 February 2022 (Climate Change, Early Warning, Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0213r1%20eu%20sg%20report%20climate%20change%201355pc.pdf">EU Statement in Response to the Secretary-General Report on Climate Change.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0212%20eu%201355pc.pdf">EU Statement in response to the early warning issued by the OSCE Secretary-General Helga Schmid.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0211%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201355pc.pdf">EU statement in response to the update by the Special Representative in Ukraine and the SMM Chief Monitor.</a></p>

Feb 16, 20221001 FSC, 16 February 2022 (Ukraine, European security architecture)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0092%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201001fsc.pdf">EU Statement on the security situation in and around Ukraine.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0091%20eu%20on%20non-aligned%20countries%201001fsc.pdf">EU Statement on European security architecture - the role of non-aligned countries.</a></p>

Feb 15, 20221st Preparatory Meeting for the 30th Economic and Environmental Forum, 14-15 FebruaryVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span></span><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/eefdel0016%20closing,%20iceland.pdf">Statement of Ms. Eva Dröfn Hassell Guðmundsdóttir, Temporary Officer, at&nbsp;the Closing Session of the 1st Preparatory Meeting of the 30th Economic and&nbsp;Environmental Forum, Vienna, 15 February 2022.</a></span>

Feb 14, 2022UN Women Executive Board - Joint Statement New York - United Nations

<p>Madam President, Madam Executive Director, dear Colleagues.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I deliver this statement on behalf of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Kingdom of Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Ukraine, and my own country Iceland.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate you, Madam Executive Director, on your appointment and warmly welcome you to your first UN Women Executive Board session. Thank you for your statement Madam Executive Director. We are confident that you will continue to move this important organization in the right direction. A good first step is strengthening the relation between the Executive Board and the UN Women leadership, and we thank you for your decision in that regard.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam Executive Director, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Through concerted efforts, we have seen progress in key areas of gender equality globally over the past decade. More girls are going to school. Fewer women are dying in childbirth. Women’s economic inclusion has improved and women’s representation in parliaments has increased. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is no denying, however, that due to the pandemic, climate change, the high number of complicated and protracted crises and persisting discriminatory structures and social norms, progress made is at risk of stagnation, or worse, reversal. We see extreme poverty rising globally for the first time in a generation. Gender gaps in labor force participation persist and women are still excluded from decision-making, including in building sustainable peace. Access to sexual and reproductive health and rights has deteriorated and sexual and gender-based violence has increased, including in the digital world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>UN Women plays a key role in getting us back on track during this decade of action. The transformative results that UN Women seeks to achieve are clearly articulated in the newly endorsed Strategic Plan. It has a human rights-based, intersectional and Leaving No One Behind approach and underscores UN Women’s unique triple mandate, with a commitment to significantly step-up UN Women’s coordination of the UN system on gender equality and women’s empowerment. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The task ahead of us, Madam Executive Director, is therefore to implement it. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We urge UN Women to ensure the Strategic Plan is fully incorporated at regional and country levels, leaving no one behind. The business transformation, or UN Women 2.0, is also crucial for delivering on UN Women’s triple mandate and achieving impact at scale through stronger implementation at the national level. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Strengthening and broadening partnerships, both inside and outside the UN system, is key to achieving transformative results for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, as exemplified by the Generation Equality Forum.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>First and foremost, we support your objective to intensify and deepen UN Women’s support to, and work with, programme countries. This is key. Civil society, especially women’s rights movements and human rights defenders, also need UN Women’s support and vice-versa. Partnerships with the private sector and international financial institutions are vital to ensure reach and impact. Engaging men and boys is particularly important, especially when it comes to promoting positive social norms, and we commend UN Women for highlighting this through their systemic outcome approach in the Strategic Plan. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Implementing the Strategic Plan requires sufficient, predictable, timely and quality funding, in line with the commitments in the Funding Compact. Such funding also allows for flexibility and is necessary to support UN Women’s ability to support the UN’s crisis response and deliver effectively at country level, most recently exemplified by the COVID-19 and Afghanistan response. Quality funding is essential to enable UN Women to successfully deliver on its triple mandate, including in fragile and conflict-affected situations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam Executive Director, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You take the reins at a particularly challenging time for the organization and for women and girls. We have full confidence that you will make real progress this year and the following years. You can count on our support in advancing gender equality, women’s empowerment, and the full enjoyment of human rights by women and girls in all their diversity, everywhere.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you. </p>

Feb 10, 2022Statement on Our Common Agenda - Thematic consultation 1: SDGsNew York - United Nations

<p>Mr President,</p> <p>Let me start by thanking you and the Secretary-General for organizing this important meeting to further reflect on the various proposals and ideas in Our Common Agenda Report. </p> <p>The report and its proposals can and should be used to reinvigorate multilateralism and re-embrace solidarity in line with UN 75 declaration. </p> <p>First few points on the process. </p> <p>Our point of departure should be to make sure that these proposals supplement and accelerate the implementation of existing commitments, not least Agenda 2030, the Paris agreement, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.</p> <p>We should avoid duplication of efforts, but still allow ourselves to be innovative in our approach and break away from overly cumbersome processes. </p> <p>We should be inclusive and transparent, and engage youth, civil society, the private sector, and academia.</p> <p>Finally, we need to make sure that our deliberation result in concrete and practical deliverables.</p> <p>Mr President </p> <p>We welcome the reports strong emphasis on renewed social contract and trust anchored in human rights. Human rights and fundamental freedoms are critical for inclusion, participation, and protection. They are essential drivers for sustainable development, trust, and prosperity. Including everyone, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation or gender identity, means more hands and minds pushing for social and economic progress for all.</p> <p>Proposals on exploring new frontiers and challenges to human rights guided by international human rights law, treaties, and instruments are welcomed. More effort and resources should also be devoted to promoting and safeguarding our existing commitments to human rights overall. </p> <p>The pandemic has highlighted the importance of investments in social protection systems to enhance overall resilience and wellbeing.&nbsp; It has also underlined that additional fiscal space is needed to support social protection coverage. </p> <p>Iceland strongly supports more ambitious and action-oriented plans for full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and girls at all levels, everywhere. Gender equality is perhaps the most critical lever for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals in time. This includes women’s economic inclusion, a key area of focus for Iceland. </p> <p>Moreover, eliminating violence and discrimination against women and girls is another key priority. We welcome the proposals on emergency response plan against gender-based violence, that needs to be backed up by broader commitments by member states to address sexual and gender-based violence. </p> <p>We appreciate proposals for a more meaningful, diverse, and effective engagement with youth. The proposal for convening a Summit on transformative education is also welcomed. </p> <p>. </p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Feb 10, 2022Statement by Iceland in exchange of views with Dr. David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment Strasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1424th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Sandra Lyngdorf.</strong></p> <p>Thank you Chair. </p> <p>We warmly welcome the President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Villegas, and Special Rapporteur Boyd to Strasbourg – albeit virtually – and we welcome the focus of today’s interactive thematic discussion.</p> <p>UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has long called on Member States to take bold actions to give prompt and real effect to the right to a healthy environment and the adoption of HRC resolution 48/13 certainly answered this call. We thank the core group in Geneva – including Slovenia and Switzerland - for putting this text forward. Bachelet hoped that the resolution would serve as a springboard to push for transformative economic, social, and environmental policies that will protect people and nature and we thank Mr Giakoumopoulos for providing an overview of the Council of Europe’s work in this area.</p> <p>Human rights and the environment is a priority for us and the Council of Europe and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights has affirmed the undeniable interconnections between environmental protection and human rights. We all have a right to a safe, healthy, and clean environment and that right underpins many of our other human rights. We carry a joint responsibility for protecting our environment, not only so that we can sustain ourselves, but also to sustain future generations. The Council of Europe – as other bodies and organizations – cannot stand by as the world deals with monumental changes to our environment. Here we see an opportunity for the Council of Europe to maintain its progressive role in developing new standards.</p> <p>Mr. Boyd, while conducting your research, have you identified any legal gaps at the regional level in the environmental sphere in our Council of Europe region? And looking to the future in terms of new instruments, binding or non-binding, what further legal protection in the environmental sphere do you think Council of Europe Member States could consensually agree on right now?</p>

Feb 10, 20221354 PC, 10 February 2022 (Ukraine, Human Rights in Russia, Chairs of the Three Committees)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0177%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201354pc.pdf">EU Statement on "Russia's Ongoing Aggression against Ukraine and Illegal Occupation of Crimea".</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel178%20eu%20on%20russ%20fed%201354pc.pdf">EU statement on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Russian Federation.<br /> </a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0179%20eu%20reply%20three%20committees%201354pc.pdf">EU Statement in response to the Presentations by the Chairs of the Three Committees.</a></p>

Feb 09, 20221000 FSC, 9 February 2022 (1000th FSC Meeting, Ukraine, Small Arms and Light Weapons)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0061%20eu%201000fsc.pdf">EU Statement on the 1000th Meeting of the FSC.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0060%20eu%201000fsc.pdf">EU Statement on the Security Situation in and around Ukraine.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0062%20eu%20on%20salw-sca%201000fsc.pdf">EU Statement on Small Arms and Light Weapons.</a></p>

Feb 08, 2022Joint Nordic Statement - Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN)New York - United Nations

<p>Your Excellencies, Co-Chairs, </p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries. </p> <p>Please allow me to extend our sincere gratitude to Ambassador Hermann of Denmark for taking on this process, and Ambassador Al-Thani of the State of Qatar for again steering the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform this session. We know we are in good hands, and we recognize this can be a thankless task. Please be assured you can count on the full support of the Nordic countries in your work this session. </p> <p>Thank you also for your letter of 27 December, inviting us to reflect on the IGN process, and how a renewed momentum can be given to it, also in view of the Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda report. We are happy to do so, as we did in the plenary meeting on 15 November. </p> <p>Co-Chairs, </p> <p>In the field of peace and security, the Security Council has a unique responsibility according to its mandate under the UN Charter. The Nordic countries seek a more transparent, effective, accountable and representative Security Council that can support a coherent UN response to the complex and cross-cutting issues we face. One that – in its composition and working methods – reflects the global realities of today and tomorrow. The world has changed since the last expansion of the Security Council in 1965. </p> <p>Regarding the process, the Nordic Countries have repeatedly called for commencing more substantive text-based negotiations. Today, we repeat this call. In our view, it would offer a way to encourage substantive discussions and advance the process further. The Nordic countries see this as essential for achieving progress. </p> <p>Co-Chairs, </p> <p>Turning to the issue of regional representation, Nordic countries support a balanced expansion of the Security Council from all regions, with adequate representation of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. This includes ensuring that Africa takes its rightful place in the Council, through an expansion of both permanent and non-permanent seats for Africa. We would like to see increased representation of developing countries and improved opportunity for small states to serve as elected members. We welcome ongoing discussions on these and other issues as negotiations progress. </p> <p>We must also carefully consider the impacts of the act of the veto in our deliberations on Security Council reform. Permanent members’ veto power has restrained the Council’s ability to act on critical issues. Use of the veto power should be restrained, and come with greater accountability and transparency. In particular, the use of the veto in situations of mass atrocities is not in line with the spirit of the UN Charter. The Nordic countries urge all Member States to join the ACT ‘Code of Conduct regarding Security Council action against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes’ and the ‘Political Declaration on Suspension of Veto Powers in Cases of Mass Atrocity’, launched by France and Mexico. </p> <p>Finally, Your Excellencies, </p> <p>In closing, please allow me to reiterate that the Nordic Countries stand ready for constructive dialogue this session with all Member States and groups of States, building on the progress of previous years, including the Framework Document and the Co-Chairs’ Elements Paper of 2021, which form the basis of our work. </p> <p>We hope that a renewed momentum can be given to the IGN, in view of the Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda report, in which the Secretary-General takes note of the renewed urgency to continue the intergovernmental negotiations, and also in light of the commitment from the UN75 Declaration. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Feb 08, 2022High-Level Inauguration Meeting on Renewed European Security Dialogue, 8 February 2022Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0136%20iceland%20RESD%20mtg%200802%20(1).pdf">Statement by H.E. Mr. Martin Eyjólfsson, Permanent Secretary of State of Iceland, at the High-level Inauguration Meeting of the Renewed European Security Dialogue, Vienna, 8 February 2022.</a></span>

Feb 03, 2022FFD Co-facilitators statement - ECOSOC Financing for DevelopmentNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>FFD Co-facilitators statement</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><em>ECOSOC Coordination Segment </em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Agenda item 3: Pathways for a resilient and inclusive economic recovery</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">3 February 2022</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam/Mr. Chair, Administrator, vice-chair of the statistical commission, colleagues, </p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li>I am pleased to address the inaugural ECOSOC coordination segment on behalf of Ambassador Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland, and myself, as co-facilitators for the preparation of the draft conclusions and recommendations of the 2022 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up and to facilitate the consultations among Member States. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>We are now two years into the COVID19 pandemic, which continues to occupy our agenda and shape recovery and development prospects - and raises the risk of detrimental long-term impacts for the 2030 Agenda. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>The task ahead of us is ensuring full recovery for all while accelerating progress on the SDGs, as the theme for this coordination segment highlights. Not a small task, but a task we can achieve if we work together in a coordinated manner. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>With the support of member states, this year’s FfD Forum can indeed move us closer to a balanced recovery and yield concrete progress on some of the most critical issues, including debt and liquidity issues, digitalization, climate finance, taxation, and trade and investment. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>These issues are at the forefront of current global economic policy discussions and the conversations taking place under this agenda item on resilient and inclusive economic recovery will undoubtedly provide an important contribution to the FFD process. I thank the panelists and member states for their valuable input. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>As co-facilitators, we would like to take this opportunity to urge member states to actively participate in the Financing for Development process, including the discussions on the outcome document and ensuring participation at the highest level at the FFD Forum. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>A tentative roadmap has been shared with member states but allow me to highlight a few key dates. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>Next Monday, February 7, we will provide a briefing on the roadmap and hear member states’ expectations for the outcome document. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>The Inter-agency Taskforce on Financing for Development will release its Financing for Sustainable Development report on 1<sup>st</sup> of March. I am sure we are all keenly waiting for this report which will inform our discussions going forward. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>By the 18<sup>th</sup> of March, we ask member states to submit their written inputs to the zero draft, which we hope to release on 22<sup>nd</sup> of March. The FFD Forum will take place 25<sup>th</sup> to 28<sup>th</sup> of April, with the adoption of the outcome document taking place on the last day of the forum. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>Allow us to underscore that we will remain neutral and impartial in our role as co-facilitators and that all inputs will be duly considered. <p>Madam/Mr. Chair, distinguished colleagues, </p> </li> <li>The urgency has never been higher. We need to come together to ensure that recovery and progress are being shared equally. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>We count on the support of member states in delivering a concise Financing for Development outcome document that moves us closer to delivering on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and Agenda 2030. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>Thank you. </li> </ul>

Feb 03, 20221353 PC, 2. February 2022 (Russia, Address by Deputy MFA of Italy, Death Penalty, Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0122%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201353pc.pdf">EU statement on “Russia’s Ongoing Aggression against Ukraine and Illegal Occupation of Crimea”.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0119%20eu%20reply%20italian%20dMFA_CoE%201353pc.pdf">EU statement in response to the Address&nbsp;<span>by Benedetto Della Vedova, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy.</span></a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0116%20switzerland%20execution%20reese%20usa%201353pc.pdf">Joint Statement delivered by Switzerland&nbsp;<span>on the execution of Matthew Reese in the US.</span></a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0115%20Joint%20statement%20-%20Political%20Prisoners%20in%20Belarus%201353pc.pdf">Joint Statement delivered by the United Kingdom on Political Prisoners in Belarus.</a></span></p>

Feb 02, 2022999 FSC, 2 February 2022 (Mine action, Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0040%20eu%20999fsc%20en.pdf">EU statement on <span>Mine action with the focus on the UNSCR 2365.</span></a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0041%20eu%20999fsc.pdf">EU statement on the security situation in and around Ukraine.</a></span></p>

Feb 02, 2022Statement by Iceland in the exchange of views with Mr Tiny Kox, President of the Parliamentary Assembly Strasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1423rd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</strong></p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>It is a pleasure to be able to welcome our new PACE President to exchange views on the recent session. We welcome the work of the Parliamentary Assembly under continuously challenging conditions as well as the French authorities and the Secretariat for their support to the work of PACE.</p> <p>We are looking forward to working with you, Mr. President, to achieve our common objective.</p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>I'm taking the floor in particular to welcome the Parliamentary Assembly´s work and debate on the rights of LGBTI people at the session last week. We share the Parliamentary Assembly's concern at the increase in hate speech, violence and hate crimes against LGBTI people in Council of Europe member States.</p> <p>Although the Parliamentary Assembly highlighted a number of very worrying situations it needs to be stated that none of us are immune from hate and that we do have to ensure that no minority becomes victim of prejudice and hate.</p> <p>Each of us need to consider if we can do more to ensure that we have the right legislation in place and that the legislation is enforced. In Iceland, we are currently undertaking a public consultation process on a new action plan to ensure that we continue our efforts to achieve the full promotion and protection of the rights of LGBTI individuals.</p> <p>One of the actions proposed is to expand our legislation when it comes to hate speech and violence driven by hate against LGBTI individuals. We hope to be able to conclude the required revisions in 2023.</p> <p>We therefore appreciate the Parliamentary Assembly's call to action on this issue and hope to continue to follow its important work on the rights of LGBTI people.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Feb 01, 2022General Assembly - Statement on the implementation of SDG 14New York - United Nations

<p>Co-facilitators, colleagues,</p> <ul> <li>It gives me great pleasure to be here today - to get the ball rolling again – and Iceland will do its utmost to contribute to success in Lisbon this summer. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>We have full confidence in the leadership of Grenada and Denmark as penholders. Significant progress has already been made and, as we see it, the current draft is balanced and only needs a few updates to reflect developments of the past two years. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>Since we last discussed the draft, the UN has held a Food Systems Summit, where the Secretary General made strong reference to SDG 14. Iceland would strongly advocate for including in this declaration the importance of aquatic food, sometimes called blue food, in food systems transformation. <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Blue food is an important source of nutrition to over 3 billion people with much less environmental consequences than many land-based food types.&nbsp; Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture are a necessary part of food systems transformation and have potential to expand their reach in a nature-friendly way. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>There are, furthermore, many inspiring examples of how innovation can be used to transform the utilization of aquatic foods, in line with circular economy principles and the blue bioeconomy.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Co-facilitators,</p> </li> <li>In your letter you ask relevant questions, including how to address SDG14 targets, for which the 2020 deadline has passed. Iceland would like to see the declaration reflect a strong determination to reach these targets despite delays. I would specifically highlight target 14.6 of prohibiting harmful fisheries subsidies and we urge all WTO members to finalize the new agreement this year. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>In terms of actions, Iceland would suggest making better reference to the use of existing tools and measures, including under the Port State Measures Agreement against IUU fishing. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>Further on fisheries, while restoring overexploited fish stocks is vital, one should remember that two thirds of stocks are in good shape. Therefore, it is appropriate to talk about both “maintaining and restoring fish stocks”. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>Also importantly, we prefer referring to „ecosystem approach to fisheries“ instead of „ecosystem-based fisheries management“. The former is generally used within the FAO and is a known size. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>We were happy to see that marine plastic gets proper attention in this revised draft. Iceland would encourage strengthening the text to reflect the need for a new international instrument to address this challenge. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>Iceland would also support a reference to ongoing work on implications on sea level rise. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>It is the position of my country that we need all hands on deck in ocean affairs. This purpose can be served by reflecting in the declaration the importance of full, equal and meaningful participation of women. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>Finally, I thank you for taking into account the importance of youth involvement in decision making. They are the generation that will face the consequences of decisions being made now.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thank you again and we look forward to working with you.

Jan 27, 20221352 PC, 27 January 2022 (Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Holocaust Remembrance Day)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0103%20eu%20on%20ele%20kyrgyzstan%201352pc.pdf">EU statement on the Parliamentary Elections in Kyrgyzstan.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0102%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201352pc.pdf">EU statement on Russia's Ongoing Aggression against Ukraine and Illegal Occupation of Crimea.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0101%20eu%20on%20holocaust%20remembrance%20day%201352pc%20fr.pdf">EU statement <span>on the Occasion of the International Remembrance Day of Victims of the Holocaust.</span></a></p>

Jan 26, 2022998 FSC, 26 January 2022 (Security Situation in Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0024r1%20eu%20on%20ukraine%20998fsc.pdf">EU statement on the security situation in and around Ukraine.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0023%20eu%20on%20IHL%20998fsc.pdf">EU statement on International Humanitarian Law and protection of civilians.</a></p>

Jan 25, 2022Joint Nordic Statement at SC high-level open debate on "War in Cities: protection of civilians in urban settings"New York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;">Statement by H.E. Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström on behalf of the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) at the Security Council high-level open debate on “War in Cities: protection of civilians in urban settings” </p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>I am honoured to deliver this statement on behalf of Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and my own country, Sweden. </p> <p>We thank Norway for organising this important signature event. We welcome the remarks by the Secretary-General and by Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC. </p> <p>Armed conflicts are increasingly being fought in urban areas with devastating consequences for civilians. We share the concern of the Secretary-General and call on all parties to armed conflicts to prevent civilian harm resulting from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, particularly weapons with wide-area effects. In addition to civilian casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure, the delivery of basic services, such as healthcare and education, is often disrupted. This increases the burden on the humanitarian system, which is already overstretched. </p> <p>This is an increasingly pressing problem that deserves the full attention of the Security Council and adequate monitoring of the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions. The Council, and the international community as a whole, has a shared responsibility to fully uphold and respect international law, including international humanitarian law, and humanitarian principles. &nbsp;We recall our joint obligation to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law, as enshrined in the common Article 1 of the Geneva Convention.</p> <p>The Nordic countries are strong defenders of a rules based international order with international law, including international humanitarian law, at its heart. We are key humanitarian donors, and actively engaged in conflict resolution around the globe. &nbsp;We would like to put particular emphasis on three aspects of today’s debate. </p> <p>First, we would like to highlight the importance of safeguarding objects indispensable to the survival of civilians. The fact that the risk of collateral damage is higher in urban settings is not an excuse in this regard, but a strong imperative for even more caution and prudence. We welcome in this context the landmark resolution 2573 on protection of civilian infrastructure in armed conflicts, adopted in 2021, and call on all parties to armed conflict to adhere to its provisions in full. </p> <p>Second, the targeting of healthcare- and humanitarian personnel must end. International humanitarian law is clear: medical workers, facilities and transports must be protected. The wounded and sick must be cared for and spared. Attacks on medical care protected under international humanitarian law amount to war crimes and may further aggravate ongoing armed conflicts. They may also undermine the efforts of the Security Council to maintain international peace and security. We call in this context on all parties to armed conflict to comply with relevant international law, including Security Council Resolution 2286 on attacks on hospitals, adopted in 2016.</p> <p>Third, the continuation of education in armed conflict is crucial for the protection – and future – of children and youth. We call in this context for the protection of education and implementation of Security Council resolution 2601.</p> <p>There is no lack of international instruments to protect civilians in urban settings. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a lack of respect and compliance of both international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles.&nbsp; We would in this context like to highlight the Guidance Document for Armed Forces on the Protection of Health Care in Armed Conflict by the ICRC which can provide practical examples of how to protect health care while carrying out military operations and hopefully inspire better implementation. </p> <p>Accountability is necessary not only to ensure justice for victims of breaches of international humanitarian law, but also to prevent and deter future violations. We must ensure that accountability is an integral part of how we work to strengthen the compliance with and implementation of international humanitarian law. Last but not least, we would like to pay tribute to the brave humanitarian and health care workers who work to address the needs of people affected by warfare in urban settings, often at great personal risk. Needless to say, attacks, threats and intimidation against those brave men and women are unacceptable.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Jan 21, 2022Joint Nordic Statement at informal meeting on the SGs priorities for 2022New York - United Nations

<p>Mr. President,</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic Countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and my own country, Sweden.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We would like to congratulate you, Mr Secretary-General, on taking up your new mandate. Your presentation today has once again reaffirmed your strong leadership tackling the global challenges of our time and we look forward to working closely with you the coming five years. The implementation of the Our Common Agenda report will be at the forefront of this work. We remain fully committed to your efforts to reinvigorate multilateral cooperation, with the UN at its core. This is of particular importance at this point in time, where the rules-based multilateral order and longstanding international norms are being put under strain.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The key test will be our ability to move from words to action on climate and the environment. COP26 brought some progress, but we must quickly and substantially raise the level of ambition.&nbsp; The Stockholm+50 meeting in June, hosted by Kenya and Sweden, is a unique opportunity for urgent action for a prosperous planet. We want Stockholm+50 to be a milestone towards the Summit of the Future and a platform to raise ambitions ahead of COP27.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pandemic has put health at the centre of our attention. The uneven distribution of vaccines is a major concern. Limiting the spread of covid needs to go hand in hand with a long-term focus on resilient health systems and societies, including through the One Health approach. We cannot wait for the next major disease to reinforce the international system for preparedness and response. Strong leadership by the UN is essential. Recovering from the current crisis, we need to invest in green and healthy transition, social welfare and jobs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Covid has laid bare gaps in gender equality and access to services in sexual and reproductive health and rights, affecting millions of women and girls. We appreciate the feminist vision of Our Common Agenda, emphasizing the active and equal participation of all. We’ve come far in developing the normative framework on Women, Peace and Security. It is now time to strengthen implementation by increasing ownership and accountability.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We repeat our full support for the Secretary-General’s Call to Action on Human Rights, for stronger protection for human rights defenders and engagement with civil society. Respect for human rights, the rule of law, and strong democracies are not only goals in themselves but fundamental for sustainable peace and development.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of digital connectivity, and fair and inclusive digitalization, based on universal human rights. The Nordic countries have been steadfast supporters of your Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, and we look forward to further strengthening this work as part of implementing Our Common Agenda.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>274 million people globally now need humanitarian assistance – a new record. We must reduce earmarking, scale up anticipatory action, and prioritise better. We must also expand the donor base, not least to the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, to which all Nordic countries are proud to contribute.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We lend our full support to the Secretary-General’s call for a New Agenda for Peace. Global risks such as climate change create further instability and increase existing needs. More investment in conflict prevention is needed. We welcome the proposition to strengthen the Peacebuilding Commission and the emphasis on sustainable funding for peacebuilding.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We must continue our efforts to deliver in full on the UN reform process. We remain concerned over the financial situation of the UN and support the Pledge to Pay initiative.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To conclude Mr President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic countries will continue to be steadfast partners of a strong United Nations, its Secretary-General, and its staff around the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, two questions from us:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Reflecting on your first five years as Secretary-General, how can the United Nations diplomatic toolbox be strengthened?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What are your expectations of Stockholm+50 in terms of implementation of Our Common Agenda?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Jan 20, 20221351 PC, 20 January 2022 (Memorial, OSCE PA, Ukraine, Kazakhstan)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0042%20joint%20on%20Memorial%201351pc.pdf">Joint statement on court decisions to liquidate Memorial in the Russian Federation.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0061%20eu%20reply%20president%20pa%201351pc.pdf">EU statement in response to the Address by the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly,&nbsp;<span>Ms Margareta Cederfelt.</span></a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0063%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201351pc.pdf">EU statement on&nbsp;<span>Russia’s Ongoing Aggression against Ukraine and Illegal Occupation of Crimea</span></a>.</p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel0064%20eu%20reply%20dPM%20MFA%20kazakhstan%201351pc.pdf">EU statement in response tot he Deputy Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs of&nbsp;<span>Kazakhstan, Mukhtar Tileuberdi.</span></a></p>

Jan 19, 2022997 FSC, 19 January 2022 (Azerbaijanian Chairpersonship)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/fscdel0006%20eu%20997fsc%201901.pdf">EU statement.</a>

Jan 18, 2022Joint Nordic Statement: Security Council Open Debate on Women Peace and SecurityNew York - United Nations

<p>Madam Chair, distinguished delegates,</p> <p>I am delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries – Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and my own country, Denmark.</p> <p>The full implementation of the resolutions that constitute the WPS Agenda is a key priority for the Nordics. We thank successive presidencies of the UN Security Council for their commitment to ensuring a sustained focus on WPS in the Council’s work. We welcome today’s focus on addressing the protection gap that women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and civil society representatives face. Their insights and recommendations are essential and must feed into actions on how to ensure better their future protection. </p> <p>The realization of women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace and political processes is at the heart of the WPS Agenda. A safe and enabling environment is a precondition for this. It is the duty of the international community and the UN Member States present here today to ensure an environment s that enables WHRDs to exercise their right to participate in all aspects of public life in line with UNSCR 2222, 2467 &amp; 2493. This is first and foremost a rights issue, but also a crucial step towards building inclusive sustainable peace. The role of WHRDs is integral to all four pillars of the WPS Agenda: participation, protection, prevention, and relief.</p> <p>The increasing number of reprisals against women peacebuilders and human rights defenders on a global scale is alarming as also highlighted by the SG’s latest annual report on reprisals covering the UN system as a whole. Further, intimidation and reprisals against women peacebuilders and human rights defenders have taken on new forms during the pandemic, both offline and online. Through Front Line Defenders, the Nordics support a fast, flexible and effective 24-hour emergency service that responds to the protection needs of WHRDs at immediate risk</p> <p>In order to address the protection gap faced by women peacebuilders and human rights defenders, the Nordics want to put forward the following points and recommendations:</p> <p>It is imperative to address the protection gap through consultations with women peacebuilders and human rights defenders themselves, factoring in their unique risk assessments and needs to ensure their protection in a gender-transformative way. This also pertains to the Security Council. We encourage Council Members to continue inviting women peacebuilders and human rights defenders to brief the Council whilst engaging in tailored due diligence measures to ensure a safe and enabling space for their participation. And most importantly to act upon their recommendations, not just listen and take note.</p> <p>Where prevention and mitigation fail, robust accountability measures are key. We call on Member States to adopt a zero-tolerance policy to address reprisals and to follow up with robust and systematic accountability measures against all perpetrators. </p> <p>Concrete follow-up measures to reprisals involve ensuring that all relevant actors are informed of such incidents, including the Secretary-General, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council. This entails that all UN representatives and mechanisms include references to credible allegations of intimidation, reprisals and of hampering of access to the UN in their reporting. We therefore welcome the HRC-resolution from last October (48/17) inviting the SG to submit his annual report on reprisals to the GA starting from its 77th session. We would like to encourage that this is also presented to the GA. This allows for information-sharing on matters of key importance for the UN system as a whole and thus the full UN membership to ensure adequate follow-up to reprisals. </p> <p>The Nordics are committed to working together with the UN at HQ and field level to create a safe and enabling environment for women peacebuilders and human rights defenders. We appeal to Council Members to incorporate language on protection mechanisms into the mandates of UN peace operations. We fully support the important work of human rights components within peace operations. These have a vital role to play in ensuring monitoring, reporting and ensuring gender-transformative support to human rights defenders and peacebuilders at risk on the ground. </p> <p>The Nordics encourage rapid, flexible and targeted funding for the effective protection of women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and civil society representatives. We welcome the funding window for WHRDs under the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund as an important new initiative. The threats against WHRDs in Afghanistan acted as a catalyst for this initiative. Similarly, it is our sincere aspiration that today’s debate will be a vital first step towards addressing more effectively violence targeting women’s participation in peace and security processes.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Jan 18, 2022Statement by GoF of WPS: Security Council Open Debate on Women Peace and SecurityNew York - United Nations

<p>Madam President,</p> <p>I am pleased to speak on behalf of the Group of Friends of Women, Peace, and Security, an informal network of 65 Member States, representing all five regional groups of the UN, and the European Union<a href="file:///G:/Vilborg/Uppl%C3%BDsingam%C3%A1l/R%C3%A6%C3%B0ur%20%C3%A1%20vef%20og%20m%C3%A1laskr%C3%A1%202022/01.18.2022%20-%20GOF.docx#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1">[1]</a>.</p> <p>The Group thanks Norway for highlighting the important links between the protection of women peacebuilders and human rights defenders and their participation in advancing peace and security.</p> <p>We wish to emphasize three points:</p> <p>First, we condemn all threats, harassment, attacks, and reprisals against women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and gender equality advocates. In line with Resolution 2493 (2019), we urge all Member States to address harassment, both online and offline, as well as all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against them. We also urge Member States to hold all perpetrators of such acts accountable.</p> <p>We are deeply concerned that some women have faced reprisals for briefing the Security Council. The Security Council and the UN system must develop effective measures to prevent and respond to these reprisals.</p> <p>Second, we call on all Member States to create safe and enabling environments for women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and gender equality advocates. They must receive the support they need to carry out their work safely, independently and without undue interference. That support includes the promotion of women and girls’ human rights, building the capacity of national institutions to ensure the protection of peacebuilders, the development of local early warning mechanisms and support for at-risk individuals. It is essential that we work directly with those who are targeted to understand the threats they face and work in partnership with them to identify ways to effectively strengthen their protection and put an end to these threats.</p> <p>We reiterate our support for the Security Council to incorporate and apply sexual violence as a designation criterion in UN sanction regimes.</p> <p>The Group also encourages the Security Council to ensure that peace operations provide, monitor and report on gender-responsive support to peacebuilders and human rights defenders at risk.</p> <p>Finally, the Group encourages Member States, the United Nations, international financial institutions and other relevant stakeholders to provide rapid, flexible funding for the protection of women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and gender equality advocates, particularly those in need of emergency assistance, including psychosocial support.</p> <p>Collectively, we can and must do more to support all women on the front lines of peace and security efforts.</p> <p>We cannot achieve our shared goal of ensuring women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in all stages and at all levels of peace processes if women peacebuilders and human rights defenders fear for their safety.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <div><br clear="all" /> <hr align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div id="ftn1"> <p><a href="file:///G:/Vilborg/Uppl%C3%BDsingam%C3%A1l/R%C3%A6%C3%B0ur%20%C3%A1%20vef%20og%20m%C3%A1laskr%C3%A1%202022/01.18.2022%20-%20GOF.docx#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1">[1]</a> 1 Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda, Senegal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, United States of America, Zambia.</p> </div> </div>

Jan 13, 2022Response to OSCE CiO, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, H.E. Mr Zbigniew RauVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=4705be7a-7780-11ec-8143-005056bc8c60"><span>Iceland in Response to OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, H.E. Mr Zbigniew Rau</span></a>.</span>

Jan 13, 20221350 PC, 13 January 2022 (Polish CiO Address)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=d6508a59-777e-11ec-8143-005056bc8c60">EU statement on the Polish CiO address.</a></span></p>

Jan 12, 2022Statement by Iceland on the decisions by Russian courts to close Memorial organizationsStrasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1421st meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</strong></p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>We are deeply concerned over the decisions by Russian courts to close Memorial organizations, including Memorial International which is one of the most prominent civil society organizations active in the field of human rights protection in the Russian Federation. The closures represent a worrying setback for the advancement of human rights in the country. </p> <p>We call on the Russian authorities to ensure a safe and enabling space for civil society in the country and to, as indicated by the Court to the Government of Russia under rule 39, suspend the enforcement of the decisions to dissolve the organizations for a period that would be necessary for the Court to consider the application in the case of <em>Ecodefence and others v. Russia</em>.</p> <p> We also call on the Russian authorities to urgently follow up on the recommendations formulated by the Venice Commission with a view to aligning the legislation on “foreign agents” to the applicable international standards.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Dec 17, 2021Ninth session of the Conference of the State Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption, 13-17 December 2021Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/For%20alignment%20-%20UNCAC%20CoSP%20-%20EU%20statement%20item%202.pdf">EU statement on agenda item 2.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/For%20alignment%20-%20UNCAC%20CoSP%20-%20EU%20statement%20item%203.pdf">EU statement on agenda item 3.</a></p>

Dec 17, 2021Joint Nordic-Baltic statement at 33rd Special Session of the HRC on the human rights situation in Ethiopia Geneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<ul> <li><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/Special%20Session_Ethiopia_NB8.pdf">Joint&nbsp;<span>Nordic-Baltic statement on the&nbsp;human rights situation in Ethiopia</span></a></li> </ul>

Dec 16, 2021Intersessional meetings in the Human Rights Council with oral updates on the situation in Nigaragua and UkraineGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p>The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights delivered oral updates on the situation of human rights in Nicaragua and Ukraine at intersessional meetings on 14 and 15 December. Finland and Denmark delivered joint statements on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic states. Iceland also joined a statement by 55 states on the situation in Nicaragua.&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/library/09-Sendirad/Genf/Intersessional_Ukraine_NB8.pdf" target="_blank"><span class="pdf">Nordic – Baltic Statement on the situation of human rights in Ukraine</span></a></li> <li><span class="pdf"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/library/09-Sendirad/Genf/Intersessional_Nicaragua_NB8.pdf" target="_blank">Nordic – Baltic Statement on the situation of human rights in Nicaragua</a></span></li> <li><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/library/09-Sendirad/Genf/Intersessional_Nicaragua_JST.pdf" target="_blank"><span class="pdf">Joint Statement on behalf of 55 states on the situation in Nicaragua</span></a></li> </ul>

Dec 16, 20211349 PC, 16 December 2021 (GID, Ukraine, Bosnia, Belarus, ODIHR)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=813a5b7b-5f3a-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on the 55th round of the Geneva International Discussions.</a></p> <p><span><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=ad733b70-5f3a-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on the situation in Ukraine.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=24a75f03-5f3b-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on the latest political developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1916%20eu1349pc.pdf">EU statement on the sentencing of political prisoners in Belarus.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1915%20eu%20reply%20Dir%20ODIHR%201349pc.pdf">EU statement on the report by ODIHR director.</a></span></p>

Dec 15, 2021996 FSC, 15 December 2021 (Austrian Chairpersonship)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=8e019a4b-5f39-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on the closing session under the Austrian FSC Chair.</a></span>

Dec 10, 2021General Assembly 76th session statement on Humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the UNNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;">Statement by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson,</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>&nbsp;&nbsp;</em>General Assembly 76<sup>th</sup> session, 10 December 2021</p> <p style="text-align: center;">50<sup>th</sup> Plenary Meeting – Agenda Item 75</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Strengthening the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance</em></p> <p><em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam/Mr. President,</p> <p>Let me start by thanking the global humanitarian community for staying the course and delivering life-saving services while facing ever-increasing challenges. This particularly applies to locally recruited humanitarian personnel. I would like to take this opportunity to urge all parties in situations of armed conflict to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law. </p> <p>Humanitarian needs continue to rise, both in magnitude and complexity. A coordinated humanitarian response is therefore needed, now more than ever. The recently launched Global Humanitarian Overview for 2022 paints a bleak picture, with an estimated 274 million people requiring humanitarian assistance and protection in a single year. </p> <p>Iceland was pleased to take part in the CERF pledging event on Wednesday which saw 39 donors pledge a total 467 million US dollars, the highest amount committed to CERF in a pledging event. We are grateful to all those who pledged, however with an ever-growing gap between needs and resources, more clearly needs to be done. In that regard, we were pleased to note a more stringent prioritization of needs in the GHO with the aim of assisting the most vulnerable. We also encourage all actors to reduce humanitarian needs through enhanced anticipatory action. With half of all current crises being somewhat predictable, the human and financial cost of reactive responses is simply too high. </p> <p>Finally, Madam/Mr. President, </p> <p>Iceland emphasizes human rights and gender equality, both at home and abroad. We therefore continue to push for a systematic focus on women and girls in all humanitarian crises and echo the calls for further prioritization of prevention and decisive action on acts of sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies. This is even more important now when the pandemic has increased the vulnerability of women and girls. </p> <p>Thank you. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Dec 10, 202130th session Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal JusticeVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=032f96ee-5758-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on effective measures to prevent and counter the smuggling of migrants.</a></span>

Dec 10, 202164th session Commission on Narcotic DrugsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=3e367151-5c0e-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement.</a></span>

Dec 09, 2021Joint Nordic statement at the UN Security Council Open Debate on terrorism and climate changeNew York - United Nations

<div class="article-page__preamble" style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;"> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 22px; font-family: sweden_sansregular; text-align: center;">Joint Nordic Statement delivered by Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at the High-Level Open Debate of the UN Security Council on the maintenance on International Peace and Security. Security in the context of terrorism and climate change, New York, 9 December 2021</p> </div> <p>Mr President,</p> <p>Members of the Security Council,</p> <p>I have the pleasure to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.</p> <p>I thank the President of Niger, His Excellency Mr Mohamed Bazoum, for convening this timely meeting.</p> <p>The recent COP26 meeting highlighted the urgent need of halting climate change to avoid disastrous consequences in the very near future. Without countermeasures, nature’s hand will shift from benevolent to malevolent. There will be no place to hide, and no society will be exempted.</p> <p>Climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental degradation have severe impacts on the availability of and access to natural resources such as water, food, forests and land. These changes can increase competition over natural resources. This competition can in turn escalate into violence, in particular in areas that have already experienced conflict and where certain groups are excluded from natural resource management.</p> <p>Today, transnational environmental crime generates an estimated 38 percent of the financing for illegal, non-state armed groups, including terrorist groups, representing their largest source of income.</p> <p>Armed groups increasingly capitalize on climate-related disasters and livelihood losses to increase their recruitment pool. They can use the impacts of climate change to position themselves as alternative service and relief providers, where government efforts are insufficient or unresponsive.</p> <p>Mr President,</p> <p>We have since long reached a point where we must move from words to action. UN Missions and UN Resident Coordinators must play an active role in addressing local climate and security-related risks as well as in reporting to the Security Council. This work needs to be supported by the UN Agencies that make up the UN Climate Security Mechanism. In this, they need to build on local expertise.</p> <p>Interventions should be based on the best available science. To understand the security risks of climate change we need to look at a longer-term timescale. Simply dealing with current variability in climate is not enough. Close cooperation with national weather services, regional climate centres, and the WMO is of essence.</p> <p>The Peacebuilding Commission, with its emphasis on local ownership and inclusion should&nbsp; address these risks. The PBC should also advice the Security Council on these matters.</p> <p>Six of the ten largest UN missions operate in countries that are among those most exposed to climate change. Research from SIPRI, NUPI and others has showed the importance of integrating a climate change lens into peacekeeping and peacebuilding.</p> <p>The debate today, the continuing increase in &nbsp;members of the UN Group of Friends on Climate and Security, and the recent OSCE landmark decision on climate change are testaments to the demand for more systemic global action.</p> <p>A recurrent report from the Secretary-General on the security implications of the adverse effects of climate change could form the basis of regular debates in the Security Council.</p> <p>We strongly support the adoption of a resolution by the Security Council to this end next week.</p> <p>To conclude Mr. President,</p> <p>How we decide to act today on the risks of climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental degradation will determine the prospects for peaceful societies and human security for millions of people in the coming decades. Common challenges need a common understanding, solidarity, and strong multilateral institutions for a secure and sustainable future.</p> <p>Thank you.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p>

Dec 09, 2021Statement by Iceland in informal exchange of views on media freedom and safety of journalistsStrasbourg - Council of Europe

<p>Thank you, Michele. We thank you and the Italian presidency for organizing today’s informal exchange on this topical matter as there is no doubt that media freedom and the safety of journalists is under threat. Going through the alerts on the Platform for the protection of journalism and safety of journalists reinforces this conclusion.</p> <p>Governments and civil society must work together to reverse this trend and we pay tribute to the participation in today’s discussion of representatives from organizations at the forefront of protecting media freedom and keeping journalists safe.</p> <p>The worsening environment for media freedom in Europe and the continuously growing number of attacks on journalists is deeply worrying. For without a free press, a society is neither free nor enlightened. Diligent and capable journalists play a key role in our society and without a free press, democracy and human rights will suffer.</p> <p>We must all condemn attacks on journalists and call for their protection by law. Our message must be loud, clear, and unwavering – the media is an integral part of a democratic and pluralistic society, and fundamental for our common security.</p> <p>Together we must ensure that any restriction of the right to freedom of expression is made in full compliance with the requirements of European Convention for Human Rights. The Court has provided essential guidance on how to fulfil the obligations stemming from the Convention and States should make full use of the assistance offered by the Council of Europe.</p> <p>Mr. Chair, the background document on current trends in threats to freedom of expression identifies the need to further strengthen relations and synergies with other international organization to create greater impact. </p> <p>We would like to ask the presenters how they perceive the work of the Council of Europe in this field and how they think the organization could enhance its cooperation with international organizations like the UN, the EU and the OSCE or informal partnerships such as the Media Freedom Coalition?</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Dec 09, 20211348 PC, 9 December 2021 (Ukraine, non-discrimination, Moldova, Minsk Group)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span></span> <p><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=64adf70b-5ccc-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Ukraine</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=64adf70d-5ccc-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Reports by Personal Representatives on tolerance and non-discrimination.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1883%20eu%20reply%20HoM%20moldova%201348pc%20en.pdf"></a><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=64adf70c-5ccc-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Report by the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova.</a></p> <p><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=64adf70c-5ccc-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60"></a><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1881%20eu%20on%20Minsk%20Group%201348pc%20fr.pdf">EU statement on issue raised in relation to the OSCE Minsk Group.</a></p>

Dec 08, 2021CERF High Level Pledging Event for 2022 - Icelandic statementNew York - United Nations

<p class="Default"><strong>Central Emergency Response Fund </strong><strong>High-level Pledging Event for 2022</strong></p> <p><strong>Statement by Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir,</strong></p> <p><strong>Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation of Iceland</strong></p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Chair, </p> <p>It is an honour to participate in this event, celebrating the 15th anniversary of the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund. </p> <p>Let me begin by commending the work undertaken by CERF to deliver life-saving assistance for those in need around the world. Humanitarian needs are increasing in both magnitude and complexity. This unfortunate situation is compounded by the climate crisis and the pandemic. The Fund plays an important role in allowing humanitarian actors to respond quickly and effectively when the need arises. </p> <p>Indeed, the Fund has an important prerogative in promoting fast, coordinated, and effective humanitarian response, in addition to directing resources to underfunded emergencies. To allow for predictable annual allocations, Iceland entered last year into its second multi-year framework agreement with CERF. </p> <p>In line with this framework, I am pleased to confirm Iceland’s allocation to the fund for 2022, in amount of fifty million ISK.</p> <p>In addition, given the unprecedented circumstances we are confronted with, I am happy to announce an additional allocation of 45 million ISK to the Fund for 2021. This will bring our total contribution this year to 95 million. </p> <p>Mr. Chair, </p> <p>As a firm believer in the sanctity of human rights and a tireless advocate for the the cause of gender equality, I want to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of a systematic focus on women and girls. There is no denying that in humanitarian crises, women and girls become increasingly vulnerable to gender-based violence and other forms of exploitation, and when the level of poverty and hunger rises, women and girls are usually disproportionately affected. </p> <p>I would therefore like to conclude by thanking Mr. Griffiths for the CERF’s enhanced focus on these critical issues and ensure you of Iceland´s continued support in this regard. </p> <p>I thank you. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Dec 08, 2021995 FSC, 8 December 2021 (Ukraine and MC Stockholm)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=74c4497c-5c18-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU Statement on the security situation in and around Ukraine.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=74c4497d-5c18-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU Statement on the outcome of the Stockholm Ministerial Council.</a></span></p>

Dec 07, 2021Statement at the General Assembly 76th session on Agenda item 78, Oceans and the Law of the SeaNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;">Statement by Permanent Representative Jörundur Valtýsson</p> <p style="text-align: center;">General Assembly&nbsp;76<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;session, 7 December 2021</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Agenda item 78, Oceans and the Law of the Sea</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>„Life is bacalao.“</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So spoke Salka Valka, the strong female lead of a cherished novel by the Icelandic Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness. Salka Valka is a grand novel, which touches upon rapid developments of Icelandic society in the 20th century. It is about love and other demons and so much else. But one thing is there throughout the book - and that is fish.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The same can be said about Icelandic society during the 20th century and through the ages. In the small fishing towns and villages of the coastline around our island - cold, wet and dark in the winter; somewhat less cold and bright throughout the night in summer - life was indeed about fish.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While the Icelandic economy today revolves around more than just fish and livestock, sustainable seafood still sustains life on our island, both through export and as the nutrient-rich, climate-friendly superfood it is. This year, at the UN Food Systems Summit, Iceland placed great emphasis on the role of blue and aquatic foods, and, at the moment, we are, along with others, in the process of establishing a Blue and Aquatic Foods Coalition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While meetings have been held and some progress made, 2021 has still been a difficult year. The pandemic still marched on despite our hopes for a different year from 2020. Indeed, we became better at managing online meetings and the UN opened up again to an extent, but we were not able to meet in person for more complex negotiations with people coming from all over the world to participate. This applies to the draft resolutions under discussion today, on&nbsp;<em>Sustainable Fisheries</em>&nbsp;and on&nbsp;<em>Oceans and the Law of the Sea</em>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I take this opportunity to warmly thank the two co-ordinators who ably guided our discussions, Ms. Natalie Morris-Sharma from Singapore on the Oceans and the Law of the Sea Resolution, and Mr. Andreas Kravik from Norway on the Sustainable Fisheries Resolution. While updates to the resolutions were mostly technical, the devil is in the detail, and, once again, our co-ordinators proved why they were selected for these positions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our thanks go as well to the president of the BBNJ Intergovernmental Conference, Ambassador Rena Lee of Singapore, and her facilitators and staff; the Director of DOALOS, Mr. Vladimir Jares and his capable staff - as well as all the other hardworking people who have kept the UN going throughout an extended challenging period.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland remains optimistic that in-person resolution negotiations will take place in the autumn of 2022 and that other important ocean and law of the sea negotiations, meetings and conferences will take place during the year. This year, we have actively participated as we have in previous years - and will continue to do so.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In terms of in-person meetings, there is reason to celebrate that the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf was finally able to meet here in New York. This fall also saw the 25th Anniversary of ITLOS, which was celebrated in Hamburg. The Tribunal has greatly contributed to peace through its role in dispute settlement within the law of the sea. Iceland is proud to support Judge Tomas Heidar, incumbent Vice President of the Court, for re-election for a seat on the Tribunal in elections taking place in 2023.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Among important meetings ahead of us, is the eventual WTO Ministerial, which has just been postponed until next year. Iceland has long advocated the importance of reaching agreement on prohibiting harmful fisheries subsidies, which contribute to overcapacity, overfishing and IUU fishing. The mandate of SDG 14.6 was to conclude the agreement by 2020. As negotiations continue in Geneva, we remain hopeful that states will at last get past the finish line, under the able leadership of Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another important meeting ahead is the long awaited fourth session of the BBNJ Intergovernmental Conference. We look forward to actively engaging in these important negotiations on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. In this context we would like to highlight that this process and its result must build on, and not undermine, existing legal instruments and frameworks, particularly the Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1995 Fish Stocks Agreement. Furthermore, it is imperative that negotiations continue to be guided by consensus, as that is the way towards achieving universal application of this instrument.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Life will not be bacalao anymore unless we manage to turn the tide on climate change and carbon emissions. The other side of that coin is, among other things, ocean acidification - a phenomenon which is more badly felt in cold Arctic waters than elsewhere and can result in major damage to life in the ocean. Also, sea level rise disproportionately affects many small island states, but we would emphasize that it is a matter of concern for all UN Member States and a global challenge, which we must work collectively to respond to.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland welcomes ocean references in the Glasgow Climate Pact of COP26, which are a significant step towards integrating ocean aspects across international climate policy and frameworks. On the domestic front, the Icelandic government has just renewed its mandate and sets out a new, ambitious goal of being the first in the world to become not only carbon neutral, but independent of fossil fuels latest by 2040. In the field of development co-operation, the emphasis on climate change is to be greatly increased.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are, of course, other environmental threats to the ocean than climate change, which must be tackled simultaneously. Iceland chaired the Arctic Council until recently and prioritized Arctic marine issues with an emphasis on plastic pollution and the blue bio-economy, as well as climate and green energy solutions. The Arctic Council is an example of successful regional co-operation, where scientific co-operation plays a key role.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Science is, indeed, the best friend of successful ocean management, conservation and sustainable use. We therefore welcome the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which began this year. The Decade is co-ordinated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. Iceland has just been elected to the Executive Board of UNESCO and looks forward to continue working within the organization on ocean issues and sustainable development. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I thank you.</p> <p> </p>

Dec 02, 2021Group of Friends for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and GirlsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Group of Friends for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Thursday, 2 December 15:00-17:00, Trusteeship Council</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Remarks delivered by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you, Ambassador Skoog, for convening us and my appreciation to UN Women and the panelists for their remarks and important information. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This meeting of the Group of Friends is timely: on day 8 of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And with the recently published UN Women report, which highlights that COVID-19 has intensified violence against women, with socio-economic stressors such as employment having a significant impact.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ending violence against women and girls remains a priority for Iceland both domestically and internationally, which is why we took on the role as co-leaders in the Action Coalition for Gender-Based Violence in UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We know that women’s economic empowerment is key to realizing gender equality. We have witnessed this in my country where women’s labor force participation is relatively high, which in turn has contributed to Iceland’s high ranking on the Gender Gap Index. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, we also know that there is not always a straight line from women’s economic empowerment to a reduction in gender-based violence. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is a complicated process, which requires us to simultaneously address various other factors, such as harmful gender norms. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is also why Iceland presented various commitments and strategies at the Generation Equality Forum to address gender-based violence, both at home and abroad.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This includes emphasizing service delivery and access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence, as well as prevention strategies, for example, with a focus on challenging social norms and engaging men and boys to promote gender equality and become agents of change.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We would be happy to provide the Group with further information on the work of the Action Coalition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To answer the Secretary General’s call to end violence against women, we must join forces and work together in partnership to drive transformative change. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And this Group of Friends and our personal engagement is very important in that respect. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you again for convening us. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Dec 02, 2021On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against WomenVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1346%20PC,%2025.11.2021.pdf">Statement by Permanent Representative Kristín A. Árnadóttir on the occasion of the&nbsp;<span>International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.</span></a>

Nov 26, 2021IAEA Board of Governors 24-26 November 2021Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span></span> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20November%20Agenda%20item%203.pdf"></a><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=df0554b3-5379-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Agenda item 3.</a></p> <p><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=df0554b3-5379-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60"></a><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=df0554b5-5379-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Agenda item 4(b).</a></p> <p><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=df0554b4-5379-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Agenda item 4(c).</a></p> <p><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=df0554b2-5379-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60"></a><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20November%20Agenda%20item%204d.pdf"></a><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=df0554b2-5379-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Agenda item</a>&nbsp;<a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=df0554b2-5379-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">4(d).</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20November%20Agenda%20item%205.pdf">EU statement on Agenda item 5.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20November%20Agenda%20item%205.pdf"></a><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=df0554b0-5379-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Agenda item 7.</a></p> <p><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=df0554b6-5379-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Agenda item 7.</a></p>

Nov 25, 20211346 PC, 25 November 2021 (Human Rights in Russia, Ukraine, Freedom of the Media, Violence Against Women)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1837%20eu%20on%20HR%20in%20russ%20fed.pdf">EU statement on the Current Issue to be raised by US on the human rights situation in Russia.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1838%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201346pc.pdf">EU statement <span>on </span></a><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1838%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201346pc.pdf">“Russia’s Ongoing Aggression against Ukraine and Illegal Occupation of Crimea”.</a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1835%20eu%20reply%20RFoM%201346%20pc.pdf">EU statement in Response to the Report of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1960%20joint%20stat%20on%20int%20day%20for%20elimination%20of%20violence%20against%20women%201346pc.pdf">Joint statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.</a></span></p>

Nov 24, 2021994 FSC, 24 November 2021 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/994%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine.</a>

Nov 23, 2021Statement at the Global Action Plan against Trafficking in Persons General Assembly High Level MeetingNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Global Action Plan against Trafficking in Persons</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>General Assembly High Level Meeting</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>New York, 23 November 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Jörundur Valtýsson</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Permanent Representative of Iceland</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Chair, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today’s meeting marks a critical milestone in the global fight against trafficking in persons. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Trafficking in persons, including forced labor and slavery, is a serious form of organized crime, a grave violation of human rights and a challenge to sustainable development. Most victims are women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation, and in Europe one in four victims are children. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Regrettably, while some progress has been made, more needs to be done to prevent trafficking, address root causes, and end impunity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland is strongly committed to play its part in tackling all forms of trafficking and organized crime. We have taken several concrete measures to that effect, including:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>a National Action Plan that includes revisions to current legislation, regulations, and administrative directives that are aimed at identifying victims and survivors; <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>enhanced attention to protection and assistance to trafficking victims and survivors, with a National Referral Mechanism coordinating responses to suspected human trafficking; and, <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>amendments to the General Penal Code provision on human trafficking to further increase protection of victims and survivors and make prosecution easier. </li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There has also been a strong emphasis on prevention focusing on awareness raising, to help identify victims including among police and public prosecutors - working in close cooperation with civil-society.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, Mr. Chair, while national measures are essential, it remains that human trafficking is a global problem that requires a global response. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is particularly true now, in the context of the current pandemic, where we are seeing how enhanced vulnerabilities, isolation and restricted access to assistance is increasing the risk of exploitation. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is therefore deeply concerning to witness the recent large-scale instrumentalization of migrants for political purposes. Such behavior and activities risk people’s lives and health and must cease immediately. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>All member states must honor their obligations and our political declaration underlines the importance of coherent international cooperation and response in the global fight against trafficking. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Nov 23, 2021IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee 22-23 November 2021Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20TACC%20November%20Agenda%20Item%202.pdf">EU statement on Agenda Item 2.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20TACC%20November%20Agenda%20Item%203.pdf">EU statemen on Agenda Item 3.</a></p>

Nov 22, 2021Nordic Statement at the UN SC Open Debate on Small Arms and Light WeaponsNew York - United Nations

<div> <p style="text-align: center;">Joint Nordic Statement delivered by Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden<br /> at the United Nations Security Council meeting <br /> on “The impact of the diversion and trafficking of arms on peace and security”, <br /> New York, 22 November 2021</p> </div> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and my own country, Sweden.</p> <p>Let me start by thanking Mexico for convening this important meeting, and the briefers for valuable insights.</p> <p>The illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and their ammunition are key drivers of conflict and armed violence at the national, regional and global levels. They facilitate organized crime, impede humanitarian assistance and endanger civilians, including women and children. Therefore, we must intensify our efforts to combat all irresponsible and illegal trade in or use of SALW. As highlighted in the UN Secretary General’s seventh biennial report on SALW, our efforts must pay special attention to the serious effects of uncontrolled arms flows on children and youths.</p> <p>The UN Programme of Action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects (UN PoA) and its International Tracing Instrument are important tools for reducing the threats posed by uncontrolled SALW. The Nordic countries are also firm supporters of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which provides fundamental norms for responsible trade in conventional arms. Innovative approaches and the promotion of synergies between relevant instruments, as well as regional initiatives, will be vital in advancing our joint efforts on SALW control.</p> <p>Advancing the integration of gender perspectives across the entire spectrum of disarmament and arms control is a key priority for the Nordic countries. The serious effects of weapons on sexual and gender-based violence cannot be stressed enough. To address the gendered impacts of SALW, we should strive to streamline SALW control efforts with the women, peace and security agenda, including by ensuring the full and equal participation of women in disarmament dialogues.</p> <p>The consequences of uncontrolled or illicit flows of SALW go far beyond the immediate human impact of armed violence – it seriously hampers attempts for economic and social development. As highlighted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Secretary-General’s Agenda for Disarmament, uncontrolled flows of arms and ammunition is a global development issue which must be addressed in a comprehensive manner. The Nordic countries are longtime supporters of work in SALW control in several countries and regions, and we support several UNODA programs such as UNSCAR, research institutions, the ATT Voluntary Trust Fund, the Saving Lives Entity, civil society actors and bilateral cooperation projects to this end.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Nov 18, 20211345 PC, 18 November 2021 (Minsk Group, Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1803%20eu%20reply%20MG%20PR%20CiO%20HLPG%201345pc%20fr.pdf">EU statement <span>in response to the statements by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, the Personal Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office and the Head of the HLPG.</span></a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1804%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201345pc.pdf">EU statement <span>on “Russia’s Ongoing Aggression against Ukraine and Illegal Occupation of Crimea.</span></a>"</span></p>

Nov 18, 2021On the importance of the Women, Peace and Security agenda for the OSCEVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1345%20PC,%2018.11.2021.pdf">Statement by Permanent Representative Kristín A. Árnadóttir on the importance of the Women, Peace and Security agenda for the work of the OSCE.</a>

Nov 17, 2021993 FSC, 17 November 2021 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/993%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine.</a>

Nov 17, 2021Human Dimension Seminar: Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and GirlsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/HD%20Seminar%20Warsaw%20(Women,%20Peace%20and%20Security),%2017.11.2021.pdf">Statement at the Closing Session of the Human Dimension Seminar, Warsaw, 17 November 2021 on preventing and combating violence against women and girls.</a></span>

Nov 16, 2021Joint Nordic Statement at the UN SC open debate on Peace and security through preventive diplomacyNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;">Joint Nordic Statement on the occasion of the UN Security Council open debate on Peace and security through preventive diplomacy: </p> <p style="text-align: center;">A common objective to all UN principal organs&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">delivered by Under-Secretary of State Kai Sauer, on 16 November 2021</p> <p>Mr President,</p> <p>I have the pleasure to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Finland.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We thank the briefers for their valuable insights and welcome this exchange on preventive diplomacy and how the UN principal organs can work together to achieve this common objective.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Recently, we have witnessed several outbreaks and escalations of violent conflicts. Unfortunately, responses to crises have too often been reactive and sporadic, rather than preventive. Vital signals might have been lost, driving factors behind conflicts not properly understood or maybe our foresight and analysis have not been comprehensive and inclusive enough. Recent events have underlined the need for better preparedness, strategic foresight, and above all, enhanced cooperation and coordination to enable effective early action.</p> <p>As we speak about conflict prevention, the pacific settlement of disputes - namely; political, diplomatic solutions - should always be the primary option. This applies, whether we talk about active peace mediation in the event of crisis or more long-term, structural work addressing the root causes of conflicts. Inclusive political structures and processes should also be ensured, with full and meaningful participation of women and youth.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>As violent conflicts are becoming more complex, the need for integrated multi-sectoral approaches linking conflict prevention, human rights, protection and the 2030-Agenda are vital. Effective conflict prevention is not possible without a comprehensive approach, underlining the importance of understanding political realities of a context and including all relevant stakeholders in the process. In this, we need long-term commitment and cooperation by all the actors on the development-humanitarian-peace nexus. Moreover, protection of civilians and civilian objects should be at the center of crisis response in order to achieve sustainable peace and reconciliation.</p> <p>The UN’s principal organs all have key roles to play in preventing conflicts and sustaining peace – within their respective mandates. We encourage closer cooperation between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission as well as the Human Rights Council and ECOSOC, respectively. We urge the&nbsp;Security Council to strengthen its engagement with the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and its unique advisory role. Interaction and cooperation with Human Rights Council and the wider human rights architecture is also crucial as human rights violations are often the first signs of emerging conflicts.</p> <p>The International Court of Justice contributes to the prevention and resolution of international disputes in accordance with its mandate. The submission of a dispute to the Court should not be regarded as an unfriendly act. It is rather an act to fulfil the obligation of all States to settle their international disputes peacefully. We call upon States that have not yet done so to consider accepting the jurisdiction of the Court.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr President,</p> <p>In his Report “Our Common Agenda”, the Secretary-General pays special attention to enhancing conflict prevention by investing in prevention and peacebuilding and strengthening international foresight. He also calls for better preparedness, partnerships, digital cooperation, and a more participatory UN, to name but a few of Secretary-General’s proposals, which can all contribute to more comprehensive and effective conflict prevention.</p> <p>The Nordic countries support this broad approach to peace and security, and we will do our best to help to turn these commitments into concrete actions. We hope that through strengthening system-wide cooperation within the UN system and improving our tools for early warning, we can build a true culture of prevention and deliver on the promise of the UN Charter to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”.</p>

Nov 15, 2021Joint Nordic Statement: Debate on the Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the SC and other matters New York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;">Joint Nordic Statement at GA Plenary meeting on Item 123: </p> <p style="text-align: center;">Debate on the Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Security Council,</p> <p style="text-align: center;">delivered by Ambassador Jukka Salovaara, </p> <p style="text-align: center;">Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, on 15 November 2021</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>Thank you for convening this annual debate.</p> <p>I have the honour of speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country Finland.</p> <p>Allow me to start by expressing our gratitude to Ambassador Wronecka of Poland and Ambassador Al-Thani of the State of Qatar for leading the latest session of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform (IGN) under difficult circumstances. We ended the session by reiterating the commitment our Heads of State and Government made in the Declaration on the commemoration of the 75th&nbsp;anniversary of the UN, to “instil new life in the discussions on the reform of the Security Council”. We look forward to resuming the IGN session and to honouring this commitment. &nbsp;</p> <p>We welcome the new facilitators, the Ambassadors of Qatar and Denmark.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>As the Secretary-General pointed out in his report on Our Common Agenda, we are at an inflection point in history. We are facing a multiplicity of complex and cross-cutting global challenges that can only be met with an effective and strengthened United Nations.</p> <p>This includes a reformed Security Council that can adequately respond to today’s security challenges.</p> <p>The Nordic&nbsp;countries seek a more transparent, effective, accountable and representative Security Council that can support a coherent UN response to the complex and cross-cutting issues we face. One that – in its composition and working methods – reflects the global realities of today and tomorrow.&nbsp;The world has changed since the last expansion of the Security Council in 1965. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>The Nordic countries support a balanced expansion of the Security Council from all regions with adequate representation of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. We would like to see increased representation of developing countries and improved opportunity for small states to serve as elected members.</p> <p>In ensuring a representative Council and redress the historical injustice against Africa, it is vital to ensure that the continent takes its rightful place on the Council through an expansion of both permanent and non-permanent seats.</p> <p>We must also carefully consider the impacts of the act of the veto in our deliberations on Security Council reform. Permanent members’ veto power has restrained the Council’s ability to act on critical issues.&nbsp;Use of the veto power should be restrained and come with greater accountability and transparency. In particular, the use of the veto in situations of mass atrocities is not in line with the spirit of the UN Charter. &nbsp;The Nordic countries urge all Member States to join the ACT ‘Code of Conduct regarding Security Council action against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes’ and the ‘Political Declaration on Suspension of Veto Powers in Cases of Mass Atrocity’ launched by France and Mexico.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>After decades of debate, it is high time that we collectively and urgently act to move reform efforts forward. In this regard, it is vital that we build on the progress and results of the last session.</p> <p>We continue to reiterate our call for advancing towards more substantive discussions that in our view would be best harnessed through text-based negotiations. The Nordic countries see this as essential for securing progress.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>The Nordic countries&nbsp;stand ready to engage in constructive dialogue and to support the Co-Chairs on our common path towards ensuring continued progress&nbsp;on Security Council reform.&nbsp;We will continue to raise our voices in support of a reformed Security Council that is better able to shoulder its responsibility and is more representative of the world it serves. One that is rooted in delivering for “We, the Peoples” as reflected in the UN Charter – now and in the future.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Nov 12, 2021CTBTO: 57th Session of the PrepCom, 10-12 November 2021Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/57%20Session%20CTBTO%20PrepCom%20EU.pdf">EU statement.</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/Nordic%20Statement%20PrepCom,%20Nov21,%20as%20delivered.pdf">Joint Nordic statement.</a></p>

Nov 11, 20211344 PC, 11 November 2021 (Ukraine, Geneva International Discussions)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1780%20eu%20on%20ukraine%201344pc.pdf">EU statement <span>on “Russia’s Ongoing Aggression against Ukraine and Illegal Occupation of Crimea”</span></a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/pcdel1781%20eu%20reply%20co-chairs%20GID%201344pc.pdf">EU statement <span>in reply to the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions.</span></a></p>

Nov 11, 202139th Universal Periodic Review in the Human Rights CouncilStatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p>The 39th Universal Periodic Review in the Human Rights Council took place 1.-12. November 2021. Thirteen states were under review this time: Greece, Surinam, Samoa, Hungary, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,&nbsp;Papua New Guinea,&nbsp;Tajikistan, Tanzania, Eswatini, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand and Ireland. Iceland delivered recommendations to all thirteen states and emphasized gender equality, LGBTI+ rights and the abolition of capital punishment.</p> <ul> <li><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/UPR39%20-%20Final%20statements%20Iceland.pdf">Iceland's recommendations - 39th UPR</a></li> </ul>

Nov 10, 2021Statement by Iceland on the Council of Europe and the conflict in GeorgiaStrasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1417th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Sandra Lyngdorf.</strong></p> <p>Mr. Chair, Mr. Deputy Foreign Minister.</p> <p>We welcome the 24th consolidated report on the conflict in Georgia. We strongly encourage the Secretary General to continue the submission of her biannual consolidated reports to the Committee of Ministers and emphasize the importance of keeping the issue high on the Council’s political agenda. We welcome the implementation of the operational activities on Council of Europe Confidence-Building Measures and encourage their continuation.</p> <p>The Deputies’ decisions on the conflict should be implement as a matter of urgency and we stress the importance of access to the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia for monitoring bodies and the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner.</p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>The continuous deterioration of the human rights situation in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the ongoing installation of barbed-wire fences and artificial barriers along the administrative boundary line are deeply troubling. We note with great concern&nbsp;that&nbsp;impunity for grave human rights violations in conflict-affected areas persists and reiterate the urgency of proper investigations into the tragic deaths of Georgian nationals.</p> <p>In conclusion, we reiterate our firm support for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.</p> <p>I thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Nov 10, 2021Statement by Iceland in the exchange of views with Mr Joao Goulao, President of the Pompidou Group Strasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1417th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Sandra Lyngdorf.</strong></p> <p>Thank you, Mr. Chair, and welcome to Mr. Goulao.</p> <p>We add our voice to the celebration of the 50<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;anniversary of the Pompidou Group and to 50 years of drug policy cooperation developing effective drug policies that respect human rights. We also congratulate the recipients of the Pompidou Group’s 2021 European Drug Prevention Prize.</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>We very much welcome the emphasis of the Pompidou Group on effective, evidence-based drug policies, which fully respect human rights.</p> <p>This approach has been very successful in Iceland. To respond to one of the highest rates of youth alcohol and drug use in Europe, a new model was adopted in the mid-1990s. The Icelandic Model is a theoretically grounded, evidence-based approach to community adolescent substance use prevention that has grown out of a collaboration between policy makers, behavioral scientists, field-based practitioners, and community residents.</p> <p>The model aims to reduce known risk factors for substance use by creating opportunities for children and youth to fill their time in a positive and constructive way through effective collaboration between parents, teachers, youth centers, sports clubs, and other actors in the proximity of children and youth.</p> <p>Since the adoption of the model, we have seen a significant reduction in alcohol and drug use by youth in Iceland. We make this example to underline the importance of drug policy cooperation and the work of the Pompidou Group and to highlight the positive impact of effective drug policies with human rights at the heart.</p> <p>We are convinced that the revised Statute and the extension of the Group’s mandate will help shape the Group’s future as the key international reference point for human rights in drug policies.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Nov 10, 2021992 FSC, 10 November 2021 (Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/992%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine.</a>

Nov 10, 2021Statement by Iceland in the exchange of views with Ms Christel De Craim, Chairperson of the Committee of the Parties (Lanzarote Committee)Strasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1417th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Sandra Lyngdorf.</strong></p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>It is a particular pleasure to be able to exchange views with Miss De Craim just days before the 7<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. We applaud the work of the Lanzarote Committee and particularly welcome its efforts to work with and leverage all stakeholders, within and outside the Council of Europe, to achieve our common objective.</p> <p>The protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse is a fundamental duty of all States and we reconfirm our determination to fight child sexual abuse and exploitation through all means possible. To effectively counter all forms of sexual violence against children, we must join forces to keep these issues high on agendas at all levels.</p> <p>We appreciate the Lanzarote Committee’s role not only in monitoring the implementation of the Convention but also in strengthening the capacity of its States Parties. Iceland has, and will continue, to raise the model of Barnahus for effectively investigating sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children and here, the Lanzarote Committee has and continues to play an important role in supporting States in their implementation of the Barnahus model.</p> <p>But we must do more. In Iceland, we are attempting to do this by ensuring early intervention in such cases and other instances where children are vulnerable. Earlier this year, our Minister for Social Affairs spoke at the meeting of the Steering Committee for the Rights of the Child (CDENF) on his new legislation on the integration of services for children and the so called “child well-being dashboard” which is a tool for early intervention.</p> <p>Miss De Craim, how can States represented here support the integration in other fora of the Lanzarote Committee as a platform for combatting sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children?</p> <p>I thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Nov 09, 2021Nordic statement at the Security Council meeting on Maintaining International Peace and SecurityNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;">Nordic Joint Statement</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Issued by Ambassador Martin Bille Hermann on the occasion of the</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Signature Event of the UN Security Council on Maintaining International Peace and Security: Exclusion, Inequality and Conflict</p> <div> <p style="text-align: center;">9 November 2021</p> </div> <p>Mr President,</p> <p>Members of the Security Council,</p> <p>I have the pleasure to submit this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Denmark.</p> <p>We thank the Secretary-General and Lourdes Tibán Guala for sharing valuable insights, and welcome this timely debate on the maintenance of international peace and security in relation to exclusion, inequality and conflict.</p> <p>Recently, we have witnessed how&nbsp;COVID-19 and dire effects of climate change&nbsp;have accelerated existing drivers of conflict, multiplied security risks, and further exacerbated the situation for the most vulnerable groups and populations.&nbsp;There is no doubt that global security challenges reinforce each other. Therefore, addressing root causes and drivers of conflict - such as exclusion and inequality – must be part of prevention and peacebuilding.</p> <p>Let me share four reflections on the Council’s work in relation to exclusion, inequality and conflict:</p> <p>1.&nbsp;Inclusion is key to building sustainable peace. The Council affirmed this in the twin resolutions&nbsp;on the review of the peacebuilding architecture&nbsp;[A/RES/70/262 and S/RES/2282 (2016)], which call for&nbsp;the needs of&nbsp;<em>all&nbsp;</em>segments of the population to be taken into account in building a common vision for society.&nbsp;<em>Sustaining Peace&nbsp;</em>obliges us to ensure inclusion as part of building peace and upholding human rights –&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;">not least</span>&nbsp;through the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and youth in peacebuilding.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2.<em>&nbsp;Sustaining Peace</em>&nbsp;should build on&nbsp;an&nbsp;integrated, one-UN approach&nbsp;at all stages of conflict.&nbsp;In this regard, the&nbsp;Council&nbsp;<em>must</em>&nbsp;ensure that UN peacekeeping operations are able to further the interlinkages between development, security and human rights. This calls for more joined up analysis and effective strategic planning, as well as&nbsp;making long-term peacebuilding efforts a part of peacekeeping operations from the outset. Peace and Development Advisors (PDA), seconded by the “Joint UNDP-DPPA Programme” has proven to be an effective tool in this regard, serving the whole UN system in conflict-affected contexts. To strengthen efforts across the HDP-nexus, the Nordic countries also urge the Council to increase cooperation with the Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams on the ground, as well as with other international, regional and local partners, including international financial institutions, regional organizations and civil society, throughout the conflict cycle.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>3. The Nordic countries call on the Council to strengthen its cooperation with the&nbsp;Peacebuilding Commission,&nbsp;including by drawing on its recommendations and its advisory, bridging and convening roles. We welcome&nbsp;the Secretary General’s (SG) proposal&nbsp;for a&nbsp;New Agenda for Peace, outlined&nbsp;in&nbsp;<em>Our Common Agenda</em>,&nbsp;including the call for Member States to make&nbsp;greater investments in prevention and ensuring&nbsp;adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding. As part of this, we welcome the proposal to&nbsp;allocate a dedicated amount from assessed contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>4. Finally,&nbsp;<em>Sustaining Peace</em>&nbsp;helps us direct our attention to the importance of addressing inequality, exclusion and other root causes of conflict in peacebuilding. It&nbsp;<em>also&nbsp;</em>helps us to invest in what we know&nbsp;<em>drives</em>&nbsp;sustainable peace and prosperity, including targeted work for gender equality. The Nordic countries stand ready to work proactively on addressing root causes of conflict and&nbsp;<em>continue</em>&nbsp;to invest in drivers of peace by following up on the SG’s&nbsp;<em>Our Common Agenda Report</em>.&nbsp;As the SG notes in the report, “addressing racism, discrimination and inequality” and ensuring universal access to “social protection, health coverage, education, skills, decent work and housing”&nbsp;is key to preventing exclusion and conflict. So is the development of a “social contract” between governments and their people wherein&nbsp;<em>all&nbsp;</em>citizens have a say in envisioning their countries’ futures.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let us turn&nbsp;exclusion, inequality and conflict into&nbsp;inclusion, equality and sustainable peace for all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div>

Nov 09, 2021Joint Nordic-Baltic statements at HRC48StatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p>The Nordic-Baltic states enjoy close cooperation in the United Nations Human Rights Council and increasingly join their efforts and take turns delivering statements on behalf of the group.&nbsp;</p> <p>The 48th regular session of the Human Rights Council took place from September to October 2021. Iceland was party to 30 joint statements on the status of human rights in specific countries and on thematic issues regarding human rights. The statements are available here:</p> <ul> <li> <span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/HRC48-R%c3%a6%c3%b0ur%20NB8.pdf">Joint Nordic-Baltic statements at HRC48</a></span></li> </ul>

Nov 05, 202132. Special Session on Sudan - Nordic-Baltic statementStatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<div> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>32nd Special Session of the Council on the human rights implications of the ongoing situation in Sudan</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>5 November 2021</strong></p> </div> <strong><br clear="all" /> </strong> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Chairperson,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Finland. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are gravely concerned by the recent developments in the Republic of the Sudan. We strongly condemn the military coup. We call for the immediate release of the Prime Minister, civilian government leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and all other political detainees since the coup and the immediate return to the civilian-led Transitional Government. The leaders of the coup have entered a path that is dangerous for the country and its people. We strongly urge them to step back.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Those in power in Sudan have an obligation to respect, protect and fulfil all human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. They must ensure a safe environment where everyone can freely exercise their freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association. This includes members of political parties, civil society, human rights defenders, journalists and media workers.&nbsp; We urge all authorities in Sudan to refrain from unlawful dispersal of protests and end the use of unlawful force. We underscore the need to prevent and redress all human rights violations, including all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls, especially sexual- and gender based violence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Similarly, the authorities must ensure prompt, independent, transparent and impartial investigations into all human rights violations and abuses. The international community, including the Human Rights Council, must stand with the people of Sudan and do its utmost to ensure that perpetrators of violations and abuses are held accountable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We reiterate our full support to the civilian-led transition to democracy and those working for a democratic Sudan. A fully legitimate civilian government ensuring peace, freedom and justice for the Sudanese people remains the best guarantee for long-term stability and prosperity of the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you. </p>

Nov 04, 20211343 PC, 4 November 2021 (Executions in the US, National Minorities, Economic nd Environmental Activities)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1343%20PC%20EU%20on%20resumption%20of%20execution%20in%20US.pdf">EU statement on the resumption of executions&nbsp;<span>in the US State of Oklahoma.</span></a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1343%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20the%20Commissioner%20on%20National%20Minorities.pdf">EU statement in Response to the Report by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Amb. Kairat Abdrakhmanov.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1343%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20the%20Coordinator%20of%20OSCE%20EEA.pdf">EU statement in response to the report by the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities Ambassador Igli Hasani.</a></span></p>

Nov 03, 202183 Joint FSC PC, 3 November 2021 (Structured Dialogue)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/83%20Joint%20FSC%20PC%20EU%20on%20SD%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Structued Dialogue </a>

Oct 28, 20211342 PC, 28 October 2021 (reply to PC Ukraine, BOM, Ukraine, Presidential Elections Uzbekistan, Democracy and Democratic Elections in the OSCE region)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1342%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20PC%20Ukraine.pdf">EU reply to Project Coordinator in Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1342%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU reply to report by CO at two Russian checkpoints on Russian-Ukrainian border (BOM)</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1342%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1342%20PC%20EU%20on%20Presidential%20Elections%20in%20Uzbekistan.pdf">EU statement on Presidential Elections in Uzbekistan</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1342%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20CI%20on%20Democracy%20and%20Democratic%20Elections%20in%20the%20OSCE%20region.pdf">EU reply to CI <span>on Democracy and Democratic Elections in the OSCE region</span></a></p>

Oct 28, 2021Joint Nordic Statement UNGA76 - Report of the International Law CommissionNew York - United Nations

<p class="paragraph" style="text-align: center;"><span><strong>Statement by Counsellor Anna Pála Sverrisdóttir</strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>General Assembly&nbsp;76<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;session, 28 October 2021, Agenda item 82</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its 72nd session, Cluster 2: Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction &amp; Sea-level rise in relation to international law</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Mme./Mr. Chair, </p> <p>At the outset, I would like to thank the International Law Commission for their report.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Norway,</p> <p>Sweden - and my own country - Iceland.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Chapter VI - Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction.</strong></p> <p>Turning first to Chapter VI, The Nordic countries would like to thank the Special Rapporteur, Ms. Concepción Escobar Hernández, for her eighth report on Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction. We commend her enduring efforts on this matter and we congratulate her on completing the consideration of all the questions set forth in the workplan submitted to the Commission in 2012; as well as the three additional general issues pointed out in the seventh report to be warranting further examination. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We also commend the Commission for progressing this salient topic, its legal complexity and political sensitivities notwithstanding, notably by provisionally adopting draft articles 8 ante, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, and the attached commentaries. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We agree with the Special Rapporteur that important substantive issues are still pending before the Commission. In particular, draft article 7 on exceptions to immunity ratione materiae in respect of crimes under international law will require further effort. In this regard, the Nordic countries would like to reiterate our support for draft article 7 and recall our commitment to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; underlining the importance of harmonizing the draft articles with the Rome Statute. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The eighth report of the Special Rapporteur examines the relationship between the immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction and international criminal tribunals; and it considers possible mechanisms for settling disputes between the forum State and the State of the official. The Nordic countries take note of the proposals for two draft articles, draft article 17 and 18, that have been presented on these topics. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Turning to the issue of the relationship between the immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction and international criminal tribunals, as enshrined in draft article 18, the Nordic countries favour the inclusion of an explicit reference that recognizes the autonomy of the legal regimes applicable to international criminal tribunals.&nbsp; We share the view of the Special Rapporteur that a “without prejudice clause” would be useful and appropriate means to achieve this. We agree with the Special Rapporteur in that such a clause does not go beyond the remit of the draft articles, nor does it give rise to hierarchical relationships between any rules; but rather merely separates different legal regimes, whose validity and separate fields of application will still be preserved. We therefore support the wording of draft article 18. Mindful of the similarities between draft article 18 and draft article 1, paragraph 2, both containing “without prejudice” clauses, we also agree with the Special Rapporteur that article 18 should be incorporated as paragraph 3 of draft article 1.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On the issue of mechanisms for settlement of disputes between the forum State and the State of the official, the Nordic countries reiterate that such a mechanism must provide certainty to both the forum State and the State of the official, and help reducing potential abuse of process for political purposes. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We concur with the view that the procedural mechanisms proposed in the draft articles should be seen as a whole, balancing the interests of the forum State and the State of the official, and that a dispute resolution clause could be seen as a final procedural safeguard. In this context the inclusion of a draft article relating to the settlement of disputes appears to be preferable. Furthermore, we agree with the Special Rapporteur that the final outcome of the work of the Commission would be relevant to the content of draft article 17.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In regard to draft article 17 (3), we would like to note that if the forum State is obliged to suspend the exercise of its jurisdiction until the competent organ issues a final ruling, this entails that the forum state will be forced to forfeit the custody of the official. Should the ruling of the competent body be in favour of the forum state, we would assume that regaining custody of the individual will be extremely challenging. Hence, the proposed article 17 (3) could have the practical effect of distorting the balance of the interests of the forum State and the State of the official. We also take note of the deliberations of the Commission regarding this provision, including views and doubts expressed by some members. Consequently, this provision seems to merit further examination.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic countries look forward to the continued work of the ILC on this topic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Chapter IX – Sea-level rise in relation to international law</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mme./Mr. Chair, </p> <p>Turning to the topic of “Sea-level rise in relation to international law”, the Nordic countries remain supportive of the Commission's work on this highly significant topic. We thank the Co-Chairs for all their work thus far.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Only a few days after the session of the ILC finished this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presented its latest scientific report on climate change. According to the report, sea levels are sure to keep rising well beyond 2100 and will remain elevated for thousands of years. This will happen regardless of climate action taken from now on and will lead to profound changes - although the magnitude and rate of sea level rise will depend on how fast emissions will be reduced.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These developments, that the science tells us are taking place, are a matter of concern for all UN Member States. It must, however, be recognized that some States are likely to be disproportionately affected. Apart from the possibility of territory of states going partially or fully under water, sea level rise can for instance increase land degradation, periodic flooding, and contamination of freshwater. It is a threat on multiple levels, not least for small island developing states, that have done little to cause climate change but are likely to suffer the most from it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The IPCC is clear on that it is “unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.” It is therefore pertinent that in its work on the legal aspects of sea level rise, the Commission builds on sea-level rise due to climate change as a scientifically proven fact. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mme./Mr. Chair, </p> <p>The Nordic Countries are looking forward to engaging with the Commission next year, after its Study Group addresses issues related to the subtopics of statehood as well as the protection of persons affected by sea-level rise. We reaffirm our support to the approach of three subtopics, to be included in a finalized substantive report on the topic of sea level rise.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The first subtopic was the law of the sea, discussed by the Commission this year. In this context, the Nordics cannot over-emphasize the importance of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out. As the principal treaty on the modern law of the sea, it has greatly contributed to international peace and security since its adoption in 1982. It provides predictability and stability, and its universal and unified character should be safeguarded and strengthened.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Like any other legal instrument, the Convention should be interpreted in light of changing circumstances. That said, it seems premature at this juncture for the Nordic countries to pronounce on the precise legal implications of sea-level rise in the context of UNCLOS. </p> <p>It is evident from the work of the ILC Study Group so far, that several issues still need to be explored and discussed. We therefore welcome extending the work of the Commission, such as on state practice and <em>opinio juris.</em></p> <p>Should it prove useful, the Nordics also support that the Commission might call upon scientific and technical experts, in a selective and limited manner. Within the law of the sea there is a growing legal, scientific, and technical interplay.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mme./Mr. Chair, </p> <p>The ILC is well positioned to assist States with increasing the legal clarity on various questions related to sea level rise. In this context it is important to be mindful of making a distinction between the legal and political aspects of addressing climate change. The Nordic countries are committed to urgent climate action and simultaneously, engaging in a structured legal discussion.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>I thank you.</span></p>

Oct 27, 2021991 FSC, 27 October 2021 (SALW, Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/991%20FSC%20EU%20on%20SALW.pdf">EU statement on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW)</a> </p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/991%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Oct 26, 2021NB8 Statement at Interactive Dialogue with Mr. Victor Madrigal-BorlozNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,<br /> Mr. Victor Madrigal-Borloz, </strong><strong>26 October 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Statement on behalf of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Delivered by Mr. Ágúst Flygenring, Permanent Mission of Iceland to the UN in New York<br /> <br /> </p> <p>Thank you, Mr. Chair,</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the eight Nordic-Baltic countries.</p> <p>First, let me express our strong support for the Independent Expert’s mandate and our appreciation of his report on <em>Gender: Practices of Exclusion.</em> </p> <p>We believe that the advancement of equal rights of LGBTI individuals is a prerequisite to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a key feature of which is the underlying principle and commitment of “leaving no one behind”. </p> <p>Chair,</p> <p>Everyone should be able to live free and equal independently of who they are and who they love. Penalizing on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is no less hateful than discriminating against a person on the basis of their race, religion, or culture. </p> <p>The fact that consensual same-sex relationships are still criminalized in almost 70 states is tragic beyond words. We agree with the Independent Expert that decriminalization of same-sex consensual activity is part of the duty of States, when complying with their international obligations, to address acts of discriminatory violence. </p> <p>Chair,</p> <p>We also agree with the Expert’s view that violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are enabled through systems of repression - based on the idea that diversity is somehow harmful to society - and that these systems must be dismantled to foster social inclusion of LGBTI persons and see a much-needed change in negative attitudes and stereotypes. </p> <p>None of our societies are perfect but our diversity should be celebrated, not sanctioned.</p> <p>Mr. Independent Expert, </p> <p>What steps would you advise governments to take to dismantle these systems of repression and to foster social inclusion of LGBTI persons? And what is the best way to support efforts to dismantle all legislation that criminalizes sexual orientation and gender identity or expression?</p> <p>I thank you. </p>

Oct 26, 2021United Nations General Assembly 76th Session - High Level meeting on Delivering Climate ActionNew York - United Nations

<p class="paragraph" style="text-align: center;"><span class="normaltextrun" style="color: #003d85; font-size: 11pt; font-family: 'FiraGO SemiBold', sans-serif;">Statement by H.E. Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson,</span></p> <p class="paragraph" style="text-align: center;"><span class="normaltextrun" style="color: #003d85; font-size: 11pt; font-family: 'FiraGO SemiBold', sans-serif;">Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation</span></p> <p class="paragraph" style="text-align: center;"><span class="normaltextrun" style="color: #003d85; font-size: 11pt; font-family: 'FiraGO Book', sans-serif;"><strong>General Assembly&nbsp;76</strong></span><strong><span class="normaltextrun"><sup><span style="color: #003d85; font-size: 8.5pt; font-family: 'FiraGO Book', sans-serif;">th</span></sup></span><span class="normaltextrun" style="color: #003d85; font-size: 11pt; font-family: 'FiraGO Book', sans-serif;">&nbsp;session, 26 October 2021</span></strong></p> <p class="paragraph" style="text-align: center;"><span class="normaltextrun" style="color: #003d85; font-size: 11pt; font-family: 'FiraGO Book', sans-serif;"><strong>High-level meeting on&nbsp;Delivering&nbsp;Climate Action</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>President of the UN General Assembly, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,</p> <p>I welcome this opportunity to highlight Iceland´s firm commitment to enhanced and ambitious climate action - especially now, with COP26 just around the corner and the exceedingly dire outlook presented to us by the IPCC.</p> <p>The need for enhanced action is clear, with the Paris Agreement setting the targets we so urgently need to achieve.</p> <p>For our part, Iceland’s ambition is to go beyond the Paris commitments.</p> <p>As reflected in our enhanced NDC, this includes complete carbon neutrality no later than 2040, reducing our net emissions, jointly with the EU and Norway, by at least 55% by 2030, and significantly increasing our contribution to climate-related development cooperation.</p> <p>Our national goals will be reached by cutting emissions in all sectors, and by increasing carbon removals from the atmosphere, including by restoration of <span style="font-family: 'FiraGO Light';">native ecosystems</span>, revegetation, afforestation, and carbon capture, utilization, and mineralization in rock formations.</p> <p>A transition to green energy is essential to halt climate change. It can also contribute to the achievement of other SDGs, including those on gender equality, food systems, and sustainable consumption and production.</p> <p>Iceland has long championed the energy transition. All our electricity is renewable and carbon free, and 85% of our total energy budget is from green energy. With the ongoing energy transition in transport, Iceland aims to increase the share of renewable energy in land transport to 40% by 2030 and to be fossil fuel free by 2050.</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>Scaling up adaptation and strengthening resilience is of course of crucial importance. </p> <p>As an Arctic nation we are witnessing drastic changes in our region and recently saw the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change. </p> <p>As a fishing nation we also know first-hand the impact of climate change on migration pattern of pelagic fish stocks in the North-East Atlantic. Similar changes have been witnessed in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean with negative implications for food security and the livelihood of fishing communities. </p> <p>As a part of our renewed NDC, Iceland is providing new and additional financing for international climate action, aiming for a 45% increase this year. &nbsp;Iceland plans to continue increasing its overall international climate funding in the coming years. </p> <p>In closing, Mr. President, it is clear that we have no time to lose: the climate crisis needs to be addressed head on.</p> <p>Let me stress again Iceland´s firm commitment to this critical agenda – we look forward to a productive and meaningful COP26 in Glasgow. </p>

Oct 26, 2021Third Committee Interactive Dialogue, Statement by the UN LGBTI Core GroupNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>3C Interactive Dialogue</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement by the UN LGBTI Core Group </strong></p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <p>Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Member States of the LGBTI Core Group.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(The LGBTI Core Group is an informal cross regional group established in 2008. The group is co-chaired by Argentina and The Netherlands, and includes Albania, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Uruguay, the European Union, as well as the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the non-governmental organizations Human Rights Watch and OutRight Action International.) </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Independent Expert,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol> <li>We fully support your mandate and welcome your report on “Practices of exclusion” where you describe the backlash against the incorporation of gender frameworks in international human rights law. In your conclusions, you describe how narratives and actions of exclusion related to gender and gender identity exploit existing preconceptions, stigma and prejudice, thereby making the realization of protected human rights of all women including lesbian, bisexual and trans women, more difficult. This results in the perpetuation of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>We echo your concern on the risk of perpetuating violence and discrimination by exclusionary narratives. We urge all Member States to provide measures for the full protection of LGBTI persons from physical and psychological harm. We support your recommendations and urge Member States to carefully analyze exclusionary rhetoric and practices, and challenge them with evidence-based information. Further, we support your recommendation asking States to adopt all necessary measures to protect women in all their diversity from violence and discrimination. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>We also welcome your increased focus on the importance of legal recognition as well as decriminalization of persons based on their sexual orientation and gender identity and the protection of the human rights of trans and gender-diverse persons. It should be noted that Member States that are taking steps towards concretizing the legal recognition of gender identity. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>Unfortunately, 68 countries still criminalize consensual same sex relations. Therefore, we are especially appreciative of your participation in the High Level Week side event of the Core Group on this theme. We feel hopeful that 59 states supported our call for decriminalization as a prerequisite to fully achieving the Sustainable Development Goals during the General Debate of the Third Committee. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>(We are pleased to read in your report that you continue to engage in a constructive dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders throughout the implementation of your mandate. We support this approach and underline the importance of dialogue to achieve greater understanding.) <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>We urge all Member States to cooperate with the mandate, including by considering this report seriously, because we firmly believe that standing against acts of discriminatory violence and hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity is the right thing to do. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>In your country visits, which narratives have you observed to be most effective in countering exclusionary rhetoric?</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you,</p>

Oct 25, 2021Joint Nordic Statement - Our Common AgendaNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Our Common Agenda</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Nordic Statement delivered by</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>H.E. Mr. Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me start by thanking you and the Secretary-General on behalf of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland for organizing this meeting today to further reflect on Our Common Agenda Report and the way forward.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We welcome the Secretary-General's report and look forward to the process of following up and discussing its many recommendations.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The report sets out to advance our common agenda and respond to current and future challenges as requested by our leaders in the UN75 declaration. The Secretary-General has delivered a bold and courageous report based on this solid mandate. It now falls on the&nbsp;Member States,&nbsp;the General Assembly,&nbsp;the UN system, and partners&nbsp;to ensure that Our Common Agenda Report receives the attention and action it deserves.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Many if not most of the recommendations are&nbsp;rooted in existing mandates and agreements, including&nbsp;the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Agenda 2030, and&nbsp;the Paris Agreement.&nbsp;The report should mobilize much-needed political support and accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and other commitments we have agreed to.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We must&nbsp;follow up on those recommendations within existing frameworks where possible and begin to discuss those that need to be further explored, including at the proposed summits. It must be done in an inclusive and networked manner, as stressed in the report.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In our view,&nbsp;the UN General Assembly should welcome the report formally and begin a process of follow-up without prejudging possible outcomes. In this respect, we believe&nbsp;a brief procedural resolution&nbsp;would be the natural next step and serve as the first step on a path of further deliberations and decisions. It would send an important signal to the work that we - the Member States of the United Nations - are committed to addressing the many challenges we face. And to do so together and with other stakeholders and partners.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me briefly turn to some of the recommendations and takeaways, which the Nordic countries would like to highlight.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Climate change&nbsp;is a defining issue of our time. We fully agree that more ambition is needed, including on&nbsp;climate finance, to fulfil the commitments from Paris as we look towards COP26 in Glasgow and beyond to the proposed global stocktaking meeting in 2023.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We welcome the strong emphasis on&nbsp;renewed social contract firmly anchored in human rights and inclusivity, not least the strong focus on&nbsp;full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and girls&nbsp;in all decision-making processes. Respect for human rights and the rule of law is key to achieving inclusive development. A global road map for more effective implementation of international law can play a positive role and further strengthen the foundations of the rules-based order.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;We need a more meaningful engagement with youth,&nbsp;giving their strong voices more influence in shaping their and coming generations future. How to best safeguard and share&nbsp;global commons and public goods&nbsp;needs to be a part of our dialogue about the future.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We also appreciate the Secretary-General's call for a&nbsp;New Agenda for Peace&nbsp;to better understand and act on the underlying drivers that sustain conflict and agree on a more effective collective prevention and response. Furthermore, we should strengthen international foresight for conflict prevention and put women, girls, and youth at the center of security policy.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic countries welcome the idea of&nbsp;improving global Digital Cooperation&nbsp;to ensure that the potential of digitalization is used to the fullest while navigating the risks involved. The multistakeholder approach and inclusivity are essential elements of all digital cooperation, and human rights need to be equally respected both on and offline. Bridging the digital divides and ensuring that no one is left behind should continue to be our common priority.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If the UN is going to deliver, it needs to continue to evolve. Therefore, we appreciate the Secretary-General's ideas of "UN 2.0"&nbsp;that have the potential to make the UN more relevant, inclusive, and result-oriented in the future. Furthermore,&nbsp;the principles of accountability, transparency and efficiency build trust in the UN, which, in turn, will allow us to achieve our common goals.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr President,&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The status quo equals breakdown. Our greatest risk is inaction. We need to build on Our Common Agenda report to reinvigorate multilateralism, re-embrace solidarity and accelerate the implementation of our commitments and promises. The Nordic countries are ready to do their part.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Oct 21, 20212021 Nobel Peace Prize to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov.Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1340%20PC,%2021.10.2021.pdf">Statement of Permanent Representative of Iceland on 21 October 2021</a></p>

Oct 21, 20211340 PC, 21 October 2021 (presentation of 2022 UB, GID, Int. Day of Girl Child, 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, 21st Anniversary of UNSCR 1325, Ukraine, World Day against Death Penalty)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1340%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20presentation%20of%202022%20UB%20by%20OSCE%20SG.pdf">EU reply to presentation of 2022 Unified Budget (UB) by OSCE SG</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1340%20PC%20EU%20on%20Geneva%20International%20Discussions.pdf">EU statement on Geneva International Discussions (GID)</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1340%20PC%20EU%20on%20International%20Day%20of%20the%20Girl%20Child.pdf">EU statement on International Day of the Girl Child</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1340%20PC%20EU%20on%202021%20Nobel%20Peace%20Prize%20to%20journalists%20Maria%20Ressa%20and%20Dmitry%20Muratov%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on 2021 Nobel Peace Prize to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1340%20PC%20EU%20on%2021st%20Anniversary%20of%20UNSCR%201325.pdf">EU statement on 21st Anniversary of UNSCR 1325</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1340%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1340%20PC%20CAN%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20International%20Day%20of%20the%20Girl%20Child.pdf">Joint statement on the International Day of the Girl Child</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1340%20PC%20CH%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20World%20Day%20against%20the%20Death%20Penalty.pdf">Joint statement on the World Day against the Death Penalty</a></p>

Oct 20, 2021989 FSC and 990 Special FSC, 20 October 2021 (Code of Conduct, Ukraine, reissuing Vienna Document)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/989%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Code%20of%20Conduct.pdf">EU statement on Code of Conduct</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/989%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></span></p> <span></span> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/989%20EU%20on%20reissuing%20the%20Vienna%20Document%202011.pdf">EU statement on<span>&nbsp;reissuing the Vienna Document 2011</span></a></p>

Oct 20, 2021CTBTO: 60th Session of the Working Group A, 18-20 November 2021Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="https://stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=d4e9d7f3-537c-11ec-8142-005056bc8c60">EU statement.</a></span>

Oct 19, 202164 CND (Commission of Narcotic Drugs), 1st Intersessional Meeting, 19–21 October 2021Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20CND%20intersessional%20-%201a.pdf">Agenda item 1a: Increasing Links between Drug Trafficking, Corruption and Other Forms of Organised Crime.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20CND%20intersessional%20-%201b.pdf">Agenda item 1b: The Value of Confiscated Proceeds of Crime Related to Money-Laundering Arising from Drug Trafficking at the Global Level Remains Low.</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20CND%20intersessional%20-%201c.pdf">Agenda item 1(c): The Criminal Misuse of Information and Communications Technologies for Illicit Drug-Related Activities is Increasing.&nbsp;<br /> </a>&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>&nbsp;</span></p>

Oct 18, 2021Economic and Environmental Implementation Meeting, 18-19 October 2021 Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/EEDIM%2018.-19.10.2021,%20EU%20Opening.pdf">EU Opening Statement</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/EEDIM%2018.-19.10.2021,%20EU%20Closing.pdf">EU Closing Statement</a></p>

Oct 14, 2021UNTOC, 8th Session of Working Group on Smuggling of Migrants, 14-15 October 2021Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20UNTOC%20For%20alignment%20-%20EU%20Statement%20on%20Working%20Group%20on%20Smuggling%20of%20Migrants.pdf">A<span>genda item 3: How to Strengthen the Capacity to Prosecute Migrant Smuggling Cases</span></a></p>

Oct 13, 2021988 FSC, 13 October 2021 (Mil to Mil Contacts on Doctrines, Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/988%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Mil%20to%20Mil%20Contacts%20on%20Doctrines.pdf">EU statement on&nbsp;<span>Mil to Mil Contacts on Doctrines</span></a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/988%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Oct 13, 2021Statement by Iceland in the exchange of views with Mr Robert Spano, President of the European Court of Human RightsStrasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1414th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</strong></p> <p>Thank you, Mr. Chair.</p> <p>We welcome today’s interaction with the President of the Court. </p> <p>Mr. President, it is impressive how the Court has managed to adapt to the unprecedented situation arising from the pandemic and how the Court has been able to continue to carry out its important mission despite the challenging circumstances. Mr. President, we thank the Court’s judges and staff for their dedication.</p> <p>We take good note of the statistics shared for this meeting, the continued increase in new applications, and the Court’s new case-processing strategy. We do want a Court that matters and understand that a paradigm shift is indeed necessary. </p> <p>Throughout its sixty years, the Court has met difficult challenges and through its judgments, the Court has contributed to the harmonization of European standards for the rights and freedoms of more than 830 million Europeans. </p> <p>Last week, we concluded the 11<sup>th</sup> meeting of the so called 47+1 group on the accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights. I wanted to take this opportunity to ask you, Mr. President, as you have recently spoken out in favor of EU accession, what you consider to be the benefits? Is there a danger that EU accession weakens the Strasbourg Court in relation to the Luxembourg Court?</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Oct 12, 2021UNTOC, 11th Session of Working Group on Trafficking in Persons Conference, 12-13 October 2021Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20UNTOC%20EU%20statement%20on%20the%20Working%20Group%20on%20Trafficking%20in%20Persons.pdf">EU statement on agenda item 3: Measures to Strengthen Procurment Policies at the National, Regional and International Level</a></span>

Oct 11, 20211339 PC, 11 October 2021 (reply on Declaration of Minsk Co-Chair Group, Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1339%20PC%20EU%20on%20declaration%20of%20Minsk%20Co-Chairs%20Group%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply on Declaration of Minsk Co-Chair Group</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1339%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Oct 08, 2021Joint Nordic Statement on the occasion of Arria formula meeting in UNSC on the human rights situation in BelarusNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;">Nordic Joint Statement</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Delivered by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark on the occasion of Arria formula meeting in United Nations Security Council</p> <p style="text-align: center;">on the human rights situation in Belarus</p> <div> <p style="text-align: center;">8 October 2021</p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Your excellency,</p> <p>Members of the Security Council,</p> <p>I deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries - Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Denmark.</p> <p>We welcome today’s opportunity to discuss the aggressive behaviour of the Belarusian authorities against their own citizens and neighbouring countries.</p> <p>I would like to thank the briefers for their insightful and first-hand reports about the situation.</p> <p>The Belarusian authorities have committed serious and unprecedented human rights violations since August last year.</p> <p>We cannot stand idly by&nbsp;the acts of torture and other ill-treatment, including sexual and gender-based violence.</p> <p>The Belarusian authorities must live up to the country’s international commitments and obligations to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.</p> <p>They must release all political prisoners and others arbitrarily detained.</p> <p>The Belarusian authorities have rejected calls to investigate and prosecute the numerous reported cases of violence and torture committed by the authorities.</p> <p>We call for accountability, an immediate end to repressions, and the release of all political prisoners.</p> <p>Cases of torture must be investigated, and perpetrators must be brought to account.</p> <p>We support international initiatives to hold perpetrators accountable, including through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights examination on Belarus and the International Accountability Platform for Belarus.</p> <p>The Lukashenko regime has sought to instrumentalise irregular third-country migration in an attempt to destabilise EU Member States.</p> <p>We strongly condemn the Belarusian authorities’ instrumentalisation of migrants and refugees and the exploitation of their vulnerability for political purposes.</p> <p>Your excellency,</p> <p>We commend the Belarusian civil society, journalists and media for their courageous efforts in documenting the brutality.</p> <p>These are crucial contributions to the efforts aimed at restoring justice.</p> <p>International solidarity with the people of Belarus is more important than ever.</p> <p>We share their vision and hope of a democratic, independent, sovereign, prosperous and stable Belarus.</p> <p>And we will continue to support their struggle for justice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Oct 07, 20211338 PC, 7 October 2021 (Update by SR CiO Ukraine and TCG and to report by CM SMM, execution of Ernest Johnson in the US)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1338%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20update%20by%20SR%20CiO%20Ukraine%20%20TCG%20and%20to%20report%20by%20CM%20SMM.pdf">EU reply to update by SR CiO Ukraine and TCG and to report by CM SMM</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1338%20PC%20EU%20on%20execution%20of%20Ernest%20Johnson%20in%20the%20US%20state%20of%20Missouri.pdf">EU statement on execution of Ernest Johnson in the US state of Missouri</a></span></p>

Oct 07, 2021Statement by Iceland on the abolition of the death penaltyStrasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1413th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</strong></p> <p>Thank you, Mr. Chair.</p> <p>We welcome these regular exchanges of views on the abolition of the death penalty and reiterate our strong opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances. The death penalty cannot be reconciled with full respect for the right to life and its abolition has elevated human dignity and advanced human rights.</p> <p>Today, more than two-thirds of the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. The case of Europe illustrates the fundamental role played by regional and multilateral organizations in advancing the cause of abolition and the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights have acted as catalysts for this regional trend. </p> <p>If the history of the abolition in our various countries has taught us anything, it is that the path is long and hard. Capital punishment was not repealed overnight. Its abolition became a reality only because of increasing awareness and constant collective effort. Here we welcome the readiness of the Council of Europe to share its experience on the abolition of the death penalty with its observer States and those States covered by the policy of the Council of Europe towards neighboring regions.</p> <p>Mr. Chair, we strongly call on all States that have not yet abolished the death penalty to take a stand on the right side of history and join the international trend towards abolition. We also call on those Council of Europe members who have not yet signed and/or ratified Protocols number 6 and 13 to the Convention to do so without further delay.</p> I thank you.

Oct 07, 202172nd Executive Committee of the Programme of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees - statement by IcelandStatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees<br /> 72<sup>st</sup> Session of the Executive Committee<br /> Palais des Nations, Geneva<br /> 4. – 8. October 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>General Debate<br /> STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF ICELAND<br /> <em>- Check against delivery - </em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>H.E. Mr. Harald Aspelund<br /> Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations, Geneva</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Mr. Vice-Chair, Mr. High Commissioner, </strong></p> <p>Let me begin by thanking the High Commissioner for his opening statement and valuable insights on the way forward. Iceland commends the High Commissioner and UNHCR staff for their unwavering commitment to protect and assist those forced to flee. </p> <p>The past decade has seen the highest number of people forcibly displaced. Extreme poverty has risen for the first time in years and violence and armed conflict continue to put a heavy toll on civilians. Moreover, extreme weather events continue to exacerbate existing vulnerabilities, often triggering repeated forced displacement. </p> <p>As highlighted in the recent report on Internal Displacement, internally displaced persons are all too often neglected, resulting in a vicious cycle of invisibility and lack of prioritisation. Iceland welcomes the report’s concrete recommendations and solutions to this global crisis. </p> <p>Mr. Vice Chair, </p> <p>The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of the importance of collective action. Iceland has from the onset advocated for COVID-19 vaccines for ALL, with emphasis on fair and equal access, as demonstrated by our dedicated support to COVAX-AMC. We recognise that refugees, IDPs and stateless persons remain disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and that special attention needs to be given to their inclusion in vaccination and health care responses. </p> <p>The pandemic has also revealed the extent of gender inequalities, with a stark rise in gender-based violence globally. Women and girls in humanitarian settings are now 70% more likely to become victims of GBV. As steadfast advocates for gender equality, Iceland continues to emphasise a strong focus on women and girls across all UNHCR activities.&nbsp; </p> <p>We also remain committed to supporting the rights of LGBTI+ persons, who face some of the greatest protection risks around the world, and who are often forced to seek refuge outside their country of origin for fear of persecution.</p> <p>Mr. Vice Chair,</p> <p>The complex humanitarian situation in Afghanistan remains alarming, in particular the situation of women and girls and that of LGBTI+ persons. </p> <p>Iceland is committed to play its part. We recently provided urgent and flexible humanitarian funding to UNHCR to respond to the immediate needs of vulnerable Afghans, including those internally displaced. </p> <p>In parallel, Iceland is ready to assist Afghan refugees and others who have clearly expressed their wish to leave Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover, focusing specifically on the most vulnerable. To that end, a formal government decision was announced in late August stating Iceland’s intent to continue to work closely with partners to address this critical issue.</p> <p>More broadly, Iceland will continue to partake in burden and responsibility sharing, both by hosting refugees and by supporting host communities. Our resettlement commitments for 2020 and 2021 stand, despite COVID-19 delays, and we will continue to work in close partnership with UNHCR in providing a durable solution to refugees. </p> <p>Mr. Vice Chair, </p> <p>Statelessness continues to be an issue worldwide with millions of people being denied a nationality, impacting their access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment, and freedom of movement. Iceland fully supports UNHCR's actions to end statelessness by 2024, as signalled by our recent accession to the UN Conventions on Statelessness. </p> <p>Finally, we welcome the High-Level Officials Meeting in December to take stock of progress made and remaining challenges following the Global Refugee Forum. </p> <p>I thank you. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Oct 07, 2021Statement by Iceland in exchange of views with Ms Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human RightsStrasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1413th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</strong></p> <p>Thank you, Mr. Chair.</p> <p>We thank the Commissioner for Human Rights for addressing issues related to violence against women and for her persistent fight for women’s rights and gender equality. </p> <p>We also want to thank the Commissioner for [previously] bringing attention to digital violence against women and the many forms it can take. Increasing digital violence is a very important topic in today’s world as it – like any other form of violence against women - hampers the full realization of gender equality and violates women’s rights. Online violence is just as destructive as offline violence and people need to understand that it's real violence with real impacts.</p> <p>Our virtual society has unfortunately made it easier for perpetrators to commit violence without consequences. In Iceland, we have met online gender-based violence with legislative reforms of the General Penal code which added a clause protecting individuals from sexual violations by digital means. The innovative legislation makes sharing – and the threat of sharing - sexual material and images without consent punishable. The legislative changes are also supported by new policy measures to ensure their proper implementation. </p> <p>The digital world should be a place where women and girls feel safe and empowered and free from violence. </p> <p>Mr. Chair, we would like to ask the Commissioner what could be done to ensure that digital violence against women is taken more seriously and how men could get more involved?</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Oct 06, 2021United Nations General Assembly 76th Session - Second Committee General DebateNew York - United Nations

<p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><span>Statement by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>General Assembly 76<strong><sup>th</sup></strong>&nbsp;session, 6 October 2021</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Second Committee – General debate</p> <p>Madam Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Allow me to congratulate you on your election and sincerely thank Ambassador Rai and the outgoing Bureau for their excellent work. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We look forward to working with you, Ambassador Frazier, and your all-female bureau on delivering a successful session of this important Committee.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam Chair, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Secretary General has sounded the alarm. We need to recommit to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals – faster, and at scale. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the immediate term, we need to contain the spread of the pandemic and address its socioeconomic impact. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On both fronts, inequality is pervasive. Reaching vaccine equity is far from reality: 3% of people in low-income countries have received one vaccine dose, compared to over 60% in high-income ones. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Same can be said about addressing the pandemic´s socioeconomic impacts: high-income and macroeconomically resilient countries have invested nearly 28% of their GDP into economic recovery, while less than 2% of least developed countries have been able to do so. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Unless action is collectively taken now, the unequal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and different abilities of countries to address its socioeconomic impact are bound to deepen inequalities and halt the recovery. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland is committed to play its part. We have contributed financially to the COVAX initiative and have also started the sharing of vaccines. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam Chair, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pandemic has disproportionately impacted the most vulnerable, especially women and children. Intensified care responsibilities have negatively affected on women’s ability to earn a living and the number of children living in multidimensional poverty has soared. Of high concern is the fact that over 4 billion people are not protected by any social protection measures, leaving the global community more vulnerable and less resilient to future crises. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To build back better, we need to address these challenges and keep gender equality at the center of our approach. This means following through on the commitments made at the Generation Equality Forum and investing in gender-responsive social protection. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam Chair, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As the recent IPCC report so clearly demonstrates, the climate crisis is putting the SDGs further out of reach. My government fully acknowledges its role in doing better, as reflected in our commitment to go beyond what we agreed to in the Paris Agreement. Our aim is to reach carbon neutrality by 2040 and, since 2018, we have also more than doubled our contribution to international climate finance. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Globally, energy production and use account for about 75% of total greenhouse gas emissions and 760 million people still lack access to electricity. Iceland was proud to take on a role as a Global Champion for Just and Inclusive Energy Transition, in the lead-up to the important High-Level Dialogue on Energy. Our commitment to this agenda was clearly reflected in our own Energy Compact, as well as other Compacts we joined, including the Gender and Energy Compact. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam Chair, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With as many as 811 million people facing hunger last year, nearly a third of all produced food being lost or wasted each year, and food systems accounting for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, the recently concluded Food Systems Summit could not have been timelier. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the lead-up to the summit, Iceland emphasized two key themes:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>First, we advocated for the implementation of comprehensive school feeding programs to improve the diets and development of millions of children around the world, strengthen livelihoods and build resilience to future shocks. The recently formed School Meals Coalition will play an important role in driving this agenda. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Secondly, we promoted the work of the Blue Food Alliance and the need for enhanced focus on the role of blue and aquatic food in sustainable development. Sustainable use of marine resources remains one of the backbones of the Icelandic economy and a clear focus in our foreign policy and development cooperation. Within the alliance, Iceland will continue to promote the importance of countering illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing as eliminating IUU fishing is pro-poor, pro-nutrition, and pro-nature. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam Chair, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tying together many of the issues I have mentioned - climate, food systems, inequality, and gender - is the issue of land. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland proudly chairs the Group of Friends on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) along with Namibia. Restoring degraded land, in accordance with SDG target 15.3, enhances economic resilience and accelerates progress on many other SDGs – including on poverty eradication, food security, biodiversity, climate change and empowering women and girls. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, Madam Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To ensure that the second committee is fit for purpose, we must continue the revitalization process. In this context, we again encourage delegations to focus efforts on resolutions that have the most impact on 2030 Agenda implementation and the corresponding Addis Ababa Action Agenda.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.&nbsp; </p>

Oct 06, 2021United Nations General Assembly 76th session - First Committee General DebateNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement at the General Debate of the First Committee </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson,</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Permanent Representative of Iceland to the UN</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">General Assembly 76th session, 6 October 2021</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland aligns itself with the statement delivered earlier by Denmark on behalf of the Nordic Countries but let me highlight few key issues from a national perspective.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is an urgent need to reinvigorate and recommit to the global disarmament and non-proliferation agenda to counter the growing tensions, distrust, and lack of compliance that is becoming all too prevalent</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This urgency is particularly relevant in the&nbsp;nuclear domain where we need to safeguard and strengthen the agreements that have kept us away from the wasteful arms race of the past.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The NPT&nbsp;continues to play a crucial role in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons while at the same time safeguarding the benefits of nuclear technology for civilian use. We are committed to doing our bit in working towards a successful outcome of the Review Conference next year and the full implementation of the treaty, not least Article six. Iceland fully supports the various supporting initiatives, in particular the Stockholm initiative.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are some encouraging signs that we should not forget, including the extension of the&nbsp;New Start Treaty,&nbsp;between the United States and Russia earlier this year. We look forward to a positive outcome from their ongoing dialogue on strategic stability. Furthermore, we encourage China to engage with Russia and the United States on nuclear arms control and disarmament.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty&nbsp;has, for the last 25 years, served us well and enjoys broad support by the UN members. All states, not already members, should sign and ratify the treaty, particularly those states belonging to Annex II of the CTBT.&nbsp;&nbsp;Furthermore, Iceland reaffirms its strong support for commencing negotiations on a&nbsp;Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are rays of hope but also persistent dark clouds on the horizon, not least the continued threat that&nbsp;the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea&nbsp;poses to global security with its illegal nuclear program in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. The DPRK must revert to responsible actions and join the CTBT and return to the NPT. We encourage redoubled diplomatic efforts to seek solutions to this rogue behaviour by the DPRK.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Upholding&nbsp;the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action&nbsp;is paramount in sustaining global non-proliferation. We urge Iran&nbsp;to comply with the agreement and fulfil their commitments in full cooperation with the IAEA - and return to the negotiations in Vienna without further delay.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Chair,&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The use of chemical weapons is utterly unacceptable by anyone anywhere. All such incidents should be thoroughly investigated, and the perpetrators of such heinous crimes held accountable.&nbsp;Iceland strongly supports the role of the&nbsp;OPCW&nbsp;and its ongoing investigative efforts, which are guided by strong integrity, impartiality, and outstanding expertise.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The importance of preserving, universalising, and developing treaties and initiatives in the sphere of conventional weapons has direct implication for many of today's conflicts.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons&nbsp;continues to undermine peace, development, and human rights. We call on all UN member states to join the Arms Trade Treaty. The effective implementation of the&nbsp;Treaty&nbsp;and&nbsp;the Programme of Action&nbsp;on small arms is key to reversing this negative trend. Another positive step in furthering disarmament is the promising effort to address&nbsp;explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA),&nbsp;an undertaking which Iceland firmly supports.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Chair,&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Access to open, free, secure, and&nbsp;safe cyberspace&nbsp;is vital. But it also makes us more vulnerable to irresponsible behaviour, disinformation, surveillance, and attacks by state and non-state actors. We need to build on existing international legal frameworks and norms and bring together different UN workstreams into a&nbsp;single&nbsp;Programme of Action for advancing Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although often overlooked,&nbsp;outer space activities&nbsp;and assets are of growing importance for our societies and sustainable development overall. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that increasing outer space activities continue to be peaceful and benefit all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another new challenge in disarmament that needs to be coherently addressed, drawing on existing international law, norms, and conventions, is&nbsp;lethal autonomous weapons. Iceland supports the work of the&nbsp;Group of Governmental Experts&nbsp;and the&nbsp;11 guiding principles&nbsp;and highlights the importance of ensuring full compliance with International Humanitarian Law.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Disarmament is key to preventing conflict, building peace, and fostering stability. It certainly takes time, resources, and effort, but it will always be a better investment than the alternative. Finally, we need to firmly commit to promoting the active and meaningful participation of women in arms control and disarmament, in accordance with UNSCR 1325.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me end by wishing us all a productive and constructive session.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Oct 06, 202148th session of the Human Rights Council: Joint Nordic-Baltic Statement on the situation of human rights in CambodiaStatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>48th session of the Human Rights Council<br /> </strong><strong>Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the&nbsp;</strong><strong>situation of human rights in Cambodia<br /> </strong><strong>6 October 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Joint Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><em>[Check against delivery]</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madame President,</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.</p> <p>We thank the Special Rapporteur for his written report.</p> <p>While there have been some positive developments, the human rights situation in Cambodia remains concerning. We are alarmed by reports of judicial harassment and repression of opposition members, journalists and human rights defenders, including youth and environmental defenders. In that regard, we call on the Government of Cambodia to fully implement the UPR recommendations which it has accepted, as a matter of priority. </p> <p>During the COVID-19 pandemic, civic space has been further reduced. We urge the Government of Cambodia to respect the right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, in the digital, print and public space. </p> <p>Failure to do so will result in unjust and stifled elections and further delay Cambodia’s 2050 Vision to become a prosperous country guided by social inclusion and environmental sustainability. </p> <p>We express full support for the mandate extension of the Special Rapporteur and in conclusion ask what is needed for a pluralistic democracy based on respect for and protection of all human rights and the rule of law to materialise in Cambodia?</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Oct 05, 202148th session of the Human Rights Council: Joint Nordic-Baltic Statement on the human rights situation in UkraineStatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Human Rights Council<br /> 48th session<br /> Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner‘s Oral Update on Ukraine<br /> </strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by H.E. Gudlaugur Thór Thórsson,<br /> </strong><strong>Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation of Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)</strong></p> <p style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><em>(Check against delivery)</em></p> <p>Madame President,</p> <p>On behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries, I thank the High Commissioner for her oral update.</p> <p>We reiterate our support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, within its internationally recognized borders. We do not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, and strongly condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Therefore, we do not recognise the so-called elections held in the occupied Crimean peninsula.</p> <p>We urge Russia to uphold its obligations under international law, including international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and we underscore the need to fully implement the Minsk agreements. We call on Russia to take on its responsibility, as occupying power.</p> <p>We likewise call on Russia to cease human rights violations and abuses and humanitarian law violations in Crimea and in the non-government controlled areas in eastern Ukraine. This total disrespect for the rule of law, humanitarian law, and human rights is unacceptable. Those responsible for violations and abuses must be held accountable.</p> <p>We reiterate our firm support for the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission and commend Ukraine’s successful efforts to keep Crimea on the international agenda.</p> <p>I thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Oct 05, 202148th session of the Human Rights Council: Joint Nordic-Baltic Statement against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intoleranceStatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>UN Human Rights Council - 48th session<br /> </strong><strong>Item 9: General Debate<br /> </strong><strong>5 October 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries</strong></p> <p style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><em>[Check against delivery]</em></p> <p>Madame President, </p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Iceland. </p> <p>The Nordic-Baltic countries are committed to combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.</p> <p>The inherent dignity and equal rights of all individuals, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, should be self-evident. However, no society is immune from racism and racial discrimination. </p> <p>All too often, individuals and groups of people are discriminated against – be it with regard to access to health care, education or employment – based on the way they look or as persons belonging to religious, national or ethnic minorities. This is unacceptable. </p> <p>Online hate speech is another all too common manifestation of racism and racial discrimination, which contributes to hate crime. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic, made matters worse and the world witnessed an increase in racist comments in the online space. This cannot be tolerated and must be stopped. The responsibility lies with every single one of us as inhabitants of this planet.&nbsp; </p> <p>As another urgent issue, we strongly condemn systemic racism and racially motivated violence, both in the virtual space and in our everyday life. </p> <p>States bear a responsibility to combat and prevent racial discrimination. We must never forget that - it is our joint obligation to eliminate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. We can only achieve this goal by working together.</p>

Oct 04, 2021United Nations General Assembly 76th Session - Third Committee General Debate New York - United Nations

<p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong>Third Committee, General Debate</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Delivered 4 October 2021</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you, Mr./Mrs. Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>First, let me congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your election. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. / Mrs. Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are currently fighting a global pandemic that continues to have serious effect for the promotion and protection of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The consequences of the pandemic have prevented children from getting their education, people have lost their jobs and livelihoods, and our health systems have faced tremendous pressure, with severe effects on access to vital health services. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Amidst restrictions and community lockdowns, reported cases of gender-based violence, violence against children and hateful acts against minority and marginalized groups have been on the rise. Both online and offline. During such crisis, women, children, LGBTI individuals, and other vulnerable groups, are among the hardest hit. The social and economic consequences of the ongoing pandemic should make us re-double our efforts in our response to these challenges. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. / Mrs. Chair, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There has been a serious decline in respect for those defending our rights worldwide, be they human rights defenders, journalists, environmentalists, feminists, defenders of LGBTI and others, who risk their lives and liberties calling out injustices, stand up for democracy and equality, and speak out against discrimination and intolerance. These heroes deserve our attention. All states must respect the principles of rule of law and defend their citizens’ freedoms and rights without discrimination.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. / Mrs. Chair, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It remains Iceland’s priority to promote children’s rights, to ensure their protection from any kind of violence, abuse or exploitation, but to also have the right services and response in place when children are believed to be victims of violence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A good example is the <em>Barnahús</em> – or Children’s House – model that has been developed in Iceland over the last three decades and has been introduced in around twenty countries. This&nbsp;child-friendly and multi-agency response framework to child abuse has a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to investigate cases - and provides appropriate therapeutic services for child victims.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. /Mrs. Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland is committed to defend the fundamental human rights of women. Iceland’s own experience shows the value of inclusiveness and equality for sustainable development and the importance of improving gender equality for economic and social progress. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A key issue to ensure gender equality is to secure women’s full sexual and reproductive health and rights. In that regard, in 2019, Iceland passed a progressive legislation ensuring women self-determination over their bodies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are proud of our initiative on Equal Pay Day and our leadership role within the Action Coalition on GBV.&nbsp; We are, indeed, proud of our achievements, but equally aware of the remaining challenges.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Globally, we have seen gains towards gender equality but there are still many battles left to win. Whether it is the fight for gender parity and equal pay, or the fight to end all forms of gender-based and sexual violence, men and boys must join forces with women and girls to advance gender equality. We – men – must be agents of change, not patrons of patriarchy; be it at home, in the workplace, online or here at the United Nations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. / Mrs. Chair</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In too many countries, people are still persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Punishing people for their feelings, self-defined identity or consensual relations is no less hateful than penalizing religious believes, race or ethnic background. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We should take pride in our diversity. In this regard, the Icelandic Parliament has recently passed three bills to improve the legal framework for transgender and intersex people. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Challenges remain, but social and legal changes not only free LGBTI people from stigma but also unleash their potential for society as a whole. This is why believing everyone should enjoy their fundamental freedoms and dignity is not just a principled agenda. It is also a practical one. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Inclusion of everyone, irrespective of believes, race, gender or sexual orientation means more hands and minds pushing for social and economic progress for all. It means a more prosperous, democratic world. If we are to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and truly “Leave No One Behind”, we must guarantee non-discrimination and equality for all. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you. </p>

Sep 30, 20211337 PC, 30 September 2021 (reply to Minsk Co-Chairs Group, reply to Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstn, Ukraine, US on Civil Society, North Kosovo)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1337%20PC%20EU%20on%20declaration%20of%20Minsk%20Co-Chairs%20Group%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU Reply on&nbsp;<span>declaration of Minsk Co-Chairs Group</span></a><span></span></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1337%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20Foreign%20Minister%20of%20Kyrgyzstn.pdf">EU Reply&nbsp;<span>to Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstn</span></a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1337%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU Statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1337%20PC%20EU%20on%20CI%20raised%20by%20US%20on%20Civil%20Society.pdf">EU Statement&nbsp;<span>on CI raised by US on Civil Society</span></a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1337%20PC%20EU%20on%20North%20Kosovo%20and%20agreed%20conclusions%20in%20Brussels.pdf">EU Statement&nbsp;<span>on North Kosovo and agreed conclusions in Brussels</span></a></p>

Sep 29, 2021987 FSC, 29 September 2021 (Future of Conventional Arms Control, Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/987%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Future%20of%20Arms%20Control.pdf">EU statement on Future of Conventional Arms Control</a></p> <span></span> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/987%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Sep 27, 2021United Nations General Assembly 76th Session - High Level Week General Debate New York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>76 United Nations General Assembly</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Speech by</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>H.E. Mr. Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation of the Republic of Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we gather to discuss the state of global affairs, today’s challenges may seem overwhelming and almost impossible to overcome. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, as an optimist and a strong believer in multilateral cooperation, I have for the past five years stressed in my message to the General Assembly the importance of seeing the world of opportunity, the potential of our cooperation. My message today is no different: we cannot let global challenges divide us. On the contrary, we must for all sake unite. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We have our work cut out for us. Around the world, calls for human rights, peace, and stability are too often ignored. And the threat of climate change is no longer a distant phenomenon: it is here, and it is intensifying.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But only together, can we respond and recover. To build a more just and peaceful planet for all of us, we need all nations united, our United Nations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While in most developed countries we are turning a corner in our fight against the COVID-19, same cannot be said about all of the world. It is critical that we work together to ensure that vaccines reach all countries and peoples – rich and poor – and as soon as possible. Not only is this a fundamental matter of global solidarity, but also in the interest of us all. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland is firmly committed to play its part. We have already contributed 1 billion Icelandic krona to the COVAX initiative and have started vaccine sharing through the same mechanism. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If anything, the pandemic has taught us that we are stronger together than apart. It has also exposed the dangers of isolationism, disinformation, and distrust. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These lessons should not go to waste. It is critical that we demonstrate the strength and the honesty needed to learn, both from our successes and our failures, to better prevent, prepare, and respond to future crisis of this magnitude.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While the consequences of the pandemic have been disastrous for our world, the effects of climate change are bound to be even worse. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The science and the signs are clear and sobering, and the plans are already in place<strong>. </strong>We&nbsp;need to respond now&nbsp;and honour our commitments from Paris as we set our eyes on Glasgow.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For our part, Iceland’s ambition is to go beyond the Paris commitments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This includes a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by more than half by 2030, complete carbon neutrality by 2040 and becoming fossil-fuel free by 2050. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>All of Iceland’s electricity and close to 85% of Iceland’s total energy consumption comes from renewables.&nbsp; We aim to close the gap with electrification of transport and green hydrogen and e-fuels for heavy transport and machinery, fishing, shipping and aviation. Our long-term energy policy also focuses on substantially increasing energy efficiency and multiple use of energy resources.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Capturing and binding carbon is also an important pillar of our efforts, where we use both tried and tested nature-based solutions and innovative technologies. Iceland is home to the world’s largest plant that extracts carbon dioxide directly from the air and turns it into rock through the so-called Carbfix method. This technology has been developed out of the geothermal energy industry and will be applicable in many corners of the world to capture and store CO2 as solid-state rock.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Focusing on our own homework, however, is not enough. High-income countries must support lower income ones to advance their climate ambitions too. I am pleased to share that Iceland’s contribution to international climate finance has more than doubled from 2018.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But Iceland’s main contribution in the fight against climate change will continue to be our knowledge and experience in the use of green energy solutions. This is a global crisis, and we must rely on each other’s expertise and knowledge. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland is ready to play its part. As a Global Champion for Just and Inclusive Energy Transition, Iceland actively promotes the goal of achieving sustainable energy for all. Iceland has for decades contributed to this global agenda, through research, training, sharing of experience, and cooperation. As a Global Champion, we are now scaling up our efforts even further. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The health of the World Oceans - our Blue Planet - is increasingly under pressure. Climate change, mismanagement, and pollution are leading to food insecurities, an alarming fall in biodiversity, and depletion of natural resources.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We must take concrete steps to make regional and international cooperation on Ocean Affairs stronger. And we must base our actions on the best scientific advice and the Law of the Sea – the very constitution of the Ocean. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Much can be learned from successful regional cooperation. The Arctic Council is a great example, which brings together governments, indigenous peoples, science, and various stakeholders to share knowledge and shape policy and action. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During Iceland’s recent chairmanship of the Council, a special emphasis was placed on protecting marine and coastal ecosystems, resulting in a regional action plan to address marine litter in the Arctic. A small but important step in the right direction. Iceland is also among the group of countries pushing for a global agreement to fight marine plastic pollution. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nature is firmly on our agenda in the coming months, including at the COP meetings on climate change, biodiversity, and desertification, as well as the UN Ocean Conference. Ecosystem restoration, both on land and in the oceans, is yet another pressing global issue that must be tackled in unison by the international community. We need to connect the dots and focus on stronger commitments and more robust implementation. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is the Decade of Action. The time to act is now.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In recovering from the pandemic, we cannot revert to business as usual. We need to do better, and build a greener, bluer, and more equitable and sustainable future. The groundwork has already been laid with the 2030 Agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals are our global compass, and the Decade of Action reminds us of the urgency at hand.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland is committed to promote SDG implementation at home and abroad. The Global Goals guide our growing official development assistance, under the overarching objective of poverty reduction and a strong focus on human rights, including gender equality, rights of children and LGBTI. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Recognizing the essential role of broad ownership and involvement for development success, Iceland is also supporting private sector partners and civil society in their development and humanitarian work, making full use of their strength and know-how. Without the participation and inclusion of the private sector we will not achieve our goals.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland’s own experience speaks volumes about the value of inclusiveness and equality for sustainable development, particularly the importance of working for gender equality for economic and social progress.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Advances have been made globally, but there is still a long way to go. Gender parity is too far off, gender-based violence is rampant, and millions of girls are married off as child brides. Men and boys must join forces with women and girls to advance gender equality globally, from the locker rooms to the halls of power. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Overall, human rights and liberal democracy - enabling people to share thoughts and ideas freely - are essential drivers for sustainable development, along with free trade and open markets. Including everyone, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, or race, means more hands and minds pushing for social and economic progress for all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Building back better requires greater respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and gender equality - the critical cornerstones for a better and more just future.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Indeed, investing in development, peace, and human rights will, at the end of the day, always be less expensive than having to address the dire consequences of poverty, war, and injustice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Regrettably, today’s conflicts, humanitarian and political crises are too often rooted in lack of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This year, we have witnessed a ruthless military coup in Myanmar, where democracy and civil rights have been done away with altogether. The situation in Afghanistan is highly troubling, with reports of attacks, serious violations of international humanitarian law, and human rights abuses, including push back against women’s rights. The Taliban and other parties must respect international law, seek an inclusive political settlement, and ensure humanitarian access and safe passage for all, or else be held accountable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In too many places, we have seen a serious decline of respect for civil and political rights. We need to stand by those who risk their lives and liberties every day for calling out these injustices and engaging in an open, democratic debate. We have a collective duty to promote and protect the human rights and freedom of all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The role of the Human Rights Council has never been as important as now. We need to engage in an open dialogue on how to correct the course and head towards greater respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, everywhere and always. The run-up to the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights in 2023 should be used to reinvigorate our collective commitments to human rights.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland is firmly committed to continue actively promoting and defending human rights. We have therefore decided to run for a seat on the Human Rights Council for the term 2025-2027. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The complexity of modern conflicts and crises continues to grow with the marriage of emerging factors, such as climate change, cyber threats and disinformation, and the old foes of authoritarianism and tyranny. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While encouraging steps have been taken to preserve and build peace, including in Iraq and Libya, the overall trend is nothing short of disappointing. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This year’s surge of violence in Palestine and Israel underlined the importance of finding ways to reinvigorate the Middle East Peace Process. Its current stagnation will only serve to deepen existing disagreements and feed senseless extremism. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finding political solutions to the situations in Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia, and now Afghanistan is also essential, as military might alone can never deliver peace and stability. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The same holds true for Russia’s persistent and unlawful violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia, which continues to undermine regional stability. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The UN’s role in pursuing diplomacy and providing humanitarian and development assistance is indispensable. We are all responsible for creating and safeguarding the space for diplomacy and humanitarian work. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Still, the Security Council carries special responsibilities on behalf of the wider UN membership. The Council needs to act with greater foresight based on a broader view of security, and we welcome its recent deliberations on cyber security, climate security and the pandemic. At the same time, it is about time that we instil new life in the Security Council reform discussions, which need to become more substantive, and results focused.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Prevention needs to be our highest priority, given human cost and long-term implications of conflict, instability, and tensions. Safeguarding the key agreements that brought us out of the wasteful arms race of the Cold War, not least the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is particularly important.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is no international platform that compares to the United Nations. No other body can bring together different nationalities, religions, and political views - literally under one roof. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It symbolizes humanity’s greatest aspirations and represents a beacon of hope, not least for those stricken by conflict, poverty, inequality, and discrimination. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The UN Charter and international law need to continue to be our lodestars. Without them, we will be lost and swayed by those seeking narrow national interests and zero-sum games.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But, to stay relevant, it is critical that the UN evolves with the times. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We need more transparency and openness within the UN system and among Member States. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And, perhaps most importantly, we need to bring the UN closer to the people of the world. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The UN75 Declaration provides us with a strong vision and framework for the future. I also welcome the Secretary-Generals report on Our Common Agenda on present and future challenges, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today’s challenges may seem overwhelming, seen from the perspective of individual nations acting alone. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Still, united in hope and will, and by delivering on our commitments, we can meet these challenges and deliver on the promises set out in the UN Charter to safeguard peace, human rights, and development. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our future depends on it. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Sep 24, 2021United Nations High-Level Dialogue on EnergyNew York - United Nations

<p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy </em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Speech by </em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>H.E. Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of Iceland</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Secretary General, excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a Global Champion of this High-level Dialogue, I am incredibly honoured to participate in today´s event.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We all recognize that bold action is needed to driving progress on SDG7 and ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is simply unacceptable that close to 760 million people still lack access to electricity and that a third of the world relies on harmful, polluting fuels for cooking.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our decision to take on a role as a Global Champion was therefore not a difficult one. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In Iceland we also know from our own experience how access to sustainable energy can transform societies and economies. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Indeed, it cannot be overstated that progress on SDG7 is key to drive achievement of all the other SDGs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We have therefore taken our role as Global Champion seriously, both in our advocacy efforts and in our own Energy Compact. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And today, based on Iceland´s clear vision of a sustainably energy future, I am pleased to share with you some of the highlights of our national energy compact. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Domestically, Iceland aims to:<span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span></p> <ul> <li>Become independent from use of fossil fuels at the latest by 2050 and carbon neutral by 2040. Renewable energy in transport will be at least 40% by 2030. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>Take measures to improve energy efficiency and minimize energy waste.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Meet all energy needs of the country in a secure manner for the near and distant future.</li> </ul> <p> <br /> <br /> Internationally, Iceland aims to:<br /> <br /> </p> <ul> <li>Increase climate-related financing, focusing on the transition to sustainable energy. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>Support countries in increasing the share of renewable energy and in transitioning to the circular economy through direct multiple use of energy, including for food production. <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>Help advance gender equality in the just transition to sustainable energy, including through technical training. </li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland also proudly joins the Gender Equality Energy Compact, as well as the 24/7 Carbon-free Energy Compact, and we also hope to see a Geothermal Energy Compact.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Secretary General,</p> <p>The world is at a critical juncture.</p> <p>We should look at today´s High-Level Dialogue on Energy as the beginning of a new chapter – a chapter which will be remembered as the start of renewed global efforts to drive the sustainable energy agenda.</p> <p>Let me assure you, that Iceland will play its part.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Sep 24, 202148th session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue on the interim oral update of OHCHR on the situation of human rights in Belarus StatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>UN Human&nbsp;Rights&nbsp;Council, 48th&nbsp;session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Item&nbsp;4:&nbsp;</strong><strong>Interactive Dialogue on the interim oral update of OHCHR&nbsp;</strong><strong>on the situation of&nbsp;human rights in Belarus</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement&nbsp;delivered&nbsp;by&nbsp;Iceland&nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><em>(</em><em>Check&nbsp;against&nbsp;delivery)</em></p> <p>Thank you Madame President, and thank you to the High Commissioner for her oral update.</p> <p>The situation in Belarus remains alarming as Lukashenko’s regime continues to disregard the human rights of the Belarusian people. Repression of political activists, human rights defenders, athletes, and others who dare to express their view, must stop. </p> <p>The number of political prisoners in Belarus continues to rise, with politically driven sentencing used to silence opposition. Reports of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including sexual and gender-based violence, are greatly concerning. We urge the Belarusian authorities to immediately release all those who are unlawfully detained. </p> <p>Moreover, we condemn the instrumentalization of migrants on the border of Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland – and call on the Belarusian authorities to immediately seize those hybrid tactics.</p> <p>Iceland will continue to stand by the Belarusian people in their legitimate quest for a democratic, independent, and prosperous Belarus. We call on the regime to respect human rights and to foster a climate where a real dialogue on human rights and democracy can take place. </p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Sep 23, 2021Alliance for Multilateralism - Shaping our Common AgendaNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Alliance for Multilateralism</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><em>Shaping our Common Agenda</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Ministerial meeting in the margins of the High-Level Week</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>23 September 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement by</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>H.E. Mr. Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson,</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation of Iceland</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dear friends,</p> <p>It cannot be overstated that with the challenges and emerging threats of our time, working together is the only way to succeed. </p> <p>Tackling climate change, preserving biodiversity, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as protecting human rights and achieving gender equality, are all tasks that call for joint efforts and global solidarity. </p> <p>The Alliance for Multilateralism represents a vision of unity and a world working together towards a better and more peaceful future for the generations to come. </p> <p>Iceland has long been a strong advocate and supporter of international cooperation - we know and understand how multilateralism and the rules-based international order can help ensure a level playing field for all states, large and small.&nbsp; </p> <p>At the same time, we recognize that the multilateral system is not without its flaws. We must continue to modernize the existing international institutions with an aim to make them more inclusive, transparent, and accountable. </p> <p>The role of our Alliance is an important one. I look forward to working with you to advance Our Common Agenda and building back better.</p> <p>I thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Sep 23, 2021Food Systems Summit - Statement by Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín JakobsdóttirNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Food Systems Summit&nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement by Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The government of Iceland welcomes the UN initiative to gather members at this Food Systems Summit.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is now evident that we exceed Planetary boundaries in a number of ways, taking more from Mother Nature than is sustainable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>How we produce, distribute, and consume food is not only harmful to our environment and our existence, but also wasteful. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>All the while we have to 2 billion people that are malnourished or hungry so we have failed to make progress towards the elimination of hunger.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So with all the hopeful resolutions and re-energized promises coming out of this Summit we must not fail those who are in desperate need as we speak.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>International cooperation is the national pathway for Iceland towards improvements in our approach to food.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Being an island nation in the North Atlantic, a healthy ocean is to our existence what fertile soil is to many others.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Therefore, we welcome the proposed Blue Food Alliance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It can highlight the significance of aquatic food in providing valuable nutrition in the diet of billions of people.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This alliance should re-energize our effort in areas where there is broad consensus, but implementation falls short.&nbsp; One such area is the evil of <em>Illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing</em>. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Eliminating IUU fishing is pro-poor, pro-nutrition, and pro-nature.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland is mindful of the cross-cutting reach of our action tracks.&nbsp; Therefore we do not only declare our support to the school feeding coalition but remind us all of the importance of aquatic nutrition to the growth and well-being of children seeking education.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, </p> <p>The current unsustainable state of our food systems is also an expression of a bankrupt value system. There are still influential actors who profit enormously from the plundering of the planet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It takes courage to simultaneously transform our value systems and food systems. </p> <p>And this we must do; as we are now in a transition from urgency to emergency.<br /> <br /> <br /> </p> <p > <br /> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Sep 23, 20211336 PC, 23 September 2021 (reply to External Auditor, reply to report by the Director of the CPC, Ukraine, Duma elections, Border Control of Gukovo and Donetsk)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1336%20EU%20reply%20to%20External%20Auditor%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to the External Auditor</a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1336%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20Director%20CPC.pdf"><span>EU reply to the report by the Director of the CPC</span><br /> </a></span></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1336%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1336%20PC%20EU%20on%20Duma%20elections.pdf">EU statement on Duma elections</a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1336%20PC%20EU%20Interpretative%20on%20BoM.pdf">EU statement on Border Control of Gukovo and Donetsk</a></span></p>

Sep 22, 2021UN LGBTI Core Group High Level Event - Leaving No One Behind: Decriminalization of Sexual Orientation and Gender IdentityNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">UN LGBTI Core Group High Level Event&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">"Leaving No One Behind: Decriminalization of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity"</p> <p style="text-align: center;">address given by Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me first say how happy I am to be able to address this side-event today, organized by the UN LGBTI Core Group. Iceland is a proud member of the Group and is fully committed to its values, mission and vision. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Government of Iceland remains strongly committed to promote the human rights and non-discrimination of LGBTI individuals. At home, we continue to make conscious improvements, as can be seen by recent legislative reforms on gender autonomy and equal treatment in the labour market.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Abroad, human rights remain a cornerstone of Iceland’s foreign policy and international development cooperation. To build the peaceful, just and&nbsp;inclusive societies envisioned in the 2030 Agenda, we must safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In this decade of action and delivery for the SDGs, we must fight for a universal decriminalization of consensual same sex conduct and the full respect of the rights of LGBTI individuals. This is a topic that has been a key priority for Iceland, also during our term in the Human Rights Council.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The fact that around seventy UN Member States have laws on their books that criminalize sexual orientation and gender identity is unacceptable and tragic beyond words. We must devote our full attention – together and through joint efforts – to not only change legislation but also influence the minds of political leaders, government officials and the public. That way we will gradually see a much-needed change in attitudes and opinions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To that end, the UN LGBTI Core Group will continue to play a key role. </p> <p>Thank you for allowing me to be with you today.</p>

Sep 22, 2021986 FSC, 22 September 2021 (Risks and Challenges to Security, Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/986%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Risks%20and%20Challenges%20to%20Security.pdf">EU Statement on Risks and Challenges to Security</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/986%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU Statement on Ukraine</a></span></p>

Sep 20, 2021IAEA 65th General Conference 20-24 September 2021Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20For%20alignment%20-%20EU%20statement%2065%20General%20Conference.pdf">EU statement</a></p>

Sep 16, 20211335 PC, 16 September 2021 (reply to President PA, reply to report by HoM Kosovo, Belarus, Ukraine, no further extension of Gukovo-Donetsk, detention of 5 Crimean Tatar Leaders)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span></span> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=07e5554f-1a19-11ec-813f-005056bc8c60">EU reply to President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly<br /> </a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=68f9f1cc-1a19-11ec-813f-005056bc8c60">EU reply to report by Head of Mission in <span class="VIiyi" lang="is">Kosovo</span><br /> </a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=a3577436-1b82-11ec-8140-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Belarus<br /> </a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=e9a230ce-1a19-11ec-813f-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Ukraine<br /> </a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=02e2ab6d-1a1a-11ec-813f-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Russia's decision not to follow further extension of G<span>ukovo-Donetsk</span><br /> </a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=a9b71a2a-1a1a-11ec-813f-005056bc8c60">EU statement on detention five Crimean Tatar Leaders<br /> </a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Sep 15, 2021985 FSC, 15 September 2021 (Framework for Arms Control of 1996, Ukraine)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span></span> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=16ffeeaa-1a16-11ec-813f-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Framework for Arms Control of 1996</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=8611b217-1a16-11ec-813f-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Sep 14, 202148th session of the Human Rights Council: Response to the Oral Update by the High Commissioner for Human RightsStatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p><strong>UN Human Rights Council<br /> 48th session</strong></p> <p><strong>Item 2 – General Debate<br /> Response to the Oral Update by the High Commissioner for Human Rights<br /> 14 September 2021</strong></p> <p><strong>Statement by Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><em>(Check against delivery</em></p> <p>Thank you Madame President,</p> <p>I thank the High Commissioner for her comprehensive update.</p> <p>We share her concerns on Afghanistan and agree that the Council must take robust steps, commensurate with the gravity of the situation, and establish a dedicated human rights mechanism. We remain alarmed by the reports of human rights violations and abuses across the country and are deeply concerned by the non-inclusive political representation recently announced. We must work together to protect hard-won gains and support the respect for human rights, in particular the rights of women and girls. Overall, despite the political and security situation, it is evident that the Afghan people – especially the most vulnerable – need our support.</p> <p>Madame President,</p> <p>We are deeply concerned by the reports of increasing serious human rights abuses and violations stemming from the expanding conflict in Northern Ethiopia. The systematic abuses committed in Tigray and the region, including widespread sexual and gender-based violence, forced displacement and obstruction of humanitarian relief must stop, and unhindered humanitarian access must be secured.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Sep 14, 2021Joint Nordic Statement at the UN Women Executive Board, Agenda Item 2: Strategic PlanNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Joint Nordic Statement</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Delivered by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson,</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Permanent Representative of Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Second Regular Session 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>UN Women Executive Board, Agenda Item 2: Strategic Plan</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Vice President, dear colleagues.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I deliver this statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and my own country Iceland.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me start by congratulating Ambassador Turay on his election. We look forward to working with the new President and his team. I also take the opportunity to congratulate Ambassador Sima Sami Bahous on her recent appointment as Executive Director of UN Women. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam acting Executive Director, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you for taking on the role of interim Executive Director of UN Women. You can count on the Nordic countries to work with you and your successor on advancing gender equality globally, fulfilling women’s rights and empowerment, and delivering on the commitments made most recently at the Generation Equality Forum. Your opening remarks set the tone eloquently and we appreciate UN Women’s commitment to stay and deliver, not least in Afghanistan. UN Women’s role and mandate is clearly more important than ever. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Vice President.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We welcome and support the UN Women Strategic Plan for 2022-2025 and thank the UN Women staff for developing the Strategic Plan based on rigorous analysis and lessons learned. The consultation process was transparent and exhaustive. We appreciate UN Women for listening to and integrating member states inputs while bearing in mind that the Strategic Plan is indeed a UN Women owned document. Rest assured that the Nordic countries stand ready to endorse the new Strategic Plan.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>First and foremost, the Nordic countries welcome the continued application of a human rights-based approach in the Strategic Plan and the enhanced focus on addressing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. As the Beijing review highlights, women and girls who experience multiple forms of discrimination are being left behind. This includes women and girls who face discrimination based on age, class, disability, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity or migration status. We need to address the root causes of inequality to ensure we all benefit from advances made in recent years and lift as many women out of multidimensional poverty as possible. This is crucial to reach the goals set out in Agenda 2030. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Vice President.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Achieving impact at scale for gender equality through stronger implementation at the national level is an important step for UN Women. We follow UN Women’s ongoing business transformation with great interest as this is key to deliver measurable and sustainable development results. This includes moving away from short-term, small-scale projects, and rather focusing on gender transformative programs. Achieving this requires working with others, both inside and outside the UN System. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In fact, the entire UN Women ambition of transforming into an increasingly partnership-oriented organization is greatly welcomed. This includes deepening and enhancing partnerships with civil society, not least women’s rights movements and organizations through dedicated and flexible financing, capacity development and meaningful participation. Strong partnerships with men and boys are also crucial, especially when it comes to promoting positive social norms, and we commend UN Women for highlighting this through their systemic outcome approach. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We welcome UN Women’s strategic use of funds to manage the shift associated with the business transformation, and we acknowledge that donors’ flexible, predictable, and sustainable funding to UN Women’s core activities is vital as well as a precondition for the ability to respond to emergent and protracted crises. This has been most recently exemplified through the commendable work of UN Women in rapidly responding to the crisis in Afghanistan.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Strategic Plan also clearly articulates UN Women’s triple mandate, and we welcome the commitment to significantly step-up UN Women’s coordination of the UN system. Achieving UN system-wide results for gender equality is vital and a prerequisite to achieve Agenda 2030. The common and complementary indicators presented in the Integrated Results and Resources Framework are important to track progress on this. We look forward to the completion of the results framework, which will provide us with the tools to monitor the results of the Strategic Plan. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In conclusion, the Strategic Plan before us provides a solid framework for the important and life-saving work of UN Women, of which the Nordics are longstanding supporters. If implemented fully, it will undoubtedly bring us closer to peace and sustainable development globally. A Strategic Plan will never please everybody fully, but we need to keep our eye on the ball: There is a growing need for a UN Women with an ambitious agenda, so that we can achieve gender equality, the Sustainable Development Goals, the empowerment of all women and girls and the full enjoyment of human rights for all. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you. </p>

Sep 14, 202148th session of the Human Rights Council: Joint Nordic-Baltic Statement on YemenStatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<p>Iceland delivered a joint statement on the behalf of the Nordic and Baltic states in the Human Rights Council on 14 September on the situation in Yemen.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Human Rights Council<br /> </strong><strong>48th session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Interactive dialogue on the report of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen<br /> </strong><strong>14 September 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries</strong></p> <p style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><em>[Check against delivery]</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madame President, </p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic Baltic countries. </p> <p>We thank the Group of Experts for their reporting outlining a host of serious violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law; both of which may constitute war crimes. The disrespect for IHL and human rights must stop; parties to the conflict must uphold their obligations under international law. </p> <p>An inclusive political solution to this man-made conflict is the only way forward. In its absence, one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world will reach new lows and the culture of impunity will continue to prevail and fuel abuses.</p> <p>We strongly support the UN-led mediation efforts, the mandate of the UN Special Envoy, and the critical work of the Group of Experts. We call upon the parties to the conflict to meaningfully engage with the Special Envoy without preconditions, to fully cooperate with the Group of Experts and to partake in a political process towards a comprehensive and sustainable peace. </p> <p>How can the Council support the promotion of human rights, inclusiveness, safety and dignity of the people of Yemen?</p>

Sep 13, 2021IAEA Board of Governors, 13-17 September 2021 (Agenda items 2, 3, 4, 5, 6a, 6c) Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20september%20agenda%20item%202.pdf">Agenda item 2:&nbsp;<span>Nuclear and Radiation Safety</span><span></span></a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20september%20agenda%20item%203.pdf">Agenda item 3:&nbsp;<span>Nuclear Security</span></a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20september%20agenda%20item%204.pdf">Agenda item 4: <span>Strengthening the Agency’s Activities Related to Nuclear Science, Technology and Applications&nbsp;</span></a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20september%20agenda%20item%205.pdf">Agenda item 5:&nbsp;<span>&nbsp;Verification and Monitoring in Iran</span></a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20september%20agenda%20item%206a.pdf">Agenda item 6a:&nbsp;<span>Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea&nbsp;</span></a></span></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20september%20agenda%20item%206c.pdf">Agenda item 6c:&nbsp;<span>NPT Safeguards Agreement with Iran</span></a></p>

Sep 10, 2021Joint Nordic Statement on SG's Recommendations to Advance the Common Agenda and Respond to Current and Future ChallangesNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Joint Nordic Statement: Informal meeting of the plenary&nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>SG’s Recommendations to Advance the Common Agenda and to Respond to Current and Future Challenges</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>delivered by Jukka Salovaara, Permanent Representative of Finland. </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>New York, 10 September 2021.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Mr. President, Secretary-General,</p> <p>I would like to thank the Secretary-General on behalf of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland – for the briefing and report on his recommendations to advance our common agenda, as requested by the General Assembly in the seventy-fifth anniversary declaration of the UN. Thank you for your engagement with Member States and other stakeholders on the 12 themes of the declaration. We need to respond to current and future challenges. We welcome the report.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic countries are steadfast supporters of a strong and inclusive multilateral system, which is anchored within the United Nations. Recognizing and addressing the most pressing global challenges is at the core of the institution, and the report recalls those in clearest possible terms. These issues merit deep and serious reflection among member states. Business as usual is not an option. We are committed to discuss and work seriously with the report’s analysis and recommendations – and to work closely with the Secretary-General in ensuring necessary follow-up.</p> <p>Last year our leaders emphasized the gravity of the situation and asked the Secretary-General to provide recommendations. The General Assembly will need to return to the report more formally in the 76th&nbsp;session, benefiting from the reflections of the general debate during the High-Level Week.&nbsp;</p> <p>*****</p> <p>The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing crises and conflicts. Global solidarity, inclusivity, renewal of the social contract, and actions to save our planet are key to addressing many of the root causes of these conflicts.</p> <p>The promotion of human rights and addressing societal and global structural inequality are cornerstones in renewing the social. Without the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in all decision-making processes and at all levels, no meaningful social contract is possible.</p> <p>The Nordic countries support the idea of improving global Digital Cooperation to ensure that the potential of digitalization is used to the fullest. Bridging the digital divides, including the gender divide, should continue to be our common priority.&nbsp;</p> <p>We also strongly agree that the future needs to be more firmly factored into our collective decision-making. Forecasting megatrends is important. Aligning decisions with future needs is essential.</p> <p>*****</p> <p>As for the multilateral system, even the UN itself is being challenged from multiple fronts. It is therefore valuable that the report addresses some of the institutional challenges the UN is facing. There remains a need to shape a more inclusive and networked multilateralism where all actors have a seat at the table.</p> <p>In parallel, we remain deeply committed to the principles of accountability, transparency and efficiency. These qualities build trust in the institution, which, in turn, will allow us to achieve our common goals. The efforts to reform the United Nations under the Secretary-General’s term done so far deserve merit and have our full support going forward.</p> <p>*****</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>Global problems require global solutions, and the Secretary-General’s report reminds us that much has already been agreed upon by the global community. We will be a strong force in turning the Secretary-General’s recommendations into further action, and in accelerating the implementation of existing agreements, including the Sustainable Development Goals.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Sep 08, 2021984 FSC, 8 September 2021 (Opening session of Austrian Chairmanship)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/984%20FSC%20GER%20Joint%20Statement%20Women%20Ambassadors%20on%20Opening%20Austrian%20Chairmanship.pdf">Joint statement of Women Ambassadors</a>

Sep 08, 2021Statement by Iceland in exchange of views with Ms Claire Bazy Malaurie, Vice-President of the Venice CommissionStrasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1410th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</strong></p> <p>Mr. Chair, </p> <p>The Venice Commission has a very important role to play in protecting and promoting the main principles of the European constitutional heritage and we warmly welcome today’s opportunity to exchange views with Ms Claire Bazy Malaurie.</p> <p>The ability of the Commission to not only function but to also deal with an increasing workload during Covid-19 is impressive and we thank all the members for their efforts. The rise in requests for opinions and the discussions and citations generated by the Commission’s opinions is indeed a true testament to its relevance. </p> <p>Last year, the Prime Minister of Iceland requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on four draft constitutional bills on the protection of the environment, on natural resources, on referendums and on the President of Iceland, the government, functions of the executive and other institutional matters. We are grateful for the dialogue and cooperation with the Commission and for the guidance provided. </p> <p>Madam Bazy Malaurie, in your intervention you have flagged the stretching of the Commission’s resources and that the Commission is asking the CM to consider the possibilities for an increase in the Commission’s budget. Could you please elaborate on this?</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Sep 02, 20211334 PC, 2 September 2021 (reply to Head Presence Albania, reply to report by CO at two Russian Checkpoints, Int. Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances, Ukraine, CI by US on Concerns Over Intensifying Repression in Russia ahead of September Duma Elections)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1334%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20Head%20of%20OSCE%20Presence%20in%20Albania%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to Head of Presence in Albania</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1334%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20CO%20of%20two%20Russian%20Checkpoints%20at%20Russian-Ukrainian%20border.pdf">EU reply to Chief Observer at two Russian Checkpoints at Russian-Ukrainian Border<br /> </a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1334%20PC%20EU%20on%20International%20Day%20of%20Victims%20of%20Enforced%20Disappearances.pdf">EU statement on Int. Day of Victims of Enforeced Disappearances</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1334%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1334%20PC%20EU%20on%20CI%20raised%20by%20US%20on%20Concerns%20Over%20Intensifying%20Repression%20in%20Russia%20ahead%20of%20September%20Duma%20Elections.pdf">EU reply to CI raised by US <span>on Concerns Over Intensifying Repression in Russia ahead of September Duma Elections</span></a></p>

Aug 31, 2021Joint Nordic Statement on UNFPA strategic plan 2022-2025New York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><span><strong>SECOND REGULAR SESSION 2021 Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS UNFPA Segment, August 31 2021 Item 6, <br /> UNFPA strategic plan 2022-2025 <br /> Statement by the Nordic Countries <br /> Delivered by <br /> Ambassador Miia Rainne, Deputy Permanent Representative of Finland,<br /> </strong></span><strong>Chargé d'affaires</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>Madam President, </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>I deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and my own country Finland.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span> We align ourselves with the Joint Statement, which will be delivered by Mexico. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>I would like to start by thanking UNFPA for developing your new Strategic Plan 2022- 2025 in such a transparent and participatory way. The fact that we have heard development partners and programme countries alike expressing their support for the Strategic Plan is a clear indication of its good quality and balanced approach. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>Madam Executive Director, I also want to acknowledge your strong words on the importance of dialogue and building common ground and I urge the Executive Board and us all to remember that more unites us than divides us.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span> ***</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span> Madam President, </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>If we ever doubted it, recent developments in the world have made it painfully clear why we need a strong and focused UNFPA. The Strategic Plan before us provides a solid programming framework and building blocks for just that. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>We strongly welcome the plan’s human rights based foundation. UNFPA’s mandate comes with a responsibility to advance human rights granted to all women and girls, in particular their sexual and reproductive health and rights. The Nordics therefore also support UNFPA’s intention to strengthen its normative work in all countries where UNFPA is present.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span> Further, we share UNFPA’s determination to leave no one behind and reaching those furthest behind first including persons in vulnerable situations. And in that regard; we Check against delivery support the differentiated approach to prioritize support for countries that are lagging the most behind in achieving the three transformative results. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>We highly value UNFPA’s role as a humanitarian actor. Your leadership role in coordinating efforts to combat gender-based violence, including against sexual violence is highly acknowledged. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>Further, we share the belief that UNFPA’s three transformative results cannot be achieved without effective humanitarian interventions. UNFPA is also well positioned to bridge the gap between development and humanitarian interventions. The Nordics, therefore, also see increased investment in UNFPA’s humanitarian response capacity as a right way forward. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>Overall, from our own experience we know the value of investing in gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. It brings social, economic and health benefits to both individuals and countries and is an extremely important factor in the eradication of poverty. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>*** </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>In closing, let us remember the main target groups of the Strategic Plan; women, adolescents and youth. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>I, therefore, call upon all to read the new Strategic Plan through the eyes of a young woman who dreams of a better future. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>A future where she can decide over her own body. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>A future where she will decide if, with whom and when to have a child and give birth in a safe way.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span> A future where she can finish her education,</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span> A future where she will decide if, with whom and when to get married </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>In short, a future where she can fulfil her full potential. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>The Nordics believe that the new Strategic Plan will give this young woman hope and UNFPA can count on the support of the Nordic countries in ensuring its successful implementation. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>I thank you for your attention.&nbsp;</span></p>

Aug 31, 2021Annual Review Conference (ASRC), 31 August 2021 (Opening session, Special Sessions, Working Session I-IV)Vienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20ASRC%20EU%20Opening%20Session.pdf">EU statement on Opening Session: Back to basics: our commitments, our security, our OSCE</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20ASRC%20EU%20Special%20Session%20Ensuring%20Security%20and%20Stability%20in%20the%20OSCE%20Region.pdf">EU statement on Special Session: Ensuring Security and Stability in the OSCE Region in the Light of Developments with Respect to Ukraine</a></p> <a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20ASRC%20EU%20Special%20Session%20Structured%20Dialogue.pdf">EU statement on Special Session: Structured Dialogue</a> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20ASRC%20EU%20Working%20Session%20I%20Transnational%20Threats.pdf">EU statement on Working Session I: Transnational Threats - Current and Future Trends in the OSCE Area and Beyond</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20ASRC%20EU%20Working%20Session%20II%20Conflicts%20and%20Crises%20in%20the%20OSCE%20Area.pdf">EU statement on Working Session II: Conflicts and Crises in the OSCE area: Building Security and Confidence</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20ASRC%20EU%20Working%20Session%20III%20Conventional%20Arms%20Control%20and%20CSBMs.pdf">EU statement on Working Session III: Conventional Arms Control and Confidence and Security Building Measures: Challenges and Opportunities</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20ASRC%20EU%20Working%20Session%20IV%20Early%20Warning,%20Conflict%20Prevention,%20Crisis%20Management,%20Conflict%20Resolution%20and%20Post-Conflict%20Rehabilitation.pdf">EU statement on Working Session IV: Early Warning, Conflict Prevention, Crisis Management, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Rehabilitation - Lessons Learned and The Way Ahead 10th Anniversary<br /> </a></p>

Aug 30, 2021Jóint Nordic Statement: Interactive Dialogue with the UNDP Administrator and New Strategic PlanNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><span><strong>SECOND REGULAR SESSION 2021 Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Item 2: INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH THE UNDP ADMINISTRATOR AND NEW STRATEGIC PLAN <br /> Nordic Statement <br /> delivered on 30 August <br /> by PR Eneström, SWEDEN</strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>I am delivering this Statement on behalf of the Nordic Countries: Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and my own country Sweden. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>President, </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>We welcome and support UNDP Strategic Plan for 2022 – 2025. The new strategic plan highlights UNDP’s comparative strengths with its unique combination of global and local presence; sector competence; partnerships; and integrated whole of society approaches. We rest assured that UNDP will remain the lead UN agency of international development and that the new strategic plan and its annexes will prove useful for UNDP in the next fouryear period. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;">We are also pleased with the consultative spirit in which the new Strategic plan has been developed. We express our gratitude to UNDP staff for the hard work in the preparation of the documents now in front of us.&nbsp; </p> <p style="text-align: left;">The pandemic has shown us that adaptability and flexibility is needed. Recognizing the devastating effects of the pandemic, we are encouraged by the view expressed in the new strategic plan that the future is challenging but not preordained.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Furthermore, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of Democratic Governance, which we expect to continue to be the backbone of UNDP.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We need the inclusion and meaningful participation of all stakeholders to achieve our common goal of a sustainable and peaceful world. Human rights and democratic governance are not only ends in themselves, they are also means to achieve the SDGs. Realizing the true potential of partnerships therefore require inclusion and rights. This is where UNDPs efforts on democratic governance is crucial. And we firmly expect UNDP to continue to lead by example, providing the much-needed thought leadership and implementing capacity support to partners around the World.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We share UNDP’s analysis of the current development landscape with the planetary emergency and increased poverty, where Covid-19 both exposes and reinforces existing inequalities within and between countries, and where multilateralism is under pressure. UNDP’s new strategic plan is well-tuned to these trends, positioning UNDP as a crucial international development partner, in accordance with the intentions expressed in the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We appreciate UNDP’s high ambitions and note how UNDP underscores the importance of integrated solutions. While realizing that a main function of the strategic plan is to provide the overall strategic direction, we would have liked to see more elaboration on how UNDP will work, including how it will materialize integrated approaches, working towards systems change.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We are pleased to note how the strategic plan reaffirms that poverty eradication remains at the core of the work of UNDP, with the emphasis on leaving no one behind, founded on a human rights-based approach.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We commend UNDP for the overall approach to human development within planetary boundaries, mitigating and adapting to climate change, protecting biodiversity and ecosystems, and ensuring just and equitable development for all. Facing the climate emergency, we encourage UNDP to seek and support holistic solutions that combine adaptation and mitigation efforts. To the extent possible, we support special attention to the Least Developed Countries, Small Island Development States, and the most vulnerable countries when supporting climate resilience and climate change adaptation. In this regard, we see sustainable blue economies as part of integrated solutions to climate adaptation and food security. We expect an increase in joint programming with other UN agencies to reduce the fragmentation of climate and environmental projects. We would have liked to see information on how UNDP will work with its own environmental footprint during the next strategic plan period. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">The strategic plan highlights the need for designing all interventions for deliberate impact on gender equality and putting equality at the centre of dialogues with partners. We are however concerned for the lack of adequate investments and resources to match the ambition. We ask UNDP what concrete measures will be taken to truly prioritize gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls during the next four-year period?</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Let me conclude, Mr. Administrator, by reiterating our support to UNDP. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">Thank you.</p>

Aug 18, 2021Joint Nordic statement at the Security Council Open Debate on "Protecting the Protectors: Technology and Peacekeeping"StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;">“Protecting the Protectors: Technology and Peacekeeping”</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Joint Nordic statement at the Security Council Open Debate</p> <p style="text-align: center;">delivered by Jukka Salovaara, Permanent Representative of Finland</p> <p style="text-align: center;">New York, 18 August 2021</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On behalf of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland – I wish to thank India for raising this important topic on the Security Council’s agenda. The Nordics are strong supporters of the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative, and we welcome the strengthened focus to integrate new&nbsp;technologies in the field, in the context of peacekeeping.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic countries have been steadfast contributors to UN peacekeeping since its very beginning. The safety of our peacekeepers remains a funda­men­tal priority for us, as it is also a prerequisite for fulfilling the core task and mandate of peacekeeping; namely, to maintain international peace and security and to protect the local populations from conflict and violence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Responsible, effective and sustainable peacekeeping relies on our ability to protect the protectors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Integrating new technologies in peacekeeping operations is imperative in order to respond to the emerging threats and challenges of today’s operating environments. Technology can significantly increase the mission’s safety and security through, for example; better situational awareness, improved readiness, and enhanced field support, including medical and logistical support, and countering the threats posed by mines and improvised explosive devises. In this regard, it is essential to focus efforts and funding on new technologies to improve early warning systems.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>New technologies yield significant opportunities, they can increase effectiveness and bring savings. At the same time, their introduction must be field-focused, predictable and driven by the practical needs of the end users on the ground. And they must be matched with improved capacity and training, especially as increased use of new technologies may also create new risks for Missions including as vectors for hybrid threats. We, Member States have a shared responsibility to ensure, that the resources and capabilities match the requirements of today’s needs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">***</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>New (digital) technologies have proven their value in protection of civilians and ensuring accountability, including in preventing conflict related sexual violence and bringing perpetrators to justice. The use of digital technologies must be in compliance with international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law. In this context, it is particularly important to follow the ‘do no harm principle’ and to take gender-aspects into account. Norms of responsible state behavior provide important guidance for states in relation to the use of digital technologies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Climate change and environmental degradation are widely recognized as threat multipliers and, in many cases, drivers of conflict. Therefore, it is of utmost importance, that sustainable and responsible solutions are employed throughout all operations and mandate delivery. The Nordic countries encourage utilization of new technology in peacekeeping contexts in order to reduce the missions’ environmental footprint and, where possible, to improve the health, safety and security of local communities as well as UN personnel. The Nordics encourage the inclusion of climate-related security risks in the analyses of country and regional level conflicts. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">***</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>The Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and the UN Digital Toolkit in peace mediation context, have provided a useful framework and recommendations for integrating new technologies even more comprehensively into the agendas of the United Nations. We also welcome the UN’s new Strategy for the Digital Transformation in Peacekeeping</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Looking ahead to the UN peacekeeping ministerial in Soul later this year, the Nordic countries look forward to contributing to this discussion even more in the context of UN peacekeeping.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Aug 12, 20211329 PC, 12 August 2021 (CI raised by Georgia, Ukraine, Anniversary 9 August 2020 fraudulent presidential elections Belarus)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1329%20PC%20EU%20on%20CI%20raised%20by%20Georgia.pdf">EU statement on current issue raised by Georgia</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1329%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1329%20PC%20EU%20on%20Anniversary%20of%209%20August%202020%20fraudulent%20presidential%20elections%20in%20Belarus,%20reply%20to%20CI%20raised%20by%20US.pdf">EU on Anniversary 9 August 2020 fraudulent presidential elections Belarus</a></p>

Aug 05, 20211328 PC, 5 August 2021 (Co-Chairs of Minsk Group, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1328%20PC%20EU%20on%20the%20Co-Chairs%20of%20the%20Minsk%20Group.pdf">EU statement on Co-Chairs of Minsk Group</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1328%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Jul 30, 20211327 PC, 30 July 2021 (HDIM and ASRC)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1327%20PC%20EU%20on%20HDIM%20and%20ASRC.pdf">EU statement on HDIM and ASRC</a>

Jul 29, 20211326 PC, 29 July 2021 (World Day against Trafficking in Persons, recent developments in Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1326%20PC%20EU%20on%20World%20Day%20against%20Trafficking%20in%20Persons.pdf">EU statement on World Day against Trafficking in Persons</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1326%20PC%20EU%20on%20recent%20developments%20in%20Moldova.pdf">EU statement on recent developments in Moldova</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1326%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1326%20PC%20N%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20Belarus.pdf">Joint statement on Belarus</a></p>

Jul 22, 2021Joint statement of Women Ambassadors on Annual Progress Report on Implementation of OSCE Gender Action Plan.StatementsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1325%20PC%20Joint%20statement%20by%20Women%20Ambassadors%20on%20annual%20progress%20report%20on%20implementation%20of%20Gender%20Action%20Plan.pdf">Joint statement by Women Ambassadors on 22 July 2021.</a>

Jul 22, 20211325 PC, 22 July 2021 (Rules of Procedure OSCE, Gender Action Plan, Review of Co-operation with Asian Partners. 7year Anniversary of Downing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17, Ukraine, Women Ambassadors on Gender Action Plan)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1325%20PC%20EU%20Rules%20of%20Procedure%20of%20OSCE.pdf">EU statement on Rules of Procedure OSCE</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1325%20PC%20EU%20on%20Gender%20Action%20Plan.pdf">EU statement on OSCE Gender Action Plan </a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1325%20PC%20EU%20on%20Review%20of%20Co-operation%20with%20Asian%20Partners.pdf">EU statement on Review of Co-operation with Asian Partners</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1325%20PC%20EU%20on%207%20year%20Anniversary%20of%20Downing%20of%20Malaysian%20Airlines%20Flight%20MH17.pdf">EU statement on 7year Anniversary of Downing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 </a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1325%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1325%20PC%20Joint%20statement%20by%20Women%20Ambassadors%20on%20annual%20progress%20report%20on%20implementation%20of%20Gender%20Action%20Plan%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">Joint statement of Women Ambassadors on annual progress report on implementation of Gender Action Plan</a></p>

Jul 21, 2021983 FSC, 21 July 2021 (Closing session of Armenian FSC Chairmanship)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/983%20FSC%20EU%20on%20closing%20session%20of%20Armenian%20FSC%20Chairpersonship.pdf">EU statement on closing session of Armenian FSC Chairmanship</a>

Jul 15, 2021Reply to address of H.E. Mr. Zbigniew Rau, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland reg. OSCE Chairpersonship 2022.StatementsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1324%20PC,%2015.7.2021.pdf">Statement by the Permanent Representative of Iceland on 15 July 2021</a>

Jul 15, 20211324 PC, 15 July 2021 (reply to MfA Poland, 26th Anniversary of Srebenica Genocide, recent developments in Belarus, Ukraine, elections in Moldova)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1324%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20MFA%20of%20Poland,%20Zbigniew%20Rau.pdf">EU <span>reply to Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland, Zbigniew Rau</span><br /> </a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1324%20PC%20EU%20on%2026th%20Anniversary%20of%20Srebrenica%20Genocide.pdf">EU statement on 26th Anniversary of Srebenica Genocide<br /> </a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1324%20PC%20EU%20on%20recent%20developments%20in%20Belarus.pdf">EU statement on recent developments in Belarus<br /> </a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1324%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1324%20PC%20EU%20on%20elections%20in%20Moldova.pdf">EU statement on <span>elections in Moldova</span></a><span></span></p>

Jul 14, 202181 Joint FSC PC, 14 July 2021 (OSCE's role and commitments to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms: trends and challenges)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/82%20Joint%20FSC%20PC%20EU%20on%20OSCE's%20role%20and%20commitments%20to%20prevent%20and%20combat%20terrorism.pdf">EU statement <span>on OSCE's role and commitments to prevent and combat terrorism</span> in all its forms: trends and challenges</a></p>

Jul 12, 2021Statement to the General Assembly on the 2021 High-Level Political ForumStatementsNew York - United Nations

<span></span> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><span><img alt="" style="width: 360px; height: 86px;" 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" /></span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><span> </span> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="margin: 0px; line-height: 107%; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; color: #003d85;">Written statement of Iceland for the general debate</span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px; text-align: center;"><span style="margin: 0px; line-height: 107%; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; color: #003d85;">2021 High-Level Political Forum</span></p> <span style="margin: 0px; line-height: 107%; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; color: #003d85;"> "Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development"</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>While the pandemic has underscored just how interconnected we all are, it has not been the great equalizer as some predicted. Those most vulnerable are hit the hardest. Those with no safety nets will take longer to recover from the socioeconomic effects of the pandemic. Persistent inequalities between and within countries have prolonged and exacerbated the effects of the pandemic. </div> <p>The task of integrating the 2030 Agenda into the day to day governance is an ongoing task. Although the focus is shifting towards a more sustainable environment, economy, and societal factors, “nudging” a whole government system, even in a country with few inhabitants, takes time. We are nevertheless conscious of the two main causal factors when it comes to changing societies through just transition. And since we are certain where we are going those factors are time and consistency.&nbsp; </p> <p>The government has evaluated where we stand in light of all the 169 SDG’s objectives, integrated the objectives into our central financial budget proposal in order to achieve greater synergy and maintained public awareness on the task of implementing the SDG’s at large.&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <div>Vaccines</div> <div>In facing a global pandemic, we cannot exclude and neglect certain groups of people when it comes to vaccinations. Every country must do their share in correcting the imbalance in access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. Adequate funding for the ACT-Accelerator is key to the continued global efforts in bringing the global pandemic to an end. Iceland is a committed partner of the ACT-Accelerator and its COVAX facility. </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Sustainable recovery</div> <div>Iceland and other countries are inching towards a post COVID era. Although it is too early to let our guard down, we must start laying the foundation for a more equal, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable post-pandemic environment. In that regard, the 2030 Agenda continues to serve as a global blueprint for sustainable development and a plan of action for planet, people, prosperity, peace and partnership. Iceland reaffirms its commitment to fully implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.</div> <p>The pandemic demonstrated the importance of robust health-, welfare-, and insurance systems where access for all play a key role.&nbsp; Our policy throughout the pandemic was to follow scientific advice – first and foremost promoting life and health - guarding the income of families, providing companies with lifelines and sustaining the general economic and social situation to minimize possible loss. At the same time, we took proactive measures by increasing investment focusing on innovation and green investments.</p> <div>Iceland is no stranger to the three interconnected pillars of sustainability: environment, society, and economy. Sustainability has, in fact, been the key to our prosperity. By respecting our nature and its resources and promoting gender equality and human rights we have seen rapid and relatively inclusive socioeconomic growth. Sustainable development is therefore a focus in our foreign policy and international development cooperation, including through addressing climate change, reducing gender inequalities, and securing human rights for all.&nbsp; </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Human rights &amp; gender equality<br /> Human rights are essential to achieve sustainable development and must remain at the centre of the global pandemic response and recovery. The SDGs affirm the responsibility of all states to respect, protect and promote human rights, including gender equality. However, we all remain off-target to achieve SDG 5 on gender equality. We encourage other countries to join Iceland in its quest to achieve this target and improve gender equality, including ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and the fight against sexual and gender-based violence. Iceland is committed to contributing in a meaningful way as a co-leader of the Generation Equality Action Coalition on gender-based violence. We also encourage all countries to grant increased attention to groups who lack fundamental rights in many countries, such as LGBTI people and other vulnerable groups - leaving no one behind. </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Climate<br /> Climate action needs to be at the centre of our efforts as we build back better and greener after the pandemic. The Paris Agreement is the global baseline, and Iceland is fully committed to its implementation. To build back greener, we need to make full use of science, innovation, and positive financial stimulus for the full participation of the private sector. Iceland's climate action plan goes even further than was agreed in Paris.<br /> Iceland announced in December at the Climate Ambition Summit its ambitions to enhance its level of 40% emissions cuts by 2030, to 55% or more compared to 1990 to be achieved collective with nearly 30 European countries. <br /> Cutting emissions is not enough. To reach a net-zero future we must also remove carbon from the atmosphere. Iceland sees itself as a frontrunner in carbon removal. It is a key factor in our goal of reaching carbon neutrality before 2040.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Energy<br /> At the heart of the fight against climate change is ensuring energy transition, the move to clean and sustainable energy for all. While Iceland’s position in energy matters is unique, as the vast majority of the energy used in the country is renewable energy, we recognize that the world is still short of achieving affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. In this regard Iceland emphasizes renewable energy in its foreign policy and is fully committed to its role as a Global Energy Champion and looks forward to the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy. </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>DLDD<br /> Iceland, as a co-chair of the UN Group of Friends on Desertification, Land degradation and Drought, was pleased to take part in the High-level dialogue on DLDD. The event underscored the global significance of DLDD issues for the entire SDG agenda. Since early last century Iceland has focused on recovering land quality and limiting land degradation. Degraded land is the root cause of many pressing societal challenges we are facing today, including the loss of animal habitat and the spread of disease from animals to humans. On a more positive note, land restoration offers multiple cross cutting solutions and is a connecting piece between enhanced food security, water, biodiversity, reduced climate emissions, more social stability and, ultimately, peace and security.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Food Systems Summit<br /> The Food Systems Summit will be a key part of our global effort of ensuring a sustainable and inclusive pandemic recovery and the Decade of Action to achieve the SDGs. Iceland has advocated for a solutions summit and highlighted two game-changing areas.One is to implement comprehensive school food programmes in every country, which will benefit the diets and development of millions of children and bring co-benefits across the food system for livelihoods and environmental sustainability.&nbsp; Second is to further enhance the significant role that the ocean and blue foods plays in the global food system. As highlighted in a joint declaration of Nordic ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries, increased production and consumption of safe and healthy aquatic foods from sustainable, healthy oceans and inland water, may contribute to sustainable food systems and food security and nutrition. Increased production must however be based on: transparent science-based advise systems for management, policy and business within the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. We must also eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and combat overfishing. </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>SDGs<br /> Although uneven and insufficient, the world is making progress toward the SDGs. We see inspiring improvements in areas such as maternal and child health, access to electricity and women’s representation in government. So as we continue on this Decade of Action with emphasis on just transition, we must do all we can to protect the gains we have made and accelerate progress in areas lagging behind, through our renewed commitment to the 2030 Agenda. </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Thank you.</div>

Jul 09, 2021Joint Meeting of the Three Committes, 9 July 2021 (Combating Corruption and Strengthening Good Governance)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/Joint%20Meeting%20of%20the%20Three%20Committees%20on%20combating%20corruption%20and%20strengthening%20good%20governance.pdf">EU statement on<span> combating corruption and strengthening good governance</span></a></p>

Jul 07, 202120th Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC), 7-8 July 2021AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/20%20Hague%20Code%20of%20Conduct%20against%20Ballistic%20Missile%20Proliferation.pdf">EU statement</a>

Jul 07, 2021982 FSC, 7 July 2021 (SALW and SCA, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/982%20FSC%20EU%20on%20SALW%20and%20SCA.pdf">EU statement on SALW and SCA</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/982%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Jul 07, 2021Statement by Iceland on the recent attack on the offices of LGBTI organizations in Tbilisi Strasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1409th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</strong></p> <p>Mr. Chair, </p> <p>The recent attack on the offices of LGBTI organizations in Tbilisi and attacks on civic activists, community members and journalists that have led to the cancelling of the Pride Parade – the March of Dignity - in Georgia are deeply troubling and we stand in solidarity with the LGBTI persons in Georgia. &nbsp;</p> <p>We ask the Government of Georgia and religious leaders to do the same by condemning these heinous acts of violence. The right to participate in peaceful gatherings is a human right and violence must be called out for what it is – unacceptable and inexcusable. Moreover, Georgian government authorities must immediately safeguard the fundamental rights of <span style="text-decoration: underline;">all</span> its citizens – without exception - and fight against homophobic sentiments. Those responsible for these vicious attacks must be brought to justice without delay. </p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p> Let’s all come together to ensure equal rights for LGBTI persons, in Georgia and everywhere, and let’s ensure that the iconic rainbow Pride flag – the enduring symbol of pride and support for LGBTI persons and for the beautiful diversity of the LGBTI community – is not torn down or destroyed but flown high with pride!</p>

Jul 01, 20211322 PC, 1 July 2021 (reply to SR Ukraine + TCG ad to CM SMMU, 53rd Round Geneva International Discussions, crackdown on civil society in Russian Federation, Halting Federal Executions in USA, Int. Day in Support of Victims of Torture) )AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1323%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20CPiO%20Ukraine,%20TCG%20and%20to%20CM%20SMMU.pdf">EU reply to update by SR Ukraine+TCG and to CM of SMMU</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1323%20EU%20on%2053rd%20Round%20Geneva%20International%20Discussions.pdf">EU statement on <span>53rd Round Geneva International Discussions</span></a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1323%20EU%20on%20Crackdown%20on%20Civil%20Society%20in%20Russian%20Federation.pdf">EU statement on <span>Crackdown on Civil Society in Russian Federation</span></a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1323%20EU%20on%20Halting%20Federal%20Executions%20in%20USA.pdf">EU statement on H<span>alting Federal Executions in USA</span></a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1323%20PC%20CH%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20International%20Day%20in%20Support%20of%20Victims%20of%20Torture.pdf">Joint statement on Int. Day in Support of Victims of Torture</a> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Jun 30, 2021981 FSC, 30 June 2021 (Postponement of the 2021 ASRC, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/981%20FSC%20EU%20on%20postponement%20of%20the%202021%20ASRC.pdf">EU statement on <span>Postponement of the 2021 ASRC</span></a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/981%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a><br /> </span></p>

Jun 30, 2021Statement by Iceland in Exchange of views with Ms Maria Daniella Marouda, Chair of ECRI (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance)Strasbourg - Council of Europe

<p>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1408th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</p> <p>Thank you, Mr. Chair. </p> <p>We welcome today’s exchange with Ms. Marouda and thank her and the rest of the ECRI members for their tireless efforts in the fight against racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, discrimination and intolerance, including against LGBTI persons.</p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>We remain deeply concerned by the anti-LGBTI law recently adopted by the Hungarian Parliament. This legislation goes against ECRIs general principles and key standards on LGBTI issues according to which authorities should take appropriate legislative measures with the aim of sending a clear message that intolerance against LGBTI persons is not acceptable. Such measures should enshrine in law the equality and dignity of LGBTI persons in all areas of life – not limit human rights or stigmatize members of society. Such measures only reinforce prejudice against LGBTI persons and is incompatible with the values of a democratic society. We stand in solidarity with LGBTI persons in Hungary and elsewhere and urge Hungary to instead combat prejudices and discrimination and to work for the full acceptance of all people, no matter who they are or who they love for love is love and love is a human right. </p> <p>Ms. Marouda, as noted in the annual report, racist and xenophobic incidents linked to the pandemic have been widespread. We, as States, have a responsibility to ensure that our response to Covid-19 does not entail stigmatization, exclusion or discrimination.</p> <p>The fight against racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, discrimination and intolerance cannot be fought solely by those who are exposed to such biases. This fight must be fought by all of us who firmly believe in the equal value of all persons and it is only by mobilizing forces at all levels, including institutions, civil society and the private sector, that we will make progress. Ms. Marouda, what is the experience of ECRI in this regard?</p> <p>Thank you, Mr. Chair. </p>

Jun 24, 20211321 PC, 24 June 2021 (reply to Head of PO Nur-Sultan, reply to PC Ukraine, elections in Armenia, Ukraine, World Refugee Day, Observance of Pride Month)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1321%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20Head%20of%20PO%20Nur-Sultan.pdf">EU reply to report by Head of Programme Office Nur-Sultan</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1321%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20PC%20Ukraine.pdf">EU reply to report by Project Co-ordinator Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1321%20PC%20EU%20on%20Elections%20in%20Armenia.pdf">EU statement on elections in Armenia</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1321%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1321%20PC%20CAN%20Joint%20%20Statement%20on%20World%20Refugee%20Day.pdf">Joint statement on World Refugee Day</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1321%20PC%20CAN%20Joint%20%20Statement%20on%20Observance%20of%20Pride%20Month.pdf">Joint statement on Oberservance of Pride Month </a></p>

Jun 24, 2021Women, Peace and Security on the OSCE agenda.StatementsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1321%20PC,%2024.6.2021.pdf">Statement of Permanent Representative of Iceland on 24 June 2021</a>

Jun 23, 2021980 FSC, 23 June 2021 (Transparency in Military Exercises and Activities, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/980%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Transparency%20in%20Military%20Exercises%20and%20Activities.pdf">EU statement on <span>Transparency in Military Exercises and Activities</span></a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/980%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a><br /> </span></p>

Jun 23, 2021Statement at the Thirty-first Meeting of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the SeaStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Thirty-first Meeting of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Agenda item 13 – Report of the Secretary-General under article 319 </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>New York, 23 June 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement by Iceland</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To begin with I would like to congratulate Vladimir Jares on his appointment as DOALOS Director. This appointment is excellent news for us State Parties. Mr. Jares thoroughly knows the work of DOALOS. Since I am mentioning DOALOS, I´d also like to warmly thank our dear Secretariat, that during this meeting has taken excellent care of us and worked day and night to make sure the meeting runs smoothly and to keep all State Parties well informed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>---</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, my delegation thanks the Secretary General for the informative report that this agenda item refers to. We also thank for the information we´ve received at this meeting on the implementation of UNCLOS at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Seabed Authority with its growing importance and last but not least the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland continues to emphasize the crucial role of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; the Constitution of the Oceans as it is commonly referred to. Its contribution to the whole of Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, should not be underestimated. It can – and has - among other, contributed to stability, peace and security in this world. Its full and effective implementation needs to remain high on the agenda. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The same applies to SDG14, which unfortunately is known to be an under-funded Sustainable Development Goal. Achieving it and its ten targets will, however, contribute to combatting poverty and hunger to name some prominent examples of what sustainable management and utilization of marine resources can lead to. Iceland is looking forward to discussing SDG14 and how to achieve it by 2030, in Lisbon next year under the able leadership of our co-hosts, Portugal and Kenya.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President. </p> <p>In the context of SDG 14; I´d like to touch upon some of its targets that have already passed their 2020 deadline. Notably, in July this year, there is an opportunity for the WTO to put an end to subsidies that contribute to overcapacity, overfishing and IUU fishing; as provided for in SDG target 14.6; by concluding a new Agreement that bans such subsidies. This is an important issue for Iceland, as we do not subsidize our fisheries and we are of the view that fisheries subsidies are harmful and represent one of the main obstacles that prevent fisheries from being managed sustainably today. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Regarding IUU fishing in general, Iceland urges State Parties to take every action possible to combat it. This is, among other, important in the context of blue foods; which Iceland has strongly advocated for appropriate attention to at the Food Systems Summit this fall.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, Iceland has long highlighted the necessary role of science in political decision-making on the oceans, not least the use of its living resources. We hope that the UN ocean science decade which has just been launched, will help guide States in the quest towards healthier oceans. In the context of science, let me also mention the recent report of the Regular Process. We thank the great number of scientists involved in this achievement and hope the report will help States underpin firmer action to combat threats to the ocean, not least the environmental ones.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of these threats is plastic pollution. During a successful two year chairmanship of the Arctic Council, which ended in May this year, Iceland made addressing plastic pollution one of the chairmanship priorities. Iceland is also one of the states that call for a new legally binding global agreement on plastic pollution.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>The interlinkages between the ocean and climate change are increasingly being recognized and for good reason. As for our part of the world: Greenhouse gas emissions contribute among other to ocean acidification – and this development is happening faster than the average in the cold, Arctic waters. Another, grave aspect of the ocean and climate change is sea level rise, which we discussed last week at the ICP21. Iceland thanks all who contributed to these discussions. It is evident that discussions like these will need to continue; specifically also on of the law of the sea. In that context, Iceland thanks the ILC for its work so far.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President.</p> <p>For the proper sustainable management of our ocean, we need all hands on deck. This means we need gender equality; women in positions of power and a gender transformative approach where all people are enabled to contribute as well as to enjoy the benefits we reap from the ocean. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President.</p> <p>The negotiations on an internationally legally binding Instrument under the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), are some of the most important negotiations on the Law of the Sea since the UNCLOS entered into force more than 25 years ago. Iceland has actively participated in these negotiations and has emphasized the importance of that these negotiations adopt a regional approach to governance. This ensures that decisions are taken as close as possible to those communities that are directly affected by them, and that have a direct stake in such decisions. Furthermore, Iceland has strongly emphasized that the BBNJ will be an Implementing Agreement under UNCLOS, like the UN Fish Stocks Agreement and the Part XI Agreement. The outcome of the BBNJ negotiations must complement – and not undermine – the Convention, its other implementing Agreements or other existing, relevant instruments, frameworks and bodies. In addition, it is important that the outcome of these negotiations be based on a scientific approach to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction and be adopted by consensus. We look forward to continuing the negotiations on this important Agreement when circumstances allow in 2022. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The next year or so is shaping up to be a big year for the ocean, as many meetings that had to be COVID-postponed are now getting back on the programme. Let us make good use of time. We certainly don´t have too much of it. And let us remember that the Convention provides us with the appropriate legal framework to address the issues we need to act on; so that Agenda 2030, along with its SDG14 and others can be reached by 2030.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Jun 22, 2021Joint statement at Executive Board of UN Women Annual Session 2021StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Executive Board of UN Women</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Annual Session 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Agenda item 4: EVAW corporate evaluation</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>22 June 2021</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Thank you Madam/Mr President. I deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Iceland as well as Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Republic of Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States. </li> </ul> <ul> <li>I would like to begin by thanking UN Women’s Independent Evaluation Service for the corporate evaluation of UN Women’s coordination role in ending violence against women.</li> <li>The findings, conclusions and recommendations are well received, and we thank UN Women for its management response which clearly articulates when and how the recommendations will be addressed. </li> </ul> <p>Madam/Mr. President,</p> <ul> <li>No country has been spared from the shadow pandemic. The prevalence of violence against women has been rising and increasingly so over the past year due to the multiple impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. </li> <li>A concerted effort in ending violence against women is needed now more than ever. UN Women, with its triple mandate, plays a key role here. Providing normative support, coordinating the UN system and implementing operational activities are all important elements in the global effort of ending violence against women and girls. </li> </ul> <p>Madam/Mr. President, </p> <ul> <li style="text-align: left;">I would like to highlight four areas of the evaluation: one – the value of coordination, two – accountability frameworks, three – the right skillset and experience among staff, and four – funding of coordination activities.<em><br /> </em></li> </ul> <p style="text-align: left;"><em><span><em>[Coordination mandate]</em></span></em></p> <ul> <li>The evaluation rightfully highlighted UN Women’s position as the ‘go-to’ organization for external actors at country level for this thematic area. </li> <li>However, the evaluation finds a lack of acknowledgement of UN Women’s coordination role when it comes to larger UN institutions. It points to UN Women’s responsibility to gain this acknowledgement while recognizing the duty of the wider UN system to request UN Women’s engagement. What steps can be taken by UN Women, the UN system as a whole and member states to address this challenge?</li> <li>We take note of the evaluation’s conclusion that in the current strategic plan, UN Women’s coordination role is treated as a contributor to operational efficiency and not as a critical component in and of itself and that operational programme management often supersedes coordination as a priority. </li> <li>Given that the size of UN Women’s field programme has an impact on its ability to coordinate thematic areas, and that coordination successes are more based on individual characteristics and capacity rather than institutional arrangements, how can these institutional arrangements be strengthened at country level? What role can the RC system play? </li> </ul> <p><em>[Accountability]</em></p> <ul> <li>One of the major findings of the evaluation is the lack of a system-wide accountability instrument for ending violence against women. </li> <li>This lack of an accountability framework for SDG target 5.2 ultimately leads to a voluntary, rather than mandatory, nature of coordination for UN entities in the global effort to end violence against women. </li> <li>How does UN Women plan to operationalize a system-wide accountability and reporting framework on ending violence against women and do you currently have the capacity and resources required? </li> </ul> <p><em>[Staff]</em></p> <ul> <li>As noted in the evaluation, UN Women staff at country-level is often junior and inexperienced and lack the necessary capacity to fulfill UN Women’s crucial coordination role.</li> <li>We strongly encourage UN Women to recruit experienced and more senior staff with the necessary skills, or to strengthen staff competence and capacity for this purpose.</li> </ul> <p><em>[Funding]</em></p> <ul> <li>Coordination requires resources and we take note of the lack of funding for UN Women’s coordination mandate. We urge all donors to contribute with core resources to enable UN Women to perform at its best and fulfill its mandate. We further encourage UN Women to contribute flexible and predictable funding to women’s rights organization, which are central to the work on eliminating violence against women.</li> <li>In this regard, we echo the recommendations of the evaluation and encourage UN Women to capture the important results of its coordination role to the thematic area of ending violence against women, as well as the actual resources needed for coordination. </li> <li>We would also encourage UN Women and donors to include coordination elements in its programme budgets. </li> <li>Could you elaborate why coordination of e.g. thematic areas is currently not properly funded from assessed or core contributions? </li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr./Madam President, </p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li>To conclude, we would like to reiterate our appreciation for UN Women’s role in ending violence against women and girls and would like to thank UN Women for its support to the global COVID-19 response, ensuring gender equality is fully integrated.</li> <li>We count on UN Women to coordinate and lead the way in improving the lives of women and girls around the world</li> </ul>

Jun 21, 202156 Session CTBTO PrepComm, 21-22 June 2021AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/56%20Session%20CTBTO%20PrepComm%20EU.pdf">EU statement</a>

Jun 17, 20211320 PC, 17 June 2021 (Reply to report by Chief Observer of 2 Russian checkpoints at Russian-Ukrainian border, reply to report by Head of OSCE Centre in Ashgabat, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1320%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20Chief%20Observer%20of%20Observer%20Mission%20at%20two%20Russian%20checkpoints%20on%20Russian-Ukrainian%20border.pdf">EU reply to report by Chief Observer at 2 Russian checkpoints on Russian-Ukrainian border</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1320%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20Head%20of%20OSCE%20Centre%20in%20Ashgabat.pdf">EU reply to report by Head of OSCE Centre in Asghabat</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1320%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Jun 16, 2021Statement by Iceland in exchange of views with Ms Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human RightsStrasbourg - Council of Europe

<p>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1407th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</p> <p><a>Thank</a>&nbsp;you, Mr. Chair, for giving me the floor and let me warmly welcome the Commissioner and thank her for her update as well as her daily work. We welcome today's update on two important topics for which our organization can do more to ensure rights of all Europeans. </p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>First turning to the issue of the environment and human rights we would like to support the Commissioner's effort to draw attention to this link that should be clear to all of us now. As you have stated, living in an unhealthy environment may result in violations of human rights and, conversely, respect for human rights is vital for the protection of the environment. We look forward to continuing our discussion on advancing the recognition of the right to a healthy environment.</p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>We also note with satisfaction the Commissioners commitment to advance the protection and promotion of the human rights of LGBTI+ people in Europe and share her concern over recent negative trends. We must continue to combat stigmatization, violence and discrimination that individuals face, simply for who they are. Iceland is committed to this effort.</p> <p>Both these topics unfortunately have one thing in common and that is that those that raise their voices on these issues may face violence, harassment and threats to their life. This underlines that we have to continue to work to preserve civil society space across our region.</p> <p>I thank you, Mr. Chair.</p> <div> <div> <div id="_com_1" language="JavaScript"> </div> </div> </div>

Jun 11, 202129th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum, Second Preparatory Meeting, 10-11 June 2021AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/29%20OSCE%20EEF%20Second%20PrepMeet%20EU%20Opening.pdf">EU Opening statement</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/29%20OSCE%20EEF%20Second%20PrepMeet%20EU%20Closing.pdf">EU Closing statement</a></p>

Jun 10, 20211319 PC, 10 June 2021 (Reply to address of SG Council of Europe, reply to Head of PO Bishkek and Director Bishkek Academy, shrinking space of civil society in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1319%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20address%20of%20SG%20Council%20of%20Europe.pdf">EU reply to address of Secretary General of Council of Europe</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1319%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20of%20Head%20of%20PO%20Bishkek%20and%20of%20Diretor%20of%20Bishkek%20Academy.pdf">EU reply to Head of Programme Office Bishkek and Director Bishkek Academy</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1319%20PC%20EU%20on%20shrinking%20space%20for%20civil%20society%20in%20Russia.pdf">EU statement on shrinking space of civil society in Russia</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1319%20PC%20EU%20on%20Belarus.pdf">EU statement on Belarus</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1319%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></span></p>

Jun 09, 2021979 FSC, 9 June 2021 (reply to CSTO. Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/979%20FSC%20EU%20reply%20to%20CSTO.pdf">EU reply to CSTO</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/979%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Jun 07, 2021IAEA Board of Governors, 7-11 June 2021 (agenda items 3, 4, 5, 6c, 6d, 6e, 6f, og 11 )AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20juni%20agenda%20item%203.pdf">Agenda item 3: Technical Cooperation Report</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20juni%20agenda%20item%204.pdf">Agenda item 4: Report of the Programme and Budget Committee</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20juni%20agenda%20item%205.pdf">Agenda item 5: Verification and Monitoring in Islamic Rep. of Iran (UNSCR 2231/2015):</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20juni%20agenda%20item%206c%20(Safeguards%20Implementation%20Report).pdf">Agenda item 6c: Safeguards Implementation Report for 2020 </a></p> <a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20juni%20agenda%20item%206d.pdf">Agenda item 6d: Application of Safeguards in DPR Korea </a> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20juni%20agenda%20item%206e.pdf">Agenda item 6e: Implementation of NPT Safguards Agreement in Syrian Arab Republic</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20juni%20agenda%20item%206f.pdf">Agenda item 6f: NPT Safeguards Agreement with Islamic Rep. of Iran</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20juni%20agenda%20item%2011%20(Israeli%20Nuclear%20Capabilities).pdf">Agenda item 11: Israeli Nuclear Capabilities </a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20juni%20agenda%20item%2011%20(Safeguards%20ME)%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">Agenda item 11: Safeguards Middle East</a></p>

Jun 03, 2021Parliamentary elections in Iceland on 25 September 2021.StatementsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1318%20PC,%203.6.2021.pdf">Statement by the Permanent Representative of Iceland on 3 June 2021.</a>

Jun 03, 20211318 PC, 3 June 2021 (Reply to report by HCNM, reply to Minsk Group Co-Chairs, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1318%20PC%20EU%20on%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20HCNM%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to report by HCNM</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1318%20PC%20EU%20on%20declaration%20of%20Minsk%20Co-Chairs%20-%20Copy%20(2).pdf">EU reply to Minsk Group Co-Chairs</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1318%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Jun 02, 2021978 FSC, 2 June 2021 (Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/978%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a>

Jun 02, 2021Statement by Iceland in exchange of views with Ms Marceline Naudi, President of GREVIO (Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence)Strasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1405th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</strong></p> <p>Mr. Chair, </p> <p>Allow me to join others in welcoming and congratulating you on assuming the chairmanship. Let me also, dear Michele, congratulate you on the Italian National day today - and welcome our colleague from Lithuania and thank Aushrine for excellent cooperation. </p> <p>Madam Naudi, thank you for your update and information provided, my delegation is very appreciative of the important work GREVIO undertakes. We are looking forward to engaging more on the draft General Recommendation on the Digital Dimension of Violence against Women, a very important topic in today’s world that concerns us all. </p> <p>Let me also welcome your words - on the importance of the landmark Council of Europe Convention - on preventing and combating violence against women - and domestic violence. Together with CEDAW - it provides a unique legal framework to protect the rights of women in Europe. Its implementation has improved legislation - practices - support services - training of professionals and raised awareness - among other benefits.</p> <p>We recognize that we must continue to build on this legal framework - to build policies to end all forms of gender-based and sexual violence - and ensure that those policies protect all women from violence – harassment and discrimination - taking into account an intersectional approach.</p> <p>The Icelandic Government has introduced new plans and legislations aiming to end sexual and gender-based violence - and sexual harassment. - Cross-sectoral preventive policies play a key role there - with measures to increase education within the school system at all levels, - and raise awareness and understanding in society and among professionals. The increase in online gender-based violence has already been met by legislative changes on violations on sexual and privacy violations in the General Penal Code.</p> <p>In connection to Iceland‘s presidency from November 2022 - we will be running seminars both here in Strasbourg and in Iceland on the impact of the convention - and on policy reforms within member states - of criminal laws to support access to justice for women victims of gender-based violence and sexual violence. </p> <p>Madam Naudi, let me finally congratulate you – chair - as well as the Committee of the Parties&nbsp;to the Convention, under the leadership of Nina Nordström - and the Secretary General and the Secretariat - on the approach taken to the 10<sup>th</sup> anniversary and the efforts to highlight the positive and transformative power the Convention carries. </p> <p>The current situation can after all show us how we can together strengthen the visibility of the Council - and its positive influence towards individuals - which is of course our most important task every single day. By demonstrating the potential of the Convention for real change we build a stronger foundation - for our future work based on the Convention - to combat gender-based violence.</p> <p>Thank you chair </p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

May 28, 20211317 PC, 28 May 2021 (Rules of Procedure)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1317%20PC%20EU%20on%20Rules%20of%20Procedure%20of%20OSCE.pdf">EU statement on OSCE Rules of Procedure</a>

May 27, 20211316 PC, 27 May 2021 (Reply to OSCE HoM Moldova, reply to OSCE HoM to Skopje, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1316%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20HoM%20to%20Moldova%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to OSCE Head of Mission to Moldova</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1316%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20HoM%20to%20Makedonia%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to OSCE Head of Mission to Skopje</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1316%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20HoM%20to%20Makedonia.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

May 26, 2021977 FSC, 25 May 2021 (Ukraine, Arms Control and CSBMs)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/977%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/977%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Arms%20Control%20and%20CSBMs.pdf">EU statement on Arms Control and CSBMs</a></p>

May 25, 20211315 Special PC, 25 May 2021 (Reply to Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, forced landing of Ryanair flight FR4978 in Minsk)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1315%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20Foreign%20Minister%20of%20Azerbaijan.pdf">EU reply to Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1315%20PC%20EU%20on%20forced%20landing%20of%20Ryanair%20flight%20FR4978%20in%20Minsk.pdf">EU statement on forced landing of Ryanair flight FR4978 in Minsk </a></p>

May 21, 2021Statement on High-level Event on Culture and Sustainable Development StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>High-level Event on Culture and Sustainable Development</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">United Nations General Assembly</p> <p style="text-align: center;">21 May 2021</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Statement delivered by</p> <p style="text-align: center;">H.E. Mr. Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Culture and art are of high importance to every society, and Iceland is pleased to be able to participate in this event highlighting the importance of re-building the cultural sector focusing on sustainable practices. Now, more than ever, the power of culture can be a source of resilience, creativity, and social cohesion. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland is firmly committed to protecting the world’s heritage – natural and cultural, tangible and intangible heritage, and underscores the importance of how it can play a significant role in peacebuilding and reconciliation processes, and contribute to inclusion and participation in society. UNESCO’s flagship initiative “Revive of the Spirit of Mosul” is a great example of that. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cultural heritage can also contribute to COVID-19 relief and recovery, whereas it has been affected in different ways by the pandemic, at the same time as people are turning to culture for support.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Climate change is one of the greatest threats to culture today. Culture can raise awareness to the complex challenges of climate change and be a resource for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The contribution of culture can also be important in areas of local development and sustainable post-pandemic urban design.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Creativity is essential in identifying new solutions to the climate crisis, and artists and cultural institutions play an important role in inspiring climate actions. It is therefore of great importance that we include environmental concerns into cultural policies as we build back better for a sustainable future. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The COVID-19 crisis has sharply exposed the structural fragility of the cultural sector, often operating on the margins of financial sustainability, and the importance of recovery strategies that focus on long-term viability. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The cultural sector has innovated rapidly in the recent years, especially when it comes to digital innovation. Many institutions have moved content online while facing lockdowns, and there is a need to address the digital skills shortages and improve digital access, widen innovation strategies and invest in digital infrastructure globally. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland contributed to the Li Beirut project at UNESCO, supporting artists and cultural associations, with a shared training programme culminating with a public on-line cultural event today. The support also covers the restoration of endangered artworks by Lebanese artists, who will exhibit them again to the public as a message of hope. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We hope that Iceland’s contribution to UNESCO’s important work on the restoration and exhibitions in Beirut will stimulate further development in the city’s art and creative sphere and inject hope during reconstruction.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Contributing to the cultural sector is of utmost importance now as together, as a global community, we navigate our way through the global pandemic, and build back better, stronger, and sustainably. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I thank you Mr President.</p>

May 20, 20211314 PC, 20 May 2021 (reply to Deputy Executive Director UN Women, reply to report by Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan, captives of recent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaidjan, Belarus, Ukraine, human rights in Crimea and Sevastopol, IDABHOBIT, Moscow Mechanism Belarus)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1314%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20presentation%20by%20Deputy%20Executive%20Director%20of%20UN%20Women.pdf">EU reply to presentation by Deputy Executive Director UN Women</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1314%20PC%20EU%20on%20Report%20by%20OSCE%20Project%20Co-ordinator%20in%20Uzbekistan.pdf">EU reply to report by OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1314%20PC%20EU%20on%20captives%20from%20recent%20conflict%20between%20Armenia%20and%20Azerbaijan.pdf">EU statement on captives of recent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaidjan</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1314%20PC%20EU%20on%20Belarus.pdf">EU statement on Belarus</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1314%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1314%20PC%20EU%20on%20human%20rights%20situation%20in%20Crimea%20and%20Sevastopol.pdf">EU statement on Human Rights in Crimea and Sevastopol</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1314%20PC%20CAN%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20IDAHOBIT.pdf">Joint statement on IDAHOBIT</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1314%20PC%20DK%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20Belarus.pdf">Joint statement on Moscow Mechanism on Belarus</a></p>

May 20, 2021Joint Nordic Statement at the UN General Joint Debate on "The situation in the Middle East" and "Question of Palestine" (agenda items 37 and 38)StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><span><strong>JOINT NORDIC STATEMENT<br /> by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden<br /> </strong></span><strong>at the UN General Joint Debate on agenda item 37 entitled “The situation in the Middle East” and agenda item 38 entitled “Question of Palestine”</strong></p> <p><span>Mr. President, I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and my own country Sweden. <br /> <br /> We welcome the opportunity for the General Assembly to meet amid the most serious escalation in Israel and Palestine in years. <br /> <br /> We also welcome the latest meetings in the Security Council on the matter. We urge the Council to shoulder its responsibility and act according to its mandate and we support the efforts of Norway, Tunisia and China, and also France, in this regard, as well as the engagement from neighbouring countries, the Quartet and the EU and the US in seeking an immediate de-escalation of the conflict. <br /> <br /> Mr President, <br /> <br /> As the Secretary General has pointed out, the latest round of violence only perpetuates a cycle of despair, and makes hopes of coexistence and peace more distant. The Nordic countries have stressed several times in recent weeks that this grave escalation, and not least the major upsurge in violence from and in Gaza, must stop immediately. A ceasefire must be reached without any delay. <br /> <br /> Mr President, <br /> <br /> We continue to strongly condemn the indiscriminate and recurrent firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas or any other group in the Gaza Strip. We recognise Israel’s legitimate right to protect itself and its citizens. At the same time, we underline that the response must be in accordance with international law, and that the obligations of international humanitarian law, including the principles of distinction, proportionality, and precaution, must be strictly observed. <br /> <br /> We are appalled by the civilian lives already lost, especially the large number of children. All children must be protected from violence and harm, including the psychosocial stress from conflict. <br /> <br /> Mr President, <br /> <br /> The humanitarian situation in Gaza was already serious before the escalation. It is now acute and deteriorating. Humanitarian access must be ensured, in line with international humanitarian law. We commend the pivotal humanitarian role that UNRWA is playing and urge donors to support the organisation and other humanitarian actors. <br /> <br /> Mr President, <br /> <br /> Beyond the short-term priority of ending the violence and achieving a ceasefire, the international community must address the root causes of the conflict. It needs to facilitate concrete steps towards a realisation of the two-state solution and ending the occupation. As we have recently witnessed, continued settlement expansion, illegal under international law, evictions, demolitions and tensions around the holy sites can easily spark an increase in violence and unrest. The recurring cycle of violence must be broken. We must draw lessons from the current events. Moreover, the risk of regional escalation must be taken seriously. Leaders must act in a responsible manner and raise their voice against incitement. <br /> <br /> The international parameters for a sustainable solution to the conflict are clear. The end destination is well-known, the road itself needs to – once again – be paved. The international community needs to re-mobilise its efforts to create a credible process towards a two-state solution, based on international law, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition. The Nordic countries’ have a long-term commitment to peace, as well as friendship with the peoples of Israel and Palestine. We stand ready to contribute accordingly. <br /> <br /> Let me conclude by voicing our support to the EU statement. <br /> <br /> Thank you, Mr President.<br /> <br /> </span></p>

May 19, 2021976 FSC, 19 May 2021 (UNSCR 1325, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/976%20FSC%20EU%20on%20UNSCR%201325.pdf">EU statement on UNSCR 1325</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/976%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a> </p>

May 16, 2021Statement at the United Nations Security Council open debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian QuestionStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I wish to thank you for convening an open debate in the Security Council on the evolving situation in Israel and Palestine. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland is deeply concerned about the ongoing military escalation taking place in and around Gaza and the rising violence in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland strongly condemns all attacks on civilian populations, which have caused great suffering and casualties, including children. Rocket attacks from Gaza on civil populations in Israel are never justifiable and while we recognise Israel’s right to self-defence, we must demand maximum restraint and proportionality in use of force to safeguard civilians in line with international humanitarian law.&nbsp; De-escalating the current volatile situation is of paramount importance. We urge all actors to step back before more civilian lives are lost or harmed.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The ongoing clashes around holy sites in East Jerusalem have caused severe injuries and fuelled tensions. All religious and political leaders need to do their utmost to stop provocations and calm the situation. The settlement activities, including in East Jerusalem, are of grave concern and need to cease in line with Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland urges all parties to break out of this spiral of violence and work towards a sustainable political solution based on international law, relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and agreed parameters. Furthermore, we urge both parties to demonstrate their commitment to the two-state solution and refrain from any unilateral steps that could undermine it. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, we call on the Security Council to remain firmly seized of the matter. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I thank you Mr. President. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

May 13, 20211313 PC, 12 May 2021 (Reply to report by RFoM, Ukraine, Europe Day)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1313%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20RFoM.pdf">EU reply to report by Representative on the Freedom of the Media</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1313%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1313%20PC%20CH%20Joint%20statement%20on%20Europe%20Day.pdf">Joint statement on Europe Day</a></p>

May 12, 2021975 FSC, 12 May 2021 (Challenges on new generation welfare, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/975%20FSC%20EU%20on%20challenges%20of%20new%20generation%20welfare.pdf">EU statement on <span>challenges of new generation welfare</span></a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/975%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

May 12, 2021Joint NB8 Statement on the situation of the Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities in XinjiangStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p><strong>JOINT NORDIC-BALTIC STATEMENT</strong></p> <p>by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden<br /> to be delivered at the High-level virtual event on the situation of the Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities in Xinjiang</p> <p>by H.E. Martin Bille Hermann, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN<br /> 12 May 2021</p> <p> I am delivering this statement on behalf of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. </p> <p>We are gravely concerned about the information presented in reports and statements on the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Among others by NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch – both present here today. </p> <p>We are gravely concerned about the reported existence of a large network of so-called “political re-education” camps, where a very high number of people are held in long-term arbitrary detention. We are equally concerned by efforts to severely restrict the right to freedom of religion or belief, expression, peaceful assembly and association and the freedoms of movement for Uyghurs and other persons belonging to minority groups, as well as other human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang. </p> <p>We deplore the widespread surveillance disproportionately targeting ethnic Uighurs and other individuals belonging to minority groups. We raise our deep concerns about the information brought forward in evidence-based reports, including of forced labor, forced use of birth control, sexual abuse and forced sterilizations. </p> <p>Human rights, as stipulated in international law and as provided for in China’s constitution must be fully ensured for all persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities, also in Xinjiang. </p> <p>We also call on China to allow journalists and other media workers to report on the human rights situation in Xinjiang without surveillance, censorship or fear of retribution.</p> <p>Furthermore, we call on the Chinese government to facilitate immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang for all relevant UN special procedures and for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Lastly, we strongly regret the Chinese retaliatory decision to sanction institutions and individuals of the EU and European countries, as countermeasure to the EU’s global human rights sanctions on Chinese officials involved in the human rights violations against the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang. </p> <p>We wish to thank the organizers of this event and to pay tribute to your continuous reporting, awareness raising and debate on this matter of great concern. </p> <p>Thank you.</p>

May 12, 2021Nordic statement on the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violenceStrasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1404th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Mårten Ehnberg (Sweden).</strong></p> <p>Mr. Chair, </p> <p>This week, we celebrated an important birthday.</p> <p>Yesterday, on the 11 of May, we celebrated that 10 years have passed since all of us here at the Council of Europe came together and created a new instrument, namely the landmark Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.</p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>We have spoken a lot in recent weeks about this Convention. Today, we want to celebrate its 10-year anniversary by focusing on the positive and transformative power it carries and celebrate what we have achieved together.</p> <p>The Convention inspires action and drives change in responding to the different forms of violence against women and domestic violence across our region. It brings hope and a sense of safety to millions of women and girls, it allows victims to speak out and enables professionals to respond appropriately. In short, the Convention saves lives.</p> <p>Mr. Chair, </p> <p>The Convention´s documented positive effect on the lives of women, children, families, and entire communities deserves to be reiterated. The implementation of the Convention has improved legislation, practices, support services, training of professionals and raised awareness, among other benefits.</p> <p>The Council´s Secretariat has done an excellent job highlighting this on its new dedicated website to the anniversary.</p> <p>Testimonials from across the region speak to the Convention´s powerful impact with civil society stating that since the entry into force of the Convention, their work has received increasing public support; practitioners stating that the Convention has changed the paradigm for the prevention of gender-based violence and the protection of victims; and individuals inspired by the Convention starting collective action, such as the “Conversations on Consent” that aims to revolutionize sexual criminal law by defining consent and coercive circumstances.</p> <p>These testimonials are powerful evidence of the positive and transformative power the Convention carries.</p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>There is much work left to be done. But the Convention provides a guiding light for our collective action.</p> <p>Let me conclude by thanking the German chairmanship for yesterday´s conference on the Convention. It was in important milestone to celebrate the Convention and engage in discussion on how we can work together to further advance its critical mission. We hope we will use this inspiration to come together and recommit ourselves to preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

May 06, 20211312 PC, 6 May 2021 (Presentation of Programme Outline 2021 by Secretary General, recent escalation of tensions at the Kyrgz-Tajik border, Ukraine, reply to Minsk Group Co-Chairs, Parliamentary Elections in Albania, World Press Freedom Day)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1312%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20presentation%20of%20Programme%20Outline%20of%20SG%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to presentation of Programme Outline 2021 by Secretary General</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1312%20PC%20EU%20on%20recent%20escalation%20of%20tensions%20at%20the%20Kyrgz-Tajik%20border.pdf">EU statement <span>on recent escalation of tensions at the Kyrgz-Tajik border</span></a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1312%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1312%20PC%20EU%20on%20Minsk%20Group%20Co-Chairs.pdf">EU reply to Minsk Group Co-Chairs</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1312%20PC%20EU%20on%20Parliamentary%20Elections%20in%20Albania.pdf">EU statement on <span>Parliamentary Elections in Albania</span></a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1312%20PC%20N%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20World%20Press%20Freedom%20Day.pdf">Joint Statement on World Freedom Day</a><br /> </span></p>

May 05, 2021974 FSC, 5 May 2021 (UNSCR 1540, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/974%20FSC%20EU%20on%20UNSCR%201540%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on UNSCR 1540</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/974%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Apr 29, 20211311 PC, 29 April 2021 (Reply to Head PO Dushanbe, recommendations put forward at Joint FSC-PC 14 April, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1311%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20of%20Head%20of%20PO%20Dushanbe,%20Amb.%20Valeriu%20Chiveri.pdf">EU reply to Head of PO Dushanbe, Valeriu Chiveri</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1311%20PC%20EU%20on%20Recommendations%20put%20forward%20at%20Joint%20PC-FSC%2021%20April%202021%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on recommendations put forward at Joint FSC-PC 14 April 2021</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1311%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Apr 29, 2021AMR 2021 - Call to Action on Antimicrobial Restistance StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Call to Action on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) - 2021</strong></span></p> <p>With the aim of strengthening One Health and multisectoral actions to tackle antimicrobial<br /> resistance (AMR), learn from the COVID-19 pandemic to address the growing threat of AMR,<br /> which has been referred to as a 􀍞silent tsunami􀍟􀍕 and deliver on the 2030 Agenda for<br /> Sustainable Development, we commit to the following actions at global, regional, and national<br /> levels:</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>AMR coordination, accountability, and governance</strong></span></p> <p>1. Keep AMR high on the political agenda, build awareness and understanding, and<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;strengthen coordination, political leadership, and collaboration on AMR actions<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;through a One Health approach, joining efforts of Member States, the 􀍞Tripartite<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Plus􀍟 (WHO, FAO, OIE, and UNEP), other relevant UN agencies, civil society, private<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;sector, academia, and research institutions.</p> <p>2. Strengthen and accelerate implementation of previous commitments to tackle AMR<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;as included in the 2015 Global Action Plan on AMR, 2016 UN political declaration on<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;AMR, relevant resolutions of the governing bodies of the 􀍞Tripartite Plus􀍟 and other<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;organisations, and AMR national action plans.</p> <p>3. Support effective implementation, as appropriate to national circumstances, of the<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;recommendations of the Inter Agency Coordination Group on AMR (IACG) to be led<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;by Member States with the assistance of the Tripartite Joint Secretariat and UNEP<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;through a defined process involving the One Health Global Leaders Group on AMR,<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;relevant UN agencies, and other key stakeholders in a comprehensive and<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;collaborative approach.</p> <p>4. Actively engage with the Tripartite Joint Secretariat and One Health Global Leaders<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Group, welcoming the ongoing efforts to establish the Independent Panel on<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Evidence for Action Against AMR and the AMR partnership platform.</p> <p>5. Support the strategic role and work of the One Health Global Leaders Group on AMR<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;in further enhancing global collaboration to tackle the growing threat of AMR.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>AMR at country level and the SDGs</strong></span></p> <p>6. Address the growing global threat of AMR in all countries through a coordinated,<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;multisectoral, inclusive One Health approach to contribute to the achievement of the<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, universal health coverage, and<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;strengthening of health systems and future pandemic prevention and preparedness.'</p> <p>7. Encourage all Member States to have a multisectoral AMR national action plan, in<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;line with One Health, that is fully funded, implemented, and evaluated through<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;multisectoral coordination contributed to by appropriate focal points from human<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;health, animal health, the environment, and food production including through<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;engagement with academia, civil society, philanthropic organizations, and the private<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;sector.</p> <p>8. Maintain and strengthen appropriate stewardship of antimicrobials, including in<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;COVID-19 patients, to avoid inappropriate use that may exacerbate AMR; in that<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;regard, maintain routine immunisation and effectively address the issues of equitable<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;vaccine distribution to help prevent infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and in<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;turn the urgent threat of AMR.</p> <p>9. Engage in initiatives led by relevant international organisations to track and mitigate<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;AMR at the country, regional, and global levels, including global AMR surveillance<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;systems, annual country self-assessment surveys and guidance on effective<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;stewardship of antimicrobials.</p> <p>10. Make tackling AMR an integral part of programmes addressing pandemic<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;preparedness, health systems strengthening, universal health coverage, the<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;environment, patient safety, infection prevention and control, promotion of<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;sustainable food systems, food safety and food security, and include AMR in countryled<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks, and UN funds and<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;programmes􀍛 strategic plans and countr􀇇 programme documents, based on national<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;priorities, and country-led Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of SDG<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;implementation, supporting effective reporting against the SDG3 indicator on AMR<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;adopted by the UN Statistical Commission, March 2020.</p> <p>11. Strengthen effective and integrated AMR surveillance systems, addressing AMR in<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;infection prevention and control, stewardship, monitoring, regulatory frameworks,<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;enforcement; promote integrated target setting and share best practice, scientific<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;knowledge and technical assistance between countries and regions, upon their<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;request.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>AMR financing</strong></span></p> <p>12. Work towards sufficient and sustainable funding for AMR-specific and AMR-sensitive<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;actions across One Health, including as part of Covid-19 recovery plans and achieving<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;universal health coverage including at country level, the 􀍞Tripartite Plus􀍟<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;organisations, and other relevant UN and multilateral organisations, including the<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;AMR Multi Partner Trust Fund.</p> <p>13. Support integrating AMR into the UN Financing for Development (FFD) agenda,<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;including through greater capacity building, for greater One Health and multisectoral<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;coherence and impact, and duly take into account the issue of AMR in development<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;investments.</p> <p>14. Develop global and national economic studies, as appropriate, that account for<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;addressing AMR across One Health, incentivising and prioritising investment needs.<br /> <br /> 15. Develop and sustain strong partnerships with the relevant private sector, investors,<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;central and development banks, academia, and research institutions to tackle AMR<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;including by incentivising AMR financing, research and development, innovation and<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;equitable access.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>AMR next steps</strong></span></p> <p>16. Continue to enhance national and global efforts to tackle AMR, and implement the<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;2015 Global Action Plan on AMR, 2016 UN political declaration on AMR, AMR<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;national action plans, and other commitments and initiatives in cooperation with the<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;􀍞Tripartite Plus􀍟, relevant UN agencies, the Global Leaders Group on AMR, and other<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;relevant key stakeholders through a comprehensive and collaborative approach.<br /> <br /> 17. Develop and implement a comprehensive and coordinated global advocacy and<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;communications strategy to tackle AMR, led by the 􀍞Tripartite Plus􀍟 and supported by<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;One Health global coordination structures, including the Global Leaders Group on<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;AMR, involving all relevant key partners.<br /> <br /> 18. Ensure a strong and relevant AMR focus as part of the work for the UN food systems<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;summit in 2021, UN high-level meeting on universal health coverage in 2023, and<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;other activities related to the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs, and the 2021 UN<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Climate Change Conference (COP26).<br /> <br /> 19. Evaluate implementation of these commitments on tackling AMR through ongoing<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;work of the 􀍞Tripartite Plus􀍟, existing governance mechanisms of the 􀍞Tripartite Plus􀍟<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;organisations, and sharing of best practice, challenges, and opportunities including in<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;the informal Group of Friends on Tackling AMR in New York.</p>

Apr 28, 2021973 FSC, 28 April 2021 (International Humanitarian Law, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/973%20FSC%20EU%20on%20International%20Humanitarian%20Law.pdf">EU statement on International Humanitarian Law</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/973%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Apr 28, 2021Statement by Iceland in exchange of views with Ms Ann Linde, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and current Chair-in-Office of the OSCEStrasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1402nd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</strong></p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>We thank Ms. Ann Linde, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, for her visit to the Council of Europe and for presenting the priorities of the Swedish OSCE Chairpersonship.</p> <p>The OSCE - as a unique and inclusive forum of States working for stability, peace and democracy for more than a billion people - is more important than ever as we continue to seek comprehensive security through dialogue in all three dimensions.</p> <p>We welcome Sweden’s emphasis on the fundamental tasks of the OSCE as well as Sweden’s dedication to contribute to resolving conflicts in accordance with international law. The security situation in the OSCE area remains uncertain and the OSCE and the international community as a whole have an important role to play in dealing with conflicts and in finding ways forward. In this regard, we highly appreciate the country visits carried out by Ms Linde in her capacity as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office.</p> <p>The common values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law which provide the basis for the relationship between the OSCE and the CoE have been further tested during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Together, the two organizations can create effective coordinated responses to the threats and challenges facing the citizens of the OSCE and the CoE area.</p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>Iceland is fully committed to protecting and promoting the fundamental rights and freedoms of all people. Comprehensive security must mean security for all and everywhere.</p> <p>Sweden’s commitment to promoting gender equality as part of its Chairpersonship is especially welcome and fully in line with Iceland’s national priorities. As we are all aware, each year in Europe, thousands of women are harassed, injured or even killed by intimate partners or family members. This challenge is common to both the OSCE and the CoE and we welcome the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office highlighting the importance of the CoE Istanbul Convention in this regard. Allow me to use this opportunity to reiterate Iceland’s regret over Turkey’s withdrawal as we call on all member States of the Council of Europe to ratify the Convention. </p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>In conclusion, we would like to ask the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office how can we achieve greater synergies between the two organizations and if she sees any areas of overlap or duplication of work, taking into consideration the differences in membership and working methods.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Apr 22, 20211310 PC, 22 April 2021 (reply to Special Representative in Ukraine and TCG and to Chief Monitor SMMU, Freedom of the Media in Russian Federation, Deteriorating Health of Alexei Navalny, Constitutional Reform in Kyrgyzstan, Earth Day, Racism, Xenophobia, Intolerance, and Discrimination in the Post-Pandemic Recovery)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1310%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20update%20by%20SR%20Ukraine%20and%20TCG%20and%20to%20Chief%20Monitor%20SMMU.pdf">EU reply to Special Representative in Ukraine and TCG and to Chief Monitor SMMU</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1310%20PC%20EU%20on%20Freedom%20of%20the%20Media%20in%20Russian%20Federation.pdf">EU statement on Freedom of the Media in Russian Federation</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1310%20PC%20EU%20on%20Deteriorating%20Health%20of%20Alexei%20Navalny.pdf">EU statement on Deteriorating Health of Alexei Navalny</a></p> <p><a href="/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=65c305fc-a82b-11eb-8137-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Constitutional Reform in Kyrgyzstan<br /> </a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1310%20PC%20EU%20on%20Earth%20Day.pdf">EU statement on Earth Day</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1310%20PC%20CAN%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20Racism,%20Xenophobia,%20Intolerance,%20and%20Discrimination%20in%20the%20Post-Pandemic%20Recovery.pdf">Joint statement on <span>Joint Statement on Racism, Xenophobia, Intolerance, and Discrimination in the Post-Pandemic Recovery</span></a></p>

Apr 22, 2021Joint Nordic Statement at UN General Assembly 75th Session on the 60th Plenary Meeting StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Full Statement by Finland on behalf of the Nordic Countries</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong></strong><strong>United Nations General Assembly 75th Session New York, 21 April 2021 </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement by H.E. Mr. Jukka Salovaara Ambassador Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations New York, 20 April 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong></strong>Mr. President, I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Finland. Mr. President, </p> <p>This year marks a grim anniversary: a full decade has passed since the beginning of the conflict in Syria. </p> <p>During this decade of fighting, hundreds of thousands have lost their lives or disappeared. Thousands more have been subjected to torture, rape, or other forms of cruel and degrading treatment. Millions have fled their homes. Towns and cities have been left in ruins, with homes, schools and even hospitals demolished. </p> <p>The international community has repeatedly called on the parties to respect international law. But the events in Syria have repeatedly shown blatant disregard for international humanitarian and human rights law.</p> <p> Countless atrocities have reportedly been committed during the protracted conflict, by all parties. Given its status, capabilities and external supporters, the Assad regime and its allies bear the main responsibility for many of the flagrant violations of international law. However, expert reports have demonstrated that there are no clean hands in Syria and all perpetrators must be held to account. </p> <p>As an independent and impartial investigative mechanism, the IIIM has a mandate to collect evidence of the most serious crimes under international law committed in Syria since March 2011, irrespective of the perpetrator. Evidence is key to successful criminal proceedings. Without evidence, there can be no accountability. Collecting, preserving and categorizing evidence is a meticulous task, which is one of the reasons the work of the IIIM is crucially important and we commend the efforts of the mechanism in this regard. </p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>The Nordic countries are adamant supporters of the rule-based international order and remain steadfast in our commitment to fighting impunity for the most serious international crimes. No sustainable and inclusive peace is possible without holding those responsible for the conflict-related atrocities accountable. The victims, the survivors and their families deserve justice. </p> <p>States have the primary responsibility for investigating and prosecuting crimes committed in their territory. We regret that, to date, no credible judicial processes have been initiated in Syria. We however commend the ongoing efforts to prosecute these crimes in a number of countries based on universal jurisdiction. We also reiterate our call to the Security Council to exercise its powers under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. </p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>The Nordic countries would like to thank the IIIM for its latest report and commend the leadership of the mechanism for the work the IIIM has been carrying out. The IIIM has operated in a challenging political reality since its creation, and the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the liquidity constraints of the UN have posed additional difficulties over the past year. Despite these circumstances, the Mechanism has advanced in all the prongs of its mandate, as elaborated in its report. </p> <p> We reiterate our appreciation for the way in which the IIIM engages with all stakeholders, including civil society. This is illustrated by the approximately 60 cooperation frameworks the Mechanism has established with States, international organizations and civil society actors. Even outside the formal cooperation frameworks, we call on all stakeholders to cooperate fully with the IIIM. </p> <p>The growing number of requests for assistance from national jurisdictions to the IIIM for information and evidence demonstrates the increasing interest of national authorities in the Mechanism and demand for the evidence it has thus far collected. </p> <p>We welcome the steps taken by the Mechanism to finalize its overarching gender strategy, and its efforts to address crimes against children through a separate but complementary strategy. We further commend the IIIM for its continuing victim/survivor-centred approach and for paying special attention to crimes that often go unreported and unrecognized. </p> <p>Finally, Mr. President, </p> <p>The important work of the IIIM necessitates secure and predictable resources over the long term. The Nordic countries remain convinced that the UN Regular budget is the best funding mechanism to ensure this. </p> <p>To conclude, Mr. President, the Nordic countries remain fully committed to the IIIM and its mandate.&nbsp;</p>

Apr 21, 2021972 FSC, 21 April 2021 (Opening Session of Armenian FSC Chairpersonship)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/972%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Opening%20Session%20of%20Armenian%20FSC%20Chairpersonship.pdf">EU statement on <span>Opening Session of Armenian FSC Chairpersonship</span></a>

Apr 15, 20211309 PC, 15 April 2021 (reply to Deputy Minister FA of Georgia, reply to ODIHR Director, reply to Co-Chairs of Minsk group, Ukraine, Belarus, Int. Roma Day, Abolition of Death Penalty in US State Virginia)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1309%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20address%20of%20Deputy%20Foreign%20Minister%20of%20Georgia,%20Lasha%20Darsalia%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to address of Deputy Minister Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Lasha Darsalia</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1309%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20of%20ODIHR%20Director,%20Matteo%20Mecacci%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to report of ODIHR Director, Matteo Mecacci</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1309%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20Co-Chairs%20of%20Minsk%20group.pdf">EU reply to Co-Chairs of Minsk Group</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1309%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1309%20PC%20EU%20on%20Belarus.pdf">EU statement on Belarus</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1309%20PC%20EU%20on%20International%20Roma%20Day%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on International Roma Day</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1309%20PC%20CH%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20Abolition%20of%20Death%20Penalty%20in%20the%20US%20State%20Virginia.pdf">Joint statement on Abolition of Death Penalty in the US State of Virgina</a></p>

Apr 14, 2021Joint Nordic Statement on the occasion of SC Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>JOINT NORDIC STATEMENT<br /> by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden<br /> on the occasion of the Security Council Open Debate on<br /> “Sexual Violence in Conflict”<br /> 14 April 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong></strong><br /> I deliver this statement on behalf of Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and my own country Denmark. Allow me to thank Vietnam for organizing today’s open debate as well as to express sincere gratitude to SRSG Pramila Patten and her Office for their important work and ceaseless commitment to ending sexual violence in conflict.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Conflict-related sexual violence is a horrifying reality. It is always a violation of international humanitarian law, and may constitute international crimes such as war crime or crime against humanity. It is a pervasive and life-threatening health, human rights and protection issue. It remains a cruel tactic of war, terror, political repression and torture aggravated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has gone hand-in-hand with a spike in sexual and gender-based violence worldwide. Survivors have lost access to essential services, training of judicial and security actors has been suspended, humanitarian access has been limited, and sociocultural and structural impediments to reporting have been amplified. The needs of survivors at this challenging time should be taken into account, including in all aspects of COVID-19 responses.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We the international community, have a responsibility to provide protection, uphold human rights, and address these setbacks. The fight against sexual violence is key in our work to secure international peace and security.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">In 2019, the Nordic countries together with representatives from 100 states, organizations, survivors and experts came together and made several hundred commitments to end SGBV in humanitarian crises at the Oslo Conference, a number of which have been fulfilled. Much remains to be done in the field of implementation of sexual violence responses and the wider WPS agenda.<br /> We must acknowledge the urgent need for concrete action. It is important to respond to the needs of victims and survivors in, amongst others, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Yemen. We must not be afraid to<br /> try innovative approaches. We need to increase partnerships with local communities and with survivor-focused women’s rights organizations. We must promote their safe and meaningful engagement and full, effective and meaningful participation in decision-making. This includes ensuring that they receive flexible and sustainable financial support.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We must ensure that efforts to fight SGBV are integrated into all action dealing with conflict situations and crises. To do this, survivors – women, girls, men and boys –must be at the centre of shaping prevention and response. As recognized in UNSCR 2467, a survivor-centered approach is crucial for preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations, and survivors of sexual violence must receive non-discriminatory access to services such as medical and psychosocial care. The Nordic countries call for a strengthening of services for survivors of sexual violence, including through ensuring comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights such as access to emergency contraception and the safe termination of pregnancies.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">It is key to fight impunity and to hold perpetrators accountable. We must establish credible systems of accountability, including by supporting law enforcement institutions to fight impunity, not least through collection of documentation and evidence, as well as capacity-building of national judicial systems. We recall the important role that the International Criminal Court plays at the international level, complementing the work undertaken at the national level. Accountability mechanisms must be informed by survivors. The Nordic countries call on the Security Council to include and apply sexual violence as a designation criterion in UN sanction regimes in contexts where such crimes are continuously committed as this can act like an effective deterrent.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Moreover, we must address root causes and adopt preventive measures to address the structural gender inequalities that underpin sexual and gender-based violence. To this end, we must focus on the full implementation of the WPS Agenda and an increased use of intersectional approaches, e.g. gender, age and disability disaggregated data and knowledge to inform policy and action. Frameworks and mechanisms only function if they receive the necessary priority and funding. This calls for political will at the highest level.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Let me highlight the work of the Global Network of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies, which Denmark is currently leading. The network counts more than 90 members - states, donors, UN organizations and NGOs - who have come together to advocate and implement concrete actions to prevent and respond to conflict-related gender-based violence. We aim to increase our voice and promote improved action on the ground and hope that many more partners will join the network. The Nordic countries continue to advance these goals – in our bilateral work, in collaboration with a wide range of partners and in our active multilateral cooperation.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Thank you.</p>

Apr 14, 202181 Joint FSC PC fundur, 14. apríl 2021 (Unusual Military Activities of the Russian Federation)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/81%20Joint%20FSC%20PC%20EU%20on%20Unusual%20Military%20Activities%20of%20the%20Russian%20Federation.pdf">EU statement on U<span>nusual Military Activities of the Russian Federation</span></a>

Apr 09, 2021Joint Nordic Statement at the Arria formula meeting on Myanmar StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>JOINT NORDIC STATEMENT </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>for the</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Arria formula meeting on Myanmar</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Friday 9 April 2021</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, strongly condemn the military coup in Myanmar and are deeply concerned by the gross violations of human rights. We call on the military authorities to immediately stop the violence, end the state of emergency and restore the elected civilian government.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We further call for the immediate and unconditional release of President Win Myint, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and all those who have been arbitrarily detained, charged or arrested during and in the aftermath of 1 February 2021.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic countries stand with the brave people of Myanmar, who are defending their human rights and democratic principles. Some of the most active protesters, but also the most vulnerable, include women, minority groups and youth. Across the country, hundreds of thousands of unarmed and peaceful protesters have been met with brutal repression by the security forces, leaving many dead or wounded – including children. These actions are unacceptable. International law must be respected and perpetrators must be held accountable. In this regard we express our full support for the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) and its important work collecting evidence and building case files of the most serious international crimes committed in Myanmar since 2011. As stressed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, the international community has a responsibility to protect the people of Myanmar from atrocity crimes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We urge the military to immediately stop the use of violence against civilians and allow the population to exercise their human rights, notably the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly as well as access to information. We furthermore urge the military to immediately restore access to the internet, which has now been severely restricted to minimize the free flow of information. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The military coup is exacerbating existing challenges in Myanmar, with the prospects of greater bloodshed, economic damage, humanitarian emergency and refugee flight to neighbouring countries growing in coming months. For the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, the crisis presents a serious threat to the prospects for their voluntary, safe and dignified return.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We, the Nordic countries, will continue to strive for and support strong, affirmative action in the Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and other relevant fora, and to work with relevant organizations, such as the ASEAN to exercise influence on the military regime. We express our full support to the efforts of the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to Myanmar and her strong messages to the military authorities as well as the international community. The international community at large must refrain from any measures or actions that risk lending legitimacy to the military regime.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We strongly believe that the only way forward is for all stakeholders to engage in a peaceful dialogue to get Myanmar back on the path to democracy.&nbsp; We acknowledge the CRPH as an important part of the pro-democratic voices of Myanmar. Hearing directly from elected parliamentarians, civil society leaders, representatives of ethnic groups and religious minorities and other members of the pro-democracy movement will remain key.&nbsp; We welcome this Arria meeting as an important platform for these voices to be heard. It also presents an opportunity to explore the role and responsibility of the UN and other international actors in supporting the democratic movement in Myanmar. The suppression and killings must end, democratic rights be restored and the military must be held to account.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Apr 08, 2021Statement at the 10th Annual ECOSOC Youth Forum by Mr. Asmundur Einar Dadason, Minister of Social Affairs and ChildrenStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The 10th Annual Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>MINISTERIAL ROUNDTABLE - ACHIEVING THE SDGs WITH AND FOR YOUTH </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>WEDNESDAY 7 APRIL 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Intervention of Mr. Asmundur Einar Dadason, Minister of Social Affairs and Children, Iceland.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Secretary General, fellow Ministers, and youth activists. It is a great honour to take part in this event today.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we move towards a post COVID era, children, and young people, specifically those most vulnerable, need to be at the heart of our policies. However, they also need to be our partners for positive change as we build back better. This has always been important, but never as important as it is today. We need to change the perspective of those in power, people like myself, making them understand that the experiences and opinions of children are of enormous value and that they are the key to achieving equality and the 2030 agenda.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we discuss the learnings of the past year and the challenges that the COVID-19 has posed, it is also important to recognize the enormous sacrifices that children and young people all around the world have made to help contain this pandemic. We need to recognize it and the important life events they have sacrificed. For this I would like to convey my gratitude to children and young people all around the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we all know, children and young people have been impacted by the pandemic in a myriad of ways. The most vulnerable and marginalized youth have in many ways been disproportionately affected. These disruptions have also had domino effects on mental health and wellbeing of young people and exacerbated socio-economic challenges including domestic abuse. With this in mind, the focus of the COVID action packages in Iceland has been clear from the start, to make sure that the children are protected, specifically those most vulnerable: children with disabilities or experiencing abuse, children of foreign origin, with metal health problems, LGBTQ youth.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To discuss the specific challenges of one of these groups in a national and international context, I would like to hand the floor over to an inspiring youth activist from Iceland, Jökull Ingi Þorvaldsson.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Mar 31, 20211308 PC, 31 March 2021 (SMMU Mandate)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1308%20PC%20EU%20on%20SMMU%20mandate.pdf">EU statement on the SMMU Mandate</a>

Mar 25, 20211307 PC, 25 March 2021 (reply HoM BiH, Freedom of Assembly in Russian Federation, Constitutional Reform in Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey's withdrawal from Istanbul convention)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1307%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20HoM%20Bosnia%20and%20Herzegovina.pdf">EU reply to HoM Bosnia and Herzegovina</a><br /> </span></p> <p><span> <a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1307%20PC%20EU%20on%20Freedom%20of%20Assembly%20in%20Russian%20Federation.pdf">EU statement on Freedom of Assembly in Russian Federation</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1307%20PC%20EU%20on%20Constitutional%20Reform%20in%20Kyrgyzstan.pdf">EU statement on Constitutional Reform in Kyrgyzstan</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1307%20PC%20EU%20on%20Belarus.pdf">EU statement on Belarus</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1307%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1307%20PC%20GER%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20Turkey's%20Withdrawal%20from%20Istanbul%20Convention.pdf">Joint statement on Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul convention</a><br /> </span></p>

Mar 24, 2021971 FSC, 24 March 2021 (Closing Session of US FSC Chairpersonship)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/971%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Closing%20Session%20of%20US%20FSC%20Chairpersonship.pdf">EU statement on Closing Session of US FSC Chairpersonship</a>

Mar 23, 2021Statements at the 46th session of the Human Rights CouncilStatementsGeneva - EFTA, UNOG, WTO

<span></span> <p><span>During each session Iceland delivers a number of statements on issues ranging from the human rights situation in individual countries to thematic issues. Those statements can be found below:</span></p> <p><span><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2021/02/23/Raeda-utanrikis-og-throunarsamvinnuradherra-i-46-fundalotu-mannrettindarads-Sameinudu-thjodanna/">Statement by the Minister during the High-level segment</a></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2021/02/26/Raeda-Islands-i-umraedu-um-skyrslu-mannrettindafulltruans-um-stodu-mannrettinda-i-Hvita-Russlandi/">Interactive debate on the human rights situation in Belarus</a></p> <p><span><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2021/02/26/Raeda-Islands-i-umraedum-um-munnlega-yfirlitsskyrslu-mannrettindafulltrua-Sameinudu-thjodanna-HRC46/">Interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2021/03/03/Avarp-i-umraedu-um-trufrelsi-fyrir-hond-Nordurlanda-og-Balta/">Interactive dialogue on freedom of religion &amp; belief</a></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2021/03/05/Avarp-i-umraedu-um-vernd-theirra-sem-berjast-fyrir-mannrettindum-fyrir-hond-Nordurlanda-og-Balta/">Interactive dialogue on human rights defenders</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2021/03/10/Avarp-i-umraedu-um-Venesuela/">Interactive dialogue on Venezuela</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/stok-frett-fra-sendiskrifstofu/2021/03/22/Avarp-i-umraedum-um-mannrettindaastandid-i-Ukrainu/">Interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Ukraine</a></p> <p><span><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2021/03/22/Avarp-i-umraedum-um-mannrettindaastandid-i-Mid-Afrikulydveldinu-fyrir-hond-Nordurlanda/">Interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Central-African</a></span></p> <p><span>In the Human Rights Council Iceland also works closely with the Nordic countries, as well as the Baltic countries (so called NB8 group). </span></p> <p><span>With these groups Iceland makes a number of statements at each session. During the 46th session there were 36 of those statements on issues ranging from the human rights situation in individual countries to thematic issues. Those statements can be found here: <a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/R%c3%a6%c3%b0ur%20Nor%c3%b0urlanda-NB8%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">Statements</a></span></p>

Mar 18, 20211306 PC, 18 March 2021 (reply HoM Serbia, Ukraine, Russia's Intensifying Campaign Against Independent Media)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1306%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20HoM%20Serbia%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to HoM to Serbia</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1306%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine%20-%20Copy%20(2).pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1306%20PC%20EU%20on%20CI%20raised%20by%20US%20on%20Russia's%20Intensifying%20Campaign%20Against%20Independent%20Media.pdf">EU statement on Russia's Intensifying Campaign Against Independent Media</a></p>

Mar 18, 2021Statement delivered by H.E. Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson at High-level Meeting on "Implementation of the Water-related Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda"StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>High-level Meeting on</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>„Implementation of the Water-related Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda“</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement on behalf of</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>the Group of Friends of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><strong>Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson</strong></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>18 March 2021</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President.</p> <p>I am pleased to address you on behalf of the Group of Friends of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought; a group of states co-chaired by Namibia and my own country, Iceland.</p> <p>While today’s High-Level Meeting is about water, we must not forget that water and land are interconnected; these are two sides of the same coin.</p> <p>In order to achieve universal access to water and sanitation by 2030, the problem of land degradation, desertification and drought, not least in Africa, needs to be addressed. When land degrades, it loses its natural ability to absorb, filter and store water. Restoring degraded land and fighting land degradation, coupled with sound water management, are therefore a key to ensure availability of water by 2030.</p> <p>To frame this in the context of Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, progress on land issues under SDG15 can be a factor towards reaching SDG6 on Clean Water and Sanitation. It is therefore imperative that we, on a global scale, strive to attain a state of land degradation neutrality by 2030.</p> <p>It is important to note the significant progress that has already been achieved in curbing land degradation and investing in land restoration.</p> <p>Countries have, for example, committed to restore close to a billion hectares of land through their Land Degradation Neutrality plans and the Bonn Challenge.</p> <p>And, at their last Summit, G20 leaders announced that they share the ambition of achieving a 50 percent reduction of degraded land by 2040. G20 environment ministers, furthermore, launched “the Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation and Enhancing Conservation of Terrestrial Habitats”.</p> <p>In the context of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021–2030, we must continue to scale up efforts to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide, both water and land ecosystems.</p> <p>Mr. President.</p> <p>The most water-stressed people in this world share both a geography and a gender: they are women and girls located in dry lands in charge of collecting water for their families.&nbsp;</p> <p>Indeed, UN Water estimates that globally women spend 200 million hours every day collecting water - time that could otherwise be spent on education, or income generating activities, or with their loved ones. The fact that women also play a critical role in agriculture and food production calls for gender responsive policies on both fronts – on water and on land.</p> <p>It is simple: To ensure success, women must be a part of the solution.</p> <p>Overall, we need to fight land degradation in practical terms, focusing on capacity building and financing to achieve the SDGs. Doing so, will have multiple co-benefits: Not only enhanced sustainable water management, but also, for example, decreased risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases and future pandemics - or more efficient carbon sinks.</p> <p>The Group of Friends of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought welcomes the increasing recognition of integrated land and water-based solutions in the implementation of Agenda 2030.</p> <p>We look forward to continuing these discussions, including at the upcoming High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Mar 17, 2021970 FSC, 17 March 2021 (Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/970%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a>

Mar 15, 2021Mediterranean Partners Group Meeting, 15 March 2021 (Post Covid-19 recovery) AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20Med.%20Partners%20mars%20%20EU%20on%20Post-Covid-recovery.pdf">EU statement on Post Covid-19 recovery: Opportunities and challenges for security and regional co-operation</a>

Mar 15, 2021Statement by H.E. Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson at the 65th Session of the Commission of the Status of WomenStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Ministerial Roundtable 1 at the Commission of the Status of Women</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Getting to parity: good practices towards achieving women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>15 March 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement by</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>H.E. Mr. Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson,</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Dear chair, colleagues, ladies, and gentlemen,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I am glad to join you today to share some good practices towards achieving women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life. </p> <p>Ensuring women’s participation in public life is a fundamental element of an open society, in which people can determine their own future and shape their community. Doing so, also ensures that women’s needs, interests and experiences are reflected and addressed in decision-making processes, resulting in outcomes that are more inclusive and democratic.</p> <p>In Iceland we have been fortunate to see valuable progress on this front. </p> <p>Good practices that have delivered results include the introduction of special measures and legislation such as paid parental leave for both parents and affordable day care. </p> <p>Not only have these measures contributed directly to the high level of women’s labour participation, which ranks at the top of the OECD countries, but they have also ensured that women increasingly have a seat at the decision-making table, be it in the public or private sector. </p> <p>In our experience, it has also become evident that these special measures have changed social norms in Iceland. Indeed, it is becoming socially accepted, and expected, that women are equally represented in all spheres of society.</p> <p>The path towards gender equality has certainly not always been a smooth sailing and trailblazers often play a key role in driving transformative changes. In Iceland, for example, we would not be where we are today without the pioneering women that brought these issues to the political agenda in the first place.</p> <p>I believe it is also of utmost importance to involve male decision-makers in this dialogue. Engaging men and increasing awareness is a key contributor in making inclusive decision-making processes and equal opportunities the new normal.</p> <p>We need to keep in mind that gender equality and women’s empowerment benefit us all and lead to greater prosperity for everyone. </p> <p>Let us work together and learn from each other by sharing knowledge and good practices - and support one another on the journey towards gender parity.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Mar 11, 20211305 PC, 11 March 2021 (reply Co-ordinator EEA, International Women's Day, Ukraine, Belarus)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span></span> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=6c92dbf0-863f-11eb-8134-005056bc8c60">EU reply to Co-ordinator EEA</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=7ad34385-863f-11eb-8134-005056bc8c60">EU statement on International Women's Day</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=8dc3ee16-863f-11eb-8134-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1305%20PC%20EU%20on%20Belarus.pdf">EU statement on Belarus</a></span>

Mar 10, 2021Statement by H.E. Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson at Global Champion of the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy - Virtual Launch ProgrammeStatementsNew York - United Nations

<h3 style="text-align: center;"><strong>Global Champion of the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy</strong></h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Virtual Launch Programme</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>High-Level Dialogue on Energy 2021: A Year of Energy Action</strong></p> <p>Excellencies.</p> <p>It is with great pleasure that I participate in this virtual launch of the high-level dialogue on energy, which I believe could be the beginning of something really meaningful. </p> <p>Iceland has joined the dialogue as a Global Champion for Theme three on enabling the Sustainable Development Goals through inclusive and just energy transitions.</p> <p>We believe that sustainable energy for all is critical for achieving <span style="text-decoration: underline;">all the</span> Sustainable Development Goals and see this High-level Dialogue as part of a long-term push towards achieving SDG7.</p> <p>Iceland has a long history of utilizing sustainable energy. For almost 100 years our heating and electricity has been generated through sustainable means, not least hydro and geothermal. </p> <p>Our food, fisheries and agricultural sectors have also benefitted from clean energy and I believe there is great potential for developing countries in harnessing geothermal resources to enhance food security. </p> <p>This calls for an increased focus on green investment in direct geothermal use in agriculture and aquaculture to increase production, and to minimize food waste.</p> <p>We have also long championed a focus on gender equality in the transition to sustainable energy production and use – and we see it as a fundamental aspect of inclusive and just energy transitions.</p> <p>Excellencies.</p> <p>Iceland will gladly co-host the planned Ministerial-level Thematic Forum for Theme III and is looking forward to coordinating with the other Global Champions, as well as a wide range of other actors, including civil society. We also stand ready to conduct outreach and mobilize Energy Compacts. </p> <p>Let 2021 be a year for energy action. I am looking forward to champion inclusive and just energy transitions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Mar 08, 2021Joint Nordic Statement at the Arria Formula Meeting on "Ensuring the Full, Equal and Meaningful Participation of Women in UN-led Peace Processes"StatementsNew York - United Nations

<span></span> <h1>Statement by Finland on behalf of the Nordic countries at the Arria Formula Meeting on 'Ensuring the Full, Equal and Meaningful Participation of Women in UN-led Peace Processes' 8 March 2021</h1> <p>Read the statement by Finland on behalf of the Nordic countries at the Arria Formula Meeting on 'Ensuring the Full, Equal and Meaningful Participation of Women in UN-led Peace Processes' delivered by H.E. Mr. Jukka Salovaara, Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN on March 8th, 2021.</p> <p>Thank you Mister/Madam Chair</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic Countries, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country Finland.</p> <p>Today we celebrate the intrinsic value of women’s full, equal and meaningful participation, and its crucial benefits for our societies. Without women, there can be no inclusive and sustainable peace. Unfortunately, inclusive peace processes are still a rare exception. We need concrete steps to change that.</p> <p>We fully support the Secretary-General’s System-Wide Gender Parity Strategy, and welcome his Call to Action to Advance Women’s Role in Transforming Peace and Security. We reiterate our call for concrete steps to make women’s full, equal and meaningful participation a requirement in all mediation teams, political transitions and peace processes that the UN leads or co-leads.</p> <p>***</p> <p>The Nordics work hard to enhance the implementation of the WPS agenda.</p> <p>We commit to including the views and competences of women living in conflict or crisis-affected areas, in all peace and conflict resolution efforts. At the Security Council, briefings from women civil society representatives lead to better-informed decisions.</p> <p>We pay attention to linking formal and informal processes and ensuring a gender focus in all stages of the peace and conflict continuum. Regular consultations with women’s organizations are crucial, and their recommendations must be followed up and acted upon, including in the Security Council. The Nordics continue efforts to strengthen mandates and to monitor that they translate into concrete action on the ground.</p> <p>Gender analysis and gender disaggregated data in reporting from conflict situations are another imperative. Security sector reform, disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration processes must include a gender perspective in order to achieve inclusive transitions.</p> <p>We emphasize the need for sustainable funding and call for increased official development assistance to promote women’s participation and leadership in building and sustaining peace. To that end, the Nordics will secure sustainable and long-term investments to promote women’s and girls’ rights, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.</p> <p>***</p> <p>The Global Alliance of Regional Women Mediator Networks is one example illustrating the vast number of women with relevant expertise and experience. Women, including young women, are strong agents for positive change. Their potential and participation is required in all peace negotiation delegations and relevant mechanisms for the implementation of peace agreements.</p> <p>We call on the UN to ensure that Special Envoys and Special Representatives take steps towards women’s systematic inclusion in peace processes, for example by urging parties in a conflict to include women in their delegations and by consulting regularly with women’s civil society groups. Gender Advisors should be appointed in all missions. Training and practical guidance are a must.</p> <p>***</p> <p>Our to-do list is long. We must urgently act on our promises and make women’s leadership and meaningful participation in peace processes a norm, not an exception.</p> <p>Thank you and let us keep the focus on this important topic – not only on the International Women’s Day but consistently, throughout the year!</p>

Mar 08, 2021A statement on behalf of the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security at UNSC open Arria-Formula MeetingStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>United Nations Security Council Open Arria-Formula Meeting<br /> <br /> Call to Lead by Example: Ensuring the Full, Equal and Meaningful Participation of Women in UN-led Peace Processes<br /> <br /> Statement by Canada as Chair of the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><br /> 8 March 2021</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam / Mister President / Moderator,</p> <p>I am pleased to speak on behalf of the Group of Friends of Women, Peace, and Security, an informal network of 64 interested Member States<a href="file:///C:/Users/r03viol/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/BKP8U4SY/FINAL%20Arria-Formula%20Meeting%20Full%20Equal%20and%20Meaningful%20Participation%20of%20Women%20in%20UN%20Led%20Peace%20Processes.docx#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1">[1]</a> and the European Union, chaired by Canada, representing all five regional groups of the United Nations. </p> <p>On this International Women’s Day, our Group thanks the co-sponsors of this Arria-Formula meeting and the briefers for convening this important meeting to highlight the importance of the full and effective implementation of the WPS agenda as it relates to the leadership and participation of women in UN-led peace and political processes.</p> <p>The Group emphasizes that women’s participation in peace processes is not only desirable, it is essential to achieving sustainable peace. It is critical for women to have full, equal and meaningful participation in all aspects of peace and security.</p> <p>The UN must lead by example in this regard. The Group would therefore like to reiterate its call made last October “on the UN to aim towards making women’s full, equal and meaningful participation a requirement in all mediation teams, political transitions and the peace processes it leads or co-leads”.&nbsp; </p> <p>In closing, the Group recognizes that respect for women’s human rights and gender equality are critical and complementary in order to ensure women’s full participation. This includes participating without fear or risk of any form of violence or retaliation. These issues are key and need to be addressed concurrently to ensure women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace processes.</p> <p>Thank you.&nbsp; </p> <div><br clear="all" /> <hr align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div id="ftn1"> <p><a href="file:///C:/Users/r03viol/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/BKP8U4SY/FINAL%20Arria-Formula%20Meeting%20Full%20Equal%20and%20Meaningful%20Participation%20of%20Women%20in%20UN%20Led%20Peace%20Processes.docx#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1">[1]</a> Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda, Senegal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, United States of America, Zambia. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div>

Mar 05, 2021IAEA Board of Governors, 1-5 March 2021 (agenda items 3, 4, 5, 6, 7a, 7b, 7c, 7e and 9 )AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20mars%20agenda%20item%203.pdf">Agenda item 3: The IAEA and the Covid-19 pandemic</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20mars%20agenda%20item%204.pdf">Agenda item 4: Nuclear and Radiation Safety: Nuclear Safety Review 2021</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20mars%20agenda%20item%205.pdf">Agenda item 5: Strengthening the agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and aplications: Nuclear Technology Review 2021</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20mars%20agenda%20item%206.pdf">Agenda item 6: Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of the UNSCR 2231 (2015)</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20mars%20agenda%20item%207a.pdf">Agenda item 7a: The conclusion of safeguards agreements and of additional protocols</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20mars%20agenda%20item%207b.pdf">Agenda item 7b: Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20mars%20agenda%20item%207c.pdf">Agenda item 7c: Implementation of the NPT safeguards in the Syrian Arab Republic</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20mars%20agenda%20item%207e.pdf">Agenda item 7e: NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20mars%20agenda%20item%209.pdf">Agenda item 9: Any Other Business - Application of Safeguards in the Middle East</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2021%20IAEA%20BoG%20mars%20agenda%20item%209%20(INC).pdf">Agenda item 9: Any Other Business - INC</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Mar 04, 20211304 PC, 4 March 2021 (reply Acting HoM Kosovo, reply Acting HoM Montenegro, Ukraine, Crimea, Belarus, Human Rights in Russian Federation)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1304%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20Acting%20HoM%20in%20Kosovo.pdf">EU reply to Acting HoM in Kosovo</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1304%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20Acting%20HoM%20to%20Montenegro%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to Acting HoM to Montenegro</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1304%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine%20-%20Copy%20(2).pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1304%20PC%20EU%20on%20Crimea%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Crimea</a></p> <a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1304%20PC%20EU%20on%20Human%20Rights%20in%20Russian%20Federation.pdf">EU statement on Human Rights in Russian Federation</a>

Mar 03, 2021Statement by Iceland in exchange of views with Ms Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human RightsStrasbourg - Council of Europe

<p><strong>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1397th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</strong></p> <p>Thank you, Mr. Chair, for giving me the floor and let me warmly welcome Ms. Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and thank her for her update as well as her daily work. We appreciate your clear message and strong voice for human rights in our Council and beyond. </p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>Just to briefly touch upon the issues that Ms. Mijatovíc raised let me start by reiterating that global health emergencies such as Covid-19 can only be addressed through concerted multilateral efforts. Equal access to vaccines is critical, and so is a multilateral approach to the indirect economic and social impacts of the pandemic. Iceland, with many if not all of you, is committed to play its part to support these efforts, including through the World Health Organization and COVAX.</p> <p>The points you raise Madam Commissioner on not only the impact on health in our region due to covid-19, but also the vicious cycle of deepened inequalities it creates are concerning. It underlines that our response to covid-19 should not only be a health one, but a human rights one, to ensure that we build back better and more inclusive. </p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>We also appreciate the efforts of Madam Commissioner to coordinate with and engage with others outside of the CoE working on human rights. We believe this to be an important element in ensuring a collective and coherent work to improve human rights in our region.</p> <p>We note with satisfaction the engagement you have had with for example the special mandate holders of the Human Rights Council and appreciate the opportunities engaging with the very good independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity could have to strengthen and foster a shared commitment to advance the protection and promotion of the human rights of LGBTI+ people in Europe.</p> <p>Finally, as you touched upon civil society and the ability to raise one´s voice against injustice and positive change for human rights we would like to reiterate our support to those that work for human rights. It is a sad reality that those fight for human rights are often subjected to violence, harassment and threats to their life, or even pay the ultimate price because of their work. We categorically condemn all such attacks or killings and express our dismay that many of these threats are gendered and made against women and LGBTI+ defenders.</p> <p>I thank you Mr. Chair. </p>

Feb 26, 2021Joint Nordic Statement at the informal meeting on the situation in Myanmar StatementsNew York - United Nations

<div class="article-page__preamble" style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;"> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 22px; font-family: sweden_sansregular;">Delivered by Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström at the informal meeting on the situation in Myanmar, 26 February 2021, New York.</p> </div> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">President,</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">I am delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and my own country, Sweden.</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">We thank Special Envoy Burgener for her important briefing and welcome the opportunity for the General Assembly to hear about the deeply concerning situation and events that are unfolding in Myanmar.</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">We also welcome the unanimous press statement of the Security Council on 4 February.</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">We strongly condemn the military coup and call for the immediate and unconditional release of President U Win Myint, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other political leaders, as well as journalists, human rights defenders and peaceful protestors that have been &nbsp;arbitrarily detained, charged and arrested since February 1.</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">Last year’s general election gave a strong and clear mandate to the National League for Democracy, reflecting the will of the majority to continue the path of democratic reform. The military leadership must now respect this unequivocal wish of the people of Myanmar.</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">We echo the Secretary-General’s call on the Myanmar military to immediately stop the repression of civilians, respect human rights and abide by the will of the people. The undemocratic military take-over of government is unacceptable, and we are deeply concerned with the human rights situation in Myanmar. It is imperative that those responsible for the most serious international crimes and violations of international law in Myanmar are held accountable and, in this vein, we reiterate our support for the mandate of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">We strongly urge the Commander in Chief and the military to refrain from more violence. They must fully respect human rights in accordance with international law, uphold democratic norms and freedoms, and fulfill the state’s obligation to protect lives. We urge the military to end restrictions and shutdown of internet and other telecom services.</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">We condemn the use of deadly force by the military, especially against young people protesting peacefully in the streets of cities and townships all over Myanmar. Images from all over Myanmar show how grassroots actors, particularly women, continue to step up to demand human rights and peace, despite the increased hardship and risks of violence. Youth are also notably at the forefront. The international community must listen to and support the voices that fight for democracy and demand that they are heard.</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">The military coup is placing the peace process with the ethnic armed organizations at risk. Recently the ten ethnic groups that have signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement issued a powerful joint statement condemning the coup and called for immediate release of the political prisoners, including the reinstatement of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. As a result of the coup, we are deeply concerned that achievements for national reconciliation and future peace made over the past years will be lost.</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">We call for the military to ensure unrestricted humanitarian access to conflict areas and vulnerable populations, including in Rakhine state, where the humanitarian situation is particularly severe. Furthermore, the authorities in Myanmar have the responsibility to create the conditions on the ground that will make it possible for the Rohingya refugees and other displaced populations to return to Myanmar. We will continue to emphasize the importance of ensuring their safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return, in accordance with international standards.</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">The Nordic countries continue to work for and support the people of Myanmar on their journey of democratic transition. The illegitimate military takeover has already changed the conditions for the Nordic countries’ development assistance in Myanmar and several large development programs have been put on hold.</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">We give our full support also to international actors and efforts that aim to encourage and find a way for Myanmar to return to the path of democracy.&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">In closing, we want to highlight the importance of a visit by the Special Envoy to Myanmar, and strongly urge the military to extend an invitation for her to visit Myanmar as soon as possible, and to allow the Special Envoy access to consult with all parties, including the Civilian Government, and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">We welcome that the Secretary-General continues to make his good offices available to Myanmar. Special Envoy Burgener, please be assured that you have our full support.</p> <p style="color: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; font-size: 20px; font-family: Roboto;">Thank you.</p>

Feb 24, 2021969 FSC, 24 February 2021 (Explosive Hazards in Central Asia, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/969%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Explosive%20Hazards%20in%20Central%20Asia%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Explosive Hazards in Central Asia</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/969%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Feb 24, 2021Cross Regional Statement for the Secretary General's Briefing on the call to Action for Human RightsStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p>Delivered by H.E. Ambassador Martin Bille Hermann</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>Mr. Secretary-General,</p> <p>I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of Andorra, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, Switzerland, the United States, the EU and it’s member states – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and my own country, Denmark.&nbsp;</p> <p>We welcome the briefing on the status of the implementation of the Call to Action for Human Rights.&nbsp;</p> <p>We wish to commend the Secretary-General’s attention to the importance of a human rights-based approach, across pillars, and we welcome the reaffirmation of the UN’s commitment to protecting and promoting civic space as an essential prerequisite for sustainable development, safeguarding peace and security and protecting human rights.&nbsp;</p> <p>When the ‘call to action’ was launched, the world was facing widespread human rights violations. Over the past year, the Covid-19 crisis has further exposed and exacerbated human rights violations and abuses, affecting disproportionately the most vulnerable. We have witnessed increasing hate speech, misogyny, exclusion and discrimination; the MUTE button pressed on civil society. In this critical juncture, the Call to Action to put human rights at the heart of the UN’s work is only more acute.</p> <p>Civil society and human rights defenders play a crucial role in supporting our work at the United Nations and the healthy functioning of democratic institutions. Through its diverse range of expertise, perspectives and lived experiences, civil society enriches the decision-making process. The UN and its Member States have a collective responsibility to realize fundamental freedoms and human rights for all. Recalling the three opening words of the UN Charter, we are reminded that the United Nations is not the preserve of governments or States alone, but of “We the peoples”.</p> <p>We are conscious that the UN has already taken important action to support civil society and welcome in particular the launch of a new UN system-wide guidance on the protection and promotion of civic space in September 2020.&nbsp;</p> <p>In support of ongoing efforts like these under the 'Call to Action’, our countries, with the support of civil society, have prepared a set of specific recommendations on ways to strengthen civil society participation at the UN. The recommendations include ways to bridge the digital divide, ensure meaningful engagement at the UN and the call for an Envoy for Civil Society.&nbsp;</p> <p>Digital technologies, for instance, have shown their value in broadening engagement for different stakeholders. While we recognize that there remain barriers to overcome to ensure inclusive meetings, such as access to the Internet or language barriers, the UN should seek to expand the participation across UN processes, creatively, by all available means and in close consultation with civil society, to identify and overcome these barriers.&nbsp;</p> <p>Beyond procedural conditions for effective and meaningful participation, the UN can and should explore revising, through system-wide strategies, the modalities for inclusive civil society engagement across the spectrum of UN processes, inter alia, through: improved access to information, engagement in preparation phases, and the formal recognition of independent civil society reports.</p> <p> Finally, to have a positive impact, these actions require policy consistency across the UN system. The creation of periodic spaces or platforms for accountability, review and stocktaking of ongoing efforts to strengthen civic space at the UN, such as a “Civil Society Action Day”; or - inspired by the impressive work done by the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth - further tasking an “Envoy for Civil Society” to support an inclusive, meaningful and consistent civil society participation across the UN, is proposed to be explored.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Secretary-General,</p> <p>These are concrete proposals that seek to support your ongoing efforts under the Call to Action for Human Rights. It is our belief that the recommendations can enhance the meaningful and inclusive participation of civil society at the UN.</p> <p>We stand ready to dedicate our efforts under your leadership to contribute to their implementation, and we look forward to working with you, Mr. Secretary-General, as well as with all governments and stakeholders, on the continued implementation of the call to action to achieve the “highest aspiration”, in the words of the Universal Declaration. You can count on us to continue to take up the fight.</p>

Feb 24, 2021Statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries on the Secretary General's Call to Action for Human Rights StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p class="ingress" style="color: #01152f; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 0px 0px 40px; font-size: 20px; font-family: georgia;">Statement by Finland on behalf of Nordic and Baltic countries at the informal meeting of the General Assembly on the Secretary-General’s Call to Action for Human Rights on Wednesday, 24 February 2021 delivered by H.E. Ms. Miia Rainne, Deputy Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN.</p> <p style="color: #111111; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17px; font-family: georgia;">Secretary General, President of the General Assembly, Colleagues,</p> <p style="color: #111111; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17px; font-family: georgia;">I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries: Estonia, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Finland.</p> <p style="color: #111111; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17px; font-family: georgia;">The work of the UN is based on three pillars: peace and security, development and human rights. These pillars are mutually reinforcing; however, we see an imbalance between the three. The Call to Action for Human Rights recognizes that human rights face major challenges and that systematic human rights violations, rampant impunity and a lack of accountability are widespread in many situations around the world. Therefore, the human rights pillar requires support, attention and commitment. With a well-documented correlation between societies’ enjoyment of human rights and their resilience to crisis, there also needs to be a closer cooperation between the security and human rights pillars of the UN.</p> <p style="color: #111111; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17px; font-family: georgia;">The Call to Action &nbsp;was timely and very much welcome initiative last year. The initiative reminds us that human rights are the responsibility of each and every United Nations actor, in the field, at regional level and at Headquarters. Today’s briefing is a great chance to be updated about its progress and discuss how to take implementation further.</p> <p style="color: #111111; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17px; font-family: georgia;">The&nbsp;COVID-19 pandemic is adversely impacting people everywhere. We thank the Secretary-General for his leadership in placing human rights at the core of the UN response to the pandemic. In our view and based on our experience, there is no way around human rights if we are to achieve just, inclusive, democratic and – importantly – more resilient societies.</p> <p style="color: #111111; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17px; font-family: georgia;">Today, the Nordic and Baltic countries wish to address three areas, namely women and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights, the role of civil society and funding for human rights at the UN.</p> <p style="color: #111111; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17px; font-family: georgia;">Firstly, we have seen pushback against women and girls’ enjoyment of human rights in many countries during recent years. The pandemic, with women on the frontlines as health care and social workers, has exacerbated the situation. Gender-based violence, including intimate partner violence has increased, while sexual and reproductive health and rights are jeopardized. The list does not end here. Promotion and protection of women and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights are essential for building back better. Women and girls are drivers of change and recovery, and we welcome the commitment of the UN to this end in the Call to Action.</p> <p style="color: #111111; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17px; font-family: georgia;">Secondly, civil society plays a crucial role by sharing knowledge on human rights, raising awareness, and shedding light on injustices. This has led to more informed and better policymaking here at the UN. We continue to welcome civil society input, in particular bringing to our attention the rights of persons belonging to minorities and persons in vulnerable situations - including persons with disabilities, LGBTI persons and indigenous peoples, to mention a few. In this regard, we would like to welcome the Guidance Note on Civic Space as one of the first concrete outputs of the Call to Action.&nbsp;To ensure no one is left behind, it is essential that the&nbsp;UN continues to work with civil society and human rights defenders, guaranteeing them a place right here at the UN,&nbsp;and protecting those who engage with the UN against all forms of reprisals.</p> <p style="color: #111111; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17px; font-family: georgia;">Finally, we are fully behind the Secretary-General in underlining that human rights are not optional. Human rights are &nbsp;universal, interdependent, interrelated and indivisible, and in order to fulfill them, we must ensure that the human rights pillar of the UN is adequately and consistently funded. To enable United Nations to integrate and mainstream human rights in its work and assist member states in the implementation of their human rights obligations, we must act against the systematic underfunding of the human rights pillar and cannot and must not rely on voluntary funding to compensate for the shortfall. Unfortunately, this is not the case at the moment: extra-budgetary funding is necessary even for some mandated activities. Work as important as this cannot be based on voluntary arrangements.</p> <p style="color: #111111; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17px; font-family: georgia;">Implementation of the Call to Action requires funding solutions that provide for a strong human rights system at the center of a strong UN. We continue to trust the leadership and guidance of the Secretary-General so that “Calls” and means will go hand in hand. As always, you can count on the Baltic and Nordic countries to be on the forefront of the human rights agenda, and our cooperation to achieve it.</p> <p style="color: #111111; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17px; font-family: georgia;">Thank you.</p>

Feb 23, 2021Joint Nordic Statement delivered at High-Level Open Debate of the UN Security Council on Climate related RisksStatementsNew York - United Nations

<div> <h1>Joint Nordic Statement delivered at High-Level Open Debate of the UN Security Council on Addressing Climate-related Risks to International Peace and Security Through Mitigation and Resilience Building on 23 February, 2021</h1> </div> <div> <div>Delivered by H.E. Mr. Jeppe Kofod, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark</div> </div> <div class="col-sm-12 module richtxt" style="box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; min-height: 1px; padding-left: 10px; padding-right: 10px; float: left; width: 716px; clear: both; margin-bottom: 30px; color: #3b3b3b; font-family: 'Noto Sans', sans-serif; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;"> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,<br /> <br /> Members of the Security Council,<br /> <br /> I am pleased to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Addressing climate-related security risks is key to sustaining peace. Allow us to suggest four key actions for member states, the Security Council and the UN:<br /> <br /> First, in countries affected by the dual burden of climate change and conflict, climate-related security risks must be part of national mitigation and adaptation policies and plans.&nbsp;Climate action should be conflict sensitive; and conflict interventions should be climate sensitive.&nbsp;This includes considering climate risks in conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities, and ensuring that post-conflict economic recovery is not based on unsustainable use and management of natural resources.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Second,&nbsp;the Security Council should continue to mandate and resource UN peace operations to consider climate-related security risks where relevant.&nbsp;This includes strengthened cooperation with civil society, weather organizations and regional and sub-regional actors on climate-sensitive analysis and early warning. We should build on the good work of the UN Climate Security Mechanism in this regard.&nbsp;We also hope to see closer engagement between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Third,&nbsp;a regular report by the Secretary-General on climate-related security risks could improve our ability to take action on climate-related security risks.&nbsp;There are also linkages with human rights, violent extremism, gender equality, displacement and irregular migration.<br /> <br /> Finally, in support of the Women Peace and Security-framework,&nbsp;we must advance women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in defining and addressing climate-related risks.&nbsp;Women and girls play key roles in sustainable solutions in climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, health and water. And they are often disproportionately affected by climate change and insecurity. Applying a gender-transformative approach to climate and security interventions is crucial.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> In closing, climate change is the defining challenge of our time. Fragile contexts and vulnerable communities suffer the biggest impact, but addressing the problem is a collective responsibility. It requires cooperation, renewed multilateralism and solidarity.<br /> <br /> Thank you.</p> <br /> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div>

Feb 23, 2021NB8 statement at the UN General Assembly, 75th Session, 54th plenary meeting Agenda item 65 "The situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine" StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p>Statement by Finland on behalf of Baltic and Nordic countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden) at United Nations General Assembly 75th Session 54th plenary meeting Agenda item 65 “The situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine” in New York, 23 February 2021 delivered by H.E. Mr. Jukka Salovaara, Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN.</p> <p>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the eight Nordic-Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Finland.</p> <p>International law and territorial integrity and sovereignty have been violated in Ukraine by the Russian Federation since 2014. Russia’s actions have not only endangered the security in Europe, but also weakened the basis for the maintenance of international peace and security and for the development of friendly relations and cooperation among States. They run against international law including the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and the Paris Charter and therefore, are not only a bilateral or a European concern, but a global one. For this reason, we welcome this timely debate.<br /> The position of the Nordic and Baltic countries is firm. We stand by Ukraine and reconfirm our steadfast support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters. We strongly condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, including in eastern Ukraine, and the illegal annexation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and are fully committed to the EU’s non-recognition policy, including restrictive measures. We urge Russia to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine in accordance with the UN General Assembly resolution 68/262.</p> <p>Mr. President,<br /> We are deeply worried by the constantly deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in Crimea. Arbitrary detentions and politically motivated convictions targeting especially Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians, increasing pressure on journalists, human rights defenders and civil society actors, violations of the human rights to freedom of expression, information, peaceful assembly, association and freedom of religion or belief as well as the freedom of the media, and linguistic and cultural rights, deprivation of civil and property rights through forced passportization and conscription are violations of international law and principles which Russia has committed to. Despite the order by the International Court of Justice in 2017, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars’ remains banned. We call for Russia to abide by its international obligations.<br /> As stated in a number of UN General Assembly resolutions on the human rights situation in Crimea, we urge Russia to release all illegally detained and imprisoned Ukrainian nationals held in Crimea and Russia. We urge Russia to respect its human rights and humanitarian law commitments and to ensure international human rights and humanitarian actors full and unhindered access to the areas currently not under the control of Ukraine, including the Crimean peninsula. The recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights in the case Ukraine versus Russia (Re Crimea) clearly sets out Russia’s responsibility for its actions in Crimea.<br /> We express grave concern regarding the continuing militarization of Crimea undermining the security in the Black Sea region. We also call for Russia to refrain from impeding the lawful exercise of navigational rights and freedoms to and from the Azov Sea and refrain from discriminatory inspections of vessels passing through the Kerch Strait.</p> <p>Mr. President,<br /> The humanitarian conditions in eastern Ukraine are severe. Almost 14,000 people have died and over 30,000 have been wounded. The conflict affects the lives of over 5 million people living on both sides of the contact line, 1,5 million are internally displaced and over 3 million require humanitarian assistance and protection. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, eastern Ukraine is one of the areas most contaminated by landmines in the world.<br /> Older persons and children are in the most vulnerable situation. International organizations are not able to function freely in the non-government controlled areas due to restrictions imposed by the Russia-backed armed formations. The COVID-19 pandemic has been used as a pretext to excessively restrict crossings of the contact line.</p> <p>Mr. President,<br /> There is no military solution to the conflict. The only way to find a sustainable political solution is through political dialogue and implementation of the Minsk Agreements. We stress Russia’s key responsibility and commitments in this respect. We recall that the duration of the EU’s economic sanctions on Russia remains clearly linked to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.<br /> We welcome the strengthened ceasefire agreed in the Trilateral Contact Group in July 2020, which improved the security situation. However, it is unfortunate, that this has not led to further progress in the political dialogue. We are also concerned about the increases in the number of ceasefire violations since November. We support the efforts by the Normandy Format, the OSCE and the Trilateral Contact Group towards facilitating the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. We commend Ukraine’s political will and constructive approach to finding ways to resolve the conflict and urge Russia to act likewise.<br /> We reiterate our support for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and its valuable work on reporting and monitoring the ceasefire. We deplore the frequent restrictions imposed on the SMM mostly in the non-government controlled areas and we urge Russia to use its considerable influence over the armed formations it backs to remove all undue restrictions that hamper the SMM’s ability to implement its mandate, which covers all of Ukraine’s territory, including the Crimean Peninsula.</p> <p>Mr. President,<br /> The Nordic-Baltic countries reiterate our firm support for Ukraine. We are convinced that the respect for international law and a rules-based world order are fundamental for our common security and multilateral cooperation. We call on members of the international community to adopt the non-recognition policies in line with the resolution 68/262. We urge Russia to abide by international law and uphold its international commitments. We call for the Secretary General and the UN to continue efforts to restore respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.</p> <p>Thank you Mr. President.</p>

Feb 18, 20211303 PC, 11 February 2021 (reply Chief Observer of Russian Checkpoints, Belarus, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1303%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20Chief%20Observer%20of%20Russian%20Checkpoints%20on%20Russian-Ukrainian%20Border%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to Chief Observer of Russian Checkpoints on Russian-Ukrainian Border</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1304%20PC%20EU%20on%20Belarus.pdf">EU statement on Belarus</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1304%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Feb 17, 2021968 FSC, 17 February 2021 (MANPADS, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/968%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Manpads%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on MANPADS</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/968%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Feb 16, 202129th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum, First Preparatory Meeting, 15-16 February 2021AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/29%20OSCE%20EEF%20First%20PrepMeet%20EU%20Opening.pdf">EU Opening statement</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/29%20OSCE%20EEF%20First%20PrepMeet%20EU%20Closing%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU Closing statement</a></p>

Feb 15, 2021Joint Statement at the Executive Board of UN Women First Regular Session 2021 delivered by Mr. Jónas G. Allansson, Deputy Permanent RepresentativeStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p>Thank you Madam/Mr President. I deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Iceland as well as Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. </p> <p>I would like to begin by thanking UN Women’s Independent Evaluation Service for the evaluation of UN Women’s support to National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security. The evaluation’s findings, conclusions and recommendations are well received. We commend the evaluation team for finalizing this evaluation despite the limitations faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of focus group discussions with direct beneficiaries limited the ability to evaluate to what extent national action plans are valuable tools for driving the women, peace and security agenda, especially at national and local levels. </p> <p>We thank UN Women for its management response, which clearly demonstrates its commitment to act on the recommendations provided, and we take particular note of the added focus on transformative change which we believe is important to guide future interventions. However, we would welcome more detailed information on when various measures should be implemented and how they will be followed-up.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Madam/Mr. President,</p> <p>Last year marked the 20<sup>th</sup> anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, emphasizing the importance, and the inherent right, of women to fully, equally and meaningfully participate in peace, security and reconstruction processes at all levels of decision making. </p> <p>The National Action Plans, or NAPs, are important tools for translating global women, peace and security commitments into concrete strategies at a national level. </p> <p>Currently about 90 UN member states have prepared their own NAPs, but unfortunately not all are adequately resourced, implemented or monitored. These action plans have the potential to move us from rhetoric to action and to achieving transformative results throughout the full 1325 agenda. </p> <p>We welcome the new strategic plan’s further articulation of how UN Women will implement its coordination mandate and ensure increased synergies between its triple mandate at global, regional, and national level, both within UN Women and across the UN Development System and beyond. </p> <p>While the responsibility for the implementation of NAPs lies with national governments, UN Women and its partners, including other UN Agencies, play a pivotal role at all levels, providing leadership, sharing knowledge, advocating for and mainstreaming the women, peace and security agenda. This demands strategic approaches to implementation based on evidence and well documented practices of what works. Hence, we welcome further elaboration of UN Women’s operationalization of findings and recommendations in the evaluation.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Madam/Mr. President,</p> <p>We note the evaluation’s finding that UN Women’s support to NAPs advances gender equality more broadly by promoting inclusive processes, supporting women’s empowerment and leadership, and raising awareness of gender equality. </p> <p>UN Women’s strong focus on the importance of national ownership and implementation of NAPs for long-term sustainability is much appreciated. It could be further strengthened through the inclusion of actors not directly involved in NAP processes, as highlighted in the evaluation. This is important to build broader ownership among a wider set of actors. </p> <p>In this regard, the evaluation also points to the importance of UN Women supporting the integration of NAPs into other national strategies and plans, integrating its WPS efforts into its other thematic result areas such as violence against women, women’s political and economic empowerment and participation, as well as preventing and countering violent extremism and promoting safety online. This approach would strengthen the NAPs.</p> <p>Adequate level of funding and human resources is needed to provide meaningful support to NAP implementation. The funding also needs to be sustainable and long-term. Therefore, we fully agree with the evaluation’s recommendation that UN Women should assess the level and type of funding required and articulate how financial resources are linked to results. We would also welcome increased allocations of regular resources to the WPS agenda, noting 96 per cent of resources are non-regular. </p> <p>Finally, we would like to thank UN Women for its support to the global COVID-19 response, ensuring gender equality is fully integrated. This also includes adapting and refocusing the WPS work to directly address the challenges posed by COVID-19. Ensuring flexibility to adapt to emerging situations is critical for a high-impact NAP. </p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Mr./Madam President, </p> <p>With conflicts and crises becoming more complex and protracted, it is more important than ever to ensure women’s full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership in peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts and that gender equality is mainstreamed throughout all stages of peace and security-related work. We count on UN Women to lead the way in enhancing women’s engagement for sustainable peace and to continue to advance the women, peace and security agenda.</p>

Feb 11, 20211302 PC, 11 February 2021 (reply Chairpersons of 3 Committees, Ukraine, illegal detention of Georgian citizen)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1302%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20Chairpersons%20of%20the%20Three%20Committees.pdf">EU reply to Chairpersons of the Three Committees</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1302%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1302%20PC%20CAN%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20illegal%20detention%20of%20Georgian%20citizen.pdf">Joint statement on illegal detention of Georgian citizen</a></p>

Feb 10, 2021Joint Nordic Statement at the 59th Session of the Commission for Social DevelopmentStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p><strong>Statement of Nordic Countries</strong></p> <p><strong>Commission for Social Development</strong></p> <p><strong>59. session</strong></p> <p><strong>8 January – 17 February 2021</strong></p> <p><strong>Delivered by Minister of Social Affairs and Health of Finland, Ms. Aino-Kaisa Pekonen</strong></p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ms. Chairperson, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Government of Finland aligns herself with the statement made by Portugal on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have the honor to deliver this Statement on behalf of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Finland.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are committed to a just transition that delivers improvements in the economic and social conditions to the people and societies all over the world. We are committed to an economy of wellbeing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The 2030 Agenda and sustainable development goals remain a shared vision to end poverty and promote shared wellbeing and decent work for all, while respecting the planetary boundaries. We have a duty to ourselves and to future generations. We must ensure that social dimension is fully integrated in the implementation of Agenda 2030 at all levels. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the spirit of the Agenda 2030, we need to work across sectors and redesign our policies to secure the wellbeing of both the people and the planet. In doing so, we honour our global and regional commitments. We find it important to focus on socio-economic inequalities. A just transition must treat everyone equally. Equitable access to digital technologies plays a key role in ensuring social inclusion and development, decent work, as well as wellbeing of all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The economic, labour and social rights, gender equality and social inclusion of all groups including women, youth, older people, LGBTIQ-persons, Roma and persons with disabilities are all closely linked. By investing in wellbeing, social security, decent work, education and skills, we invest in the human capital and our economies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ms. Chairperson,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The social and economic shock from the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased unemployment and poverty, affecting lives and livelihoods of people around the world. Despite this, we have a strong belief that it is possible to protect the people and safeguard economies and societies at the same time. There is no one magic bullet. We need to apply well-tested methods combined with new and innovative solutions. And most of all, we need to work together. This means a renewed commitment to multilateralism, engagement with communities and working with partners, both with the private sector and the civil society.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The just transition needs to be designed and implemented in a way that is fair to all genders and all generations. In our view, the technology can provide a pathway to a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive future for all. &nbsp;To make this possible we have to ensure decent work, accessibility, ease of use, reliability and digital skills for everyone.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To support people in working life transitions, we have to ensure decent work and a human-centered future of work, in line with the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work. A well-functioning social dialogue, at national and global levels, is essential.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic model, including the tripartite cooperation with the social partners, has ensured quick adaptations to structural changes. Adapting to new ways of working is one. Facilitating fair transitions to new jobs is another. In order to improve the labour market matching, we have to update workforce’s knowledge and skills, including when it comes to displaced workers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ms. Chairperson,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pandemic has revealed new underlying inequalities. Some people are systematically more exposed to the shocks than others. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The demographic structure in many countries, including Nordic countries, continues the shift towards older age groups. The increased average life span is a success story of our societies. Meanwhile, we must promote actions that guarantee the good health and functional capacity and resources of older persons. In this context, we would call for the active implementation of the UN’s<em> </em>Decade on Healthy Ageing. We must recognize and cherish older persons’ contribution as members of their communities and families, volunteers, care givers, consumers, to name some. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Persons with disabilities, elderly, women and young people have been, and still are, severely affected by the pandemic.&nbsp; We are highly concerned with the disruption to education, in most severe cases leaving children permanently outside the system. The isolation has increased the threat for domestic violence and abuse. Also homeless persons and minority groups are experiencing hardship in protecting themselves and in access to services. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for actions to ensure the fulfilment of the UN<em> </em>Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities obligations and the centrality of a human rights based approach. While ensuring the protection and safety of persons with disabilities and elderly in situations of risk, we have to take into account also their diversity. Our objective is to build inclusive, equal and socially sustainable societies. A dialogue with the civil society organizations is important.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Technology is an essential part of our daily lives and policy tools. Digitalization and technological innovations are supported by political and economic investments. Therefore, they should also contribute to the universal social protection and social equity. The Nordic and Baltic countries are committed to improving possibilities for studying or using health services across borders digitally. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic countries cooperate across the Action Coalitions of Generation Equality to promote the rights of women and girls, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights. We are striving for bold actions to make sure that digitalization and the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic do not widen the gender gap.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This year, as Chair of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Finland will shine a light on building back better. In the context of COVID-19, we will highlight issues relating to disability leadership and the impact of the pandemic on mental health. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Nordic vision for the 2030 focuses on sustainability, democracy, decent work, gender equality, welfare and inclusion – by working together. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now it is my great pleasure to give the floor to our Youth Delegate. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Feb 09, 2021Statement on behalf of LGBTI UN Core Group at the 59th Session of the Commission for Social Development StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong style="text-align: left;">59<sup>th</sup> SESSION OF THE COMMISSION FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>GENERAL DEBATE</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement delivered on behalf of </strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>LGBTI UN Core Group by</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>H.E. Vanessa FRAZIER</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Permanent Representative of Malta to the UN.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Chairperson,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Member States of the LGBTI Core Group for the first time in the Commission for Social Development.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The LGBTI Core Group is an informal cross regional group established in 2008. The group is co-chaired by Argentina and The Netherlands, and includes Albania, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Uruguay, the European Union, as well as the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the non-governmental organizations Human Rights Watch and OutRight Action International.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our overarching goal is to work within the United Nations framework to ensure universal respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals without distinction, regardless of their real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics, including lesbian, gay bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) persons. Our particular focus is on protecting LGBTI persons from violence and discrimination.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Chairperson,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The main theme of this session “Socially just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all” is fundamental for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals contained in the 2030 Agenda and the pledge that all of us made to leave no one behind, including LGBTI persons.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Digital technologies offer new opportunities for achieving the SDGs and the objectives defined in the World Summit for Social Development and they are key instruments for eradicating poverty, promoting full and productive employment and fostering social inclusion for all, including LGBTI persons. But there are also some risks that have to be addressed, when talking about digital technologies, for example to the right to privacy of children and adults, the negative impact artificial intelligence or machine-learning technologies can have, in particular when employed for identification, tracking, profiling, facial recognition, classifying and behavioral prediction or scoring of individuals without proper technical, regulatory, legal and ethical safeguards, transparency policies as well as data protection frameworks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Therefore, we need to promote the use of digital technologies &nbsp;as a tool to protect human rights of persons in vulnerable situations, such as LGBTI persons, and foster their use to counter the multiple and intersecting forms of violence and discrimination faced by them, including hate speech, cyberbullying, cyberstalking and online violence. We should make sure to bridge the digital divide between countries as well as between privileged and disadvantaged persons that are excluded by the digital divide. In that regard, we encourage this Commission to highlight the importance of implementing national policies based on international human rights law and full inclusion for LGBTI persons across the globe, so that no one is left behind.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Chairperson,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The COVID-19 has increased the pace of digital technology. It is also an opportunity to re-evaluate the benefits and challenges of new working methods that we adopted in less than a year. While incorporating these new changes to our work, we should embrace all kinds of diversities, be inclusive to the needs and of the sensitives of all persons belonging to minorities, including LGBTI. We should be able to use digital transformation as a platform to spread the message of diversity, inclusivity, and acceptance for everyone.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With ten years left for the completion of the 2030 Agenda, the ongoing public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is posing unprecedented and multifaceted challenges to social development and the well-being of people worldwide, hitting those in vulnerable situations the hardest. Among the many severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is that the vulnerable situation of LGBTI persons worsened. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the economic situation of LGBTI individuals, who face greater risks of unemployment, poverty and exclusion. &nbsp;Because many in the LGBTI community work in the informal sector, they often lack access to paid sick leave, unemployment compensation, and coverage. As a result of the dramatic economic downturn caused by COVID-19 and the lack of sustainable structure to maintain economic well-being in times of crisis, these individuals are even more exposed to poverty and multiple and intersecting forms of violence and discrimination.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Restrictions on the freedom of movement may impede access to medical treatment and care. This affects individuals on medication for chronic conditions and persons with disabilities, as well as transgender and intersex individuals who may have specific health requirements. Given overloaded health systems, treatment and medical needs of LGBTI persons, including HIV testing and treatment, hormonal treatment and gender affirming treatments for trans persons, may be interrupted or deprioritized. Equal access to medicines, vaccines and medical commodities for all, including LGBTI persons, must be ensured to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of the World Summit for Social Development.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are fully committed to tackling these issues in this session of the Commission for Social Development and as we seek support from all Member States to this cause, we would like to stress that standing up against violations and abuses of human rights, including violence and discrimination, in all its forms and in all spaces, including online, is not and should never be a matter of controversy. It is just right and humane.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I thank you.</p>

Feb 04, 20211301 PC, 4 February 2021 (Reply SR CiO Ukraine+Trilateral Contact Group and to CM SMMU, Human Rights Violations Belarus, Protests Russia and Sentencing Navalny)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1301%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20SR%20of%20CiO%20in%20Ukraine%20and%20Trilateral%20Group%20and%20to%20CM%20of%20SMMU.pdf">EU reply to Special Representative CiO Ukraine + Trilateral Contact Group and Chief Monitor SMMU</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1301%20PC%20EU%20on%20human%20rights%20violations%20in%20Belarus%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU on Human Rights Violations in Belarus</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1301%20PC%20EU%20on%20suppression%20of%20protests%20in%20Russia%20and%20sentencing%20of%20Alexei%20Navalny.pdf">EU on Continued Suppression of Protests in Russia and Sentencing of Alexei Navalny</a></p>

Feb 03, 2021967 FSC, 3 February 2021 (Vienna Document Modernisation, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/967%20FSC%20EU%20on%20VD%20Modernisation.pdf">EU statement on Vienna Document Modernisation</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/967%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Feb 03, 2021Joint Statement at Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS First Regular Session 2021 delivered by H.E. PR Jörundur ValtýssonStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p><strong>Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS</strong></p> <p><strong>First Regular Session 2021</strong></p> <p><strong>UNFPA Segment – statement by the executive director</strong></p> <p><strong>1 – 4 February 2021</strong></p> <p><strong>Statement delivered by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson,</strong></p> <p><strong>Permanent Representative of Iceland</strong></p> <p>Thank you, Madam/Mr President,</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and my own country, Iceland.</p> <p>I would like to begin by thanking Dr Natalia Kanem for her excellent presentation and will focus our intervention on the next strategic plan as well as UNFPA’s COVID-19 response.</p> <p>Madam/Mr President,</p> <p>While the pandemic and pandemic-related restrictions, such as lockdowns and supply chain disruptions, have negatively impacted human development, it is clear that UNFPA has been well positioned to respond. We commend UNFPA for its agile and impactful response and have just a few questions:</p> <p>First. Noting the commitments of the Funding Compact and encouraging member states – that are in position to do so – to consider contributing to UNFPA’s core resources, how have these core or unrestricted resources helped UNFPA in its COVID-19 response?</p> <p>And second. How have you ensured continuity of supplies during the pandemic?</p> <p>Madam/Mr. President,</p> <p>In the current context, where we are witnessing the possibility of a reversal on key development indicators, the development of an ambitious and focused Strategic Plan is more important than ever. We must do all we can to protect the hard-won gains already made on sexual and reproductive health and rights and accelerate progress in achieving the SDGs. UNFPA’s leadership role on this will be critical.</p> <p>We appreciate the background note on the Strategic Plan and use this opportunity to thank UNFPA for the consultative and inclusive approach taken in the development of the plan. The note contains some excellent questions for our consideration, and allow me to highlight a few points:</p> <p>Our joint position is that the new strategic plan must be human rights-based, focused on results and aligned with the SDGs. Particular attention must be given to the most vulnerable groups and those who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence. </p> <p>It must strengthen its focus on comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. Safeguarding UNFPA’s normative and global role is for us of utmost importance. </p> <p>We also encourage you to include lessons learnt from the pandemic in the development of the plan, including when it comes to UNFPA’s role in supporting countries to strengthen the resilience of their health systems toward achieving Universal Health Coverage as well as last mile delivery of health supplies. </p> <p>The plan should also have a strategic focus on leaving no one behind, which is critical to reaching the most vulnerable first, including persons with disabilities. Here, quality and disaggregated data is key. Overall, we believe UNFPA is on strong footing in this regard, including through census data, and encourage you to keep a strong focus on achieving scale and impact in this aspect of your work.</p> <p>UNFPA has a growing role in humanitarian action, which we look forward to seeing clearly reflected in the new plan, including its gender advisory role in acute crises and supporting preparedness and crisis response in protracted settings. UNFPA’s coordination role on gender-based violence in these settings must also be clearly articulated.</p> <p>To further guide our input for the next step of the strategic plan development, we would like to ask:</p> <p>How UNFPA will further grow its partnerships with key actors, including International Financial Institutions?</p> <p>Mr./Madam President,</p> <p>Let me conclude by reiterating our support for UNFPA and take the opportunity to give our heartfelt thanks to the frontline workers who continue to deliver life-saving services during the pandemic, ensuring that women and girls can access safe, quality healthcare services and psychosocial support.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Feb 03, 2021Statement by Iceland on the arrest and detention of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny Strasbourg - Council of Europe

<p>Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1394th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.</p> <p>Thank you, Mr. Chair for giving me the floor.</p> <p>We would like to join others in expressing our dismay by the arrest and detention of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny after his arrival in Moscow. We have also stated clearly that the Russian Federation must come clean regarding the circumstances of his poisoning.</p> <p>Yesterday´s verdict of Mr. Navalny is also deeply disappointing. Silencing political opponents by putting them behind bars is never acceptable &amp; is reminiscent of a grim past. It should be recalled that the basis for the verdict are decisions found to be unjust by the European Court of Human Rights.</p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>I also take the floor today to express our concern over the crackdown on peaceful protests taking place since Mr. Navalny’s arrest across the Russian Federation. The disproportionate level of force reported and the detention of thousands of peaceful protesters and journalists, is deeply troubling. The right to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression are cornerstones of our European Convention of Human Rights.</p> <p>We continue to call on the Russian Federation to uphold its human rights obligations - the foundation of our Council of Europe – and fully respect their people’s civil &amp; political rights. The Russian Federation must immediately release all peaceful protesters &amp; journalists, as well as Mr. Navalny.</p> <p>I thank you Mr. Chair.</p>

Jan 28, 2021Joint Nordic Statement at the 51st Plenary meeting - Debate on the Report of the Secretary General on the work of the OrganizationStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>Nordic Joint Statement </span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Delivered by</p> <p style="padding: 0cm; border: none; text-align: center;"><span>Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations</span><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: Arial;"> </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic Countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and my own country, Sweden. </p> <p>Since we met at this time last year, the world has faced unprecedented crises. We commend you, Secretary-General, for your leadership since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. We, the Nordic countries, pay tribute to you and your UN colleagues around the world, whose efforts and determination over the past year have shown the enduring relevance and strength of the United Nations as a force for peace, development and human rights. We welcome your readiness to serve for a second term as Secretary-General and your commitment to transparency and inclusivity in this process. </p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>In times of crises, when much is at stake, our commitment to our core values and principles becomes even more important.&nbsp; As Nordics, we do not waver in our conviction that a rules-based international order and respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, is fundamental for achieving peace and prosperity. Such an order will always have the United Nations at its core. </p> <p>This was also reaffirmed in the UN75 Political Declaration, adopted unanimously in September. The Declaration, together with the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, now serve as our Common Agenda towards building back better and greener. It represents the strongest commitment for a reinvigorated and inclusive multilateralism that this body has produced in recent times. We look forward to your recommendations on its implementation. You can count on our strong commitment and our full political support in moving this agenda forward. </p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>The most immediate opportunity to showcase that multilateralism delivers is in the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. Our priority must be to ensure universal, equitable and affordable global access to safe and effective vaccines. COVAX is the best tool to do this. We have joined and invested in COVAX and remain committed to ensuring its success. </p> <p>With the pandemic, the Decade of Action got off to a rough start. It is imperative that we get back on track in implementing the 2030 Agenda, the SDGs and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Addressing the disproportionate and devastating socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on women and girls globally must also be a priority. We should build the foundation for a renewed social contract with equal opportunities for all.</p> <p>The climate catastrophe and our collapsing ecosystems remain top priorities, requiring urgent action, including at the important CoPs in Kunming and Glasgow this year. We support the Secretary-General’s call to build a global coalition for carbon neutrality by 2050. The High-Level Dialogues on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought in April and SDG7 in September will be key milestones towards achieving these ambitions at COP26. We also look forward to the High-Level meeting, Stockholm+50, to take place in Sweden in June 2022, to address some of the key political challenges of our time, including redefining our relationship with nature and promoting sustainable consumption and production. </p> <p>The Nordic countries strongly support the SG’s continued emphasis on prevention, mediation, and peacebuilding. We agree with the Secretary-General that we need to see a “<em>collective new push for peace and reconciliation”. </em>The recent review of the Peacebuilding Architecture will facilitate further advancements in building and sustaining peace. We now need to increase our efforts to ensure implementation, including adequate, long-term, and sustainable financing. We thank the SG for hosting the Peacebuilding Fund Replenishment Conference two days ago. We reiterate our call for increased and meaningful participation of women in peace processes and mediation efforts.</p> <p>Gender equality is fundamental across UN’s three pillars. Mainstreaming gender equality and implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda requires a whole-of-UN approach and a closer linkage between the General Assembly and the Security Council. We are fully committed to the efforts made through the Generation Equality Forum to achieve transformative and immediate progress towards gender equality.</p> <p>The pandemic has put further strain on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. We strongly welcome the Secretary General’s <em>Call to Action on Human Rights</em> and call for stronger protection for human rights defenders as well as engagement with civil society. There must be accountability for human rights violations or abuses committed during this crisis, and for undermining of democratic principles or the rule of law. We urge the Secretary-General – in the spirit of the Call to Action – to promote a sufficient budget for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. </p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>We remain concerned over the financial situation of the UN, which the Secretary-General has repeatedly highlighted to member states. Recurrent liquidity crises seriously affect the Organization’s ability to deliver on the mandates decided by Member States. We encourage all member states to pay in full, on time, and without conditions. </p> <p>The Nordic countries remain steadfast supporters of the Secretary-General’s reform efforts. They need to continue, not least to strengthen the linkages between peacebuilding, humanitarian, human rights and development efforts. </p> <p>To conclude, rest assured that the Nordic countries will continue to be steadfast partners of a strong United Nations, its Secretary-General, and its staff around the world. </p> <p>Thank you. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Jan 28, 20211300 PC, 28 January 2021 (Holocaust Remembrance Day, Judgement of European Court of Human Rights in the case Georgia against Russia, Ukraine, Protests in Russia, International Day of Education)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1300%20PC%20EU%20on%20Holocaust%20Remembrance%20Day%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU on Holocaust Remembrance Day</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1300%20PC%20EU%20on%20Judgement%20of%20the%20European%20Court%20of%20Human%20Rights%20in%20the%20case%20of%20Georgia%20against%20Russia.pdf">EU on Judgement of European Court of Human Rights in the case Georgia against Russia</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1300%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU on Ukraine</a><br /> </span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1300%20PC%20EU%20POR%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20Protest%20in%20the%20Russian%20Federation.pdf">Joint statement on Protests in Russia</a></span></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1300%20PC%20N%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20International%20Day%20of%20Education.pdf">Joint statement on International Day of Education</a></p>

Jan 27, 2021966 FSC, 27 January 2021 (Enhanced Forward Presence, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/966%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Enhanced%20Forward%20Presence%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Enhanced Forward Presence</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/966%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Jan 25, 2021Joint Nordic Statement at the Intergovernmental Negotiations on matters related to the Security CouncilStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p>Joint Nordic Statement delivered at the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on the Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and matters related to the Security Council on 25 January, 2021 by H.E. Jukka Salovaara, Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Your Excellencies, Co-Chairs,</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Finland.</p> <p>I would like to express our gratitude to the Ambassadors of Poland and Qatar for co-chairing this session of Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform (IGN). We appreciate your facilitation of the process.</p> <p>Co-Chairs,</p> <p>The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of an effective multilateral system with the UN at its core. In the field of peace and security, the Security Council has a unique responsibility according to its mandate under the UN Charter. Therefore, the international community requires a Council that is more transparent, more effective, more accountable and more representative. The Security Council must have the required legitimacy to tackle the global challenges of today. It should also be adaptable to the challenges of the future and support a coherent UN response.</p> <p>Your Excellencies,</p> <p>We welcome the Co-Chairs’ letter, dated 8 December 2020, where the current IGN session is outlined. In today’s meeting, the Member States are invited to share their views both on the process itself and also on questions of substance.</p> <p>Once again, the Nordic Countries reaffirm their sincere commitment to our collective endeavour to reform the Security Council. We also emphasize the importance of the system-wide approach and close linkages between the Security Council reform and the reform of the peace and security architecture as a whole.</p> <p>In our joint statement delivered during the latest General Assembly debate on this subject in November last year, the Nordic Countries called for commencing more substantive text-based negotiations. Today, we reiterate this call. In our view, it would offer a way to encourage substantive discussions and advance the process further.</p> <p>We agree with your assessment Co-Chairs, that a renewed momentum must be given to this process in light of our joint commitment in the UN75 Declaration, which states that the UN Member States “commit to instil new life in the discussions on the reform of the Security Council”.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Co-Chairs,</p> <p>Turning to the issue of regional representation, as part of the reform the Nordic Countries support a balanced expansion of the Security Council from all regions to better reflect current global political and economic realities, and to ensure increased representation of developing countries, including both permanent and non-permanent seats for Africa. In our view, it is also important to provide for an opportunity for small states to participate in the decision-making process of the UN Security Council, including serving as elected members. We welcome ongoing discussions on these and other issues as negotiations progress.</p> <p>We must also carefully consider the possible negative impacts of the veto power on the work and functioning of the current and future Security Council, and of the United Nations as a whole. The use of the veto power must come with accountability and transparency.</p> <p>In the absence of a comprehensive reform, the Nordic Countries once again urge all Member States to join the “Code of Conduct regarding Security Council action against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes” and the “Political Declaration on Suspension of Veto Powers in Cases of Mass Atrocity” launched by France and Mexico.</p> <p>Finally, Your Excellencies,</p> <p>The Nordic Countries stand ready to contribute to a constructive dialogue among Member States in this session, to build on the progress of previous years, including the Framework Document and the Revised Elements Paper, which form the current basis of our work. We look forward to the guidance of the Co-Chairs on the way forward.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Jan 22, 2021Joint Nordic Statement on the occasion of Arria formula meeting in UN Security CouncilStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p><strong>Nordic Joint Statement Issued by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland on the occasion of Arria formula meeting in United Nation Security Council on Media Freedom in Belarus 22 January 2020</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Your Excellency,</p> <p>Members of the Security Council, distinguished experts,</p> <p>I have the pleasure to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Finland.</p> <p>We welcome today’s opportunity to discuss the grave violations of the rights to freedom of expression and information alongside media freedom in Belarus following the presidential election of 9 August 2020. The situation in Belarus continues to merit the attention of the international community.</p> <p>I would like to initially thank the briefers for their insightful and first hand remarks about media freedom in Belarus. &nbsp;</p> <p>In the aftermath of the presidential election, we saw journalists being beaten and detained&nbsp;as part of the widespread and indiscriminate violence against peaceful protesters carried out by the authorities. Media, journalists and bloggers have become targets of the government’s systematic repression. Foreign journalists have been denied accreditation or have been deported. Massive internet shutdowns have taken place. As summarized in the report by OSCE Rapporteur, Professor Benedek: The freedom of the media and the safety of journalists are under massive attack. The situation is not improving. Detentions, harassment and gross violations of human rights have become part of the daily life of journalists in Belarus.</p> <p>On 22 December, the founder of the Press Club Belarus, Yulia Slutskaya,&nbsp;was arbitrarily detained, while several of her colleagues were detained hours later. If convicted, they may face several years in prison. According to all information, they were only reporting the facts of the situation in Belarus. These violations of the right to liberty and security of person should not go unnoticed and should be condemned.</p> <p>The voices of the people of Belarus need to be heard.&nbsp;Critical voices must not be silenced. The rights to freedom of expression and information as well as the freedom of the media are crucial preconditions for a democratic and sustainable society. The Belarusian authorities must ensure the safety of all journalists and persecution related to the performance of their duties must stop immediately .We call on the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those arbitrarily detained. Accountability must be ensured.</p> <p>In closing, we will continue our strong support and stand in solidarity with the Belarusians who fight for democracy and for the brave journalists and media workers carrying out their duty and exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Jan 21, 20211299 PC, 21 January 2021 (OSCE SG, OSCE PA, Navalny, Ukraine, pres. elect. Kazakhstan, pres. elect. Kyrgyzstan)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span></span> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1299%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20new%20OSCE%20SG%20Helga%20Schmid.pdf">EU reply to new OSCE SG, Helga Schmid</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1299%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20President%20OSCE%20PA%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to President OSCE PA</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=2bbfea72-5efc-11eb-812f-005056bc8c60">EU on arrest of Alexei Navalny upon return<br /> </a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1299%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU on Ukraine</a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1299%20EU%20on%20Presidential%20elections%20in%20Kazakhstan%20-%20Copy%20(2).pdf">EU on presidential elections in Kazakhstan</a></span></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1299%20PC%20EU%20on%20Presidential%20elections%20in%20Kyrgyztan%20-%20Copy%20(2).pdf">EU on presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan</a></p>

Jan 20, 2021965 FSC, 20 January 2021 (Opening Session of US FSC Chairmanship)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/965%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Opening%20Session%20of%20US%20FSC%20Chairmanship.pdf">EU statement on Opening Session of US FSC Chairmanship.pdf</a>

Jan 14, 20211298 PC, 14 January 2021 (CiO Sweden Ann Linde)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1298%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20CiO%20MFA%20Sweden%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to CiO Sweden Ann Linde</a>

Jan 06, 2021Nordic Joint Statement in the UN Security Council on the Challenges of Maintaining Peace and Security in Fragile ContextsStatementsNew York - United Nations

<div> <h1 style="text-align: left;">Nordic Joint Statement on the occasion of the UN Security Council<br /> Open Debate on the Challenges of Maintaining Peace and Security <br /> in Fragile Contexts</h1> </div> <div class="col-sm-12" style="color: #3b3b3b; background-color: #ffffff; width: 716px; padding-right: 10px; padding-left: 10px; font-size: 16px; font-family: 'Noto Sans', sans-serif;"> <div class="module module-html module-html-one"> <p style="text-align: left;">Mr President,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Members of the Security Council,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">I have the pleasure to submit this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">As we turn the page and look back on a most extraordinary and challenging year, we have an occasion to renew and strengthen our joint resolve to address drivers of conflict and fragility to achieve stability and sustainable peace. We welcome today’s debate on how to address the challenges to peace and security in fragile contexts, and consequently how the Security Council can play its part in this important effort.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing local, regional and global conflict dynamics and drivers of fragility. As you have done, Mr President, we will focus particularly on Africa. As the African continent is battling the combined consequences of the current pandemic, key existing and underlying challenges persist. The consequences for the poorest and those in vulnerable situations are most severe. Furthermore, the spread of conflict and violent extremism in parts of Africa, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has seriously affected countries’ development and in some areas led to unprecedented levels of displacement.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">For many African nations, the pandemic has already reduced government revenue and increased health expenditure.&nbsp; We risk that hard-earned development progress is undermined and that Africa’s progress towards attaining the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals is further constrained.&nbsp;As we strive to build back better and greener, an integrated approach must be at the heart of our efforts to address the drivers of fragility in order to attain international peace and security.&nbsp;This includes addressing the challenges of chronic poverty, socio-economic inequalities, human rights violations, youth marginalisation, marginalisation of women, sexual and gender-based violence, weak governance and institutions and security risks related to climate change and environmental degradation. A strong African leadership in responding to these multifaceted challenges on the continent remains key.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We must ensure&nbsp;closer and more systematic cooperation between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission as well as the Human Rights Council and ECOSOC respectively, including in briefing and advisory capacity. In this connection, we wish to reiterate our support for the Secretary General’s&nbsp;<em>Sustaining Peace Agenda</em>, as well as the&nbsp;<em>Action 4 Peacekeeping Agenda.</em>&nbsp;Following the&nbsp;<em>Informal Interactive Dialogue</em>&nbsp;between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, we encourage the Security Council to adopt peace operation mandates that are adequately resourced, adaptable to changing conflict dynamics on the ground, and already from the start planning for a transition to broader peacebuilding efforts. This will enable those operations to contribute to breaking the vicious cycle of fragility and violence.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We see an increased number of protracted crises, exacerbating humanitarian needs, internal displacement, refugee flows and irregular migration, not least on the African continent.&nbsp;We strongly support the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire to provide space for efforts to ensure sustaining peace.&nbsp;We know that efforts to prevent conflict and sustain peace are more effective when we also consider sustainable development, human rights and inclusive approaches. We must therefore accelerate a&nbsp;coherent and integrated approach across the humanitarian, development, human rights and peace nexus.&nbsp;Our efforts to address fragility must at all times be coupled with a strong emphasis on protecting and promoting human rights and ensuring women full, equal and meaningful participation in societies as well as in peacebuilding, peace processes and conflict resolution. We know that peace is more sustainable when women participate.&nbsp;Advancing the full implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda must remain a priority. It is also critical to ensure the full participation of youth in all efforts to sustain peace.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">In order to handle an increasingly complex set of inter-related conflict and fragility drivers,&nbsp;we must ensure close cooperation and coordination between UN peace operations and other UN entities as well as with broader humanitarian, development, human rights and peacebuilding efforts.&nbsp;This requires strong coordination and collaboration between all partners on the ground, not least the UN, the African Union, the EU, the World Bank and IMF, the regional banks and the regional economic communities. In this regard, we must draw on the lesson learned from&nbsp;the historic and recently completed African Union-United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to protect civilians and help build peace in Darfur.&nbsp;The UN Security Council must ensure to engage with all relevant actors, especially civil society and local actors, so that we can understand the specific drivers of conflict and fragility, and tailor mandates and adapt approaches to achieve sustainable peace.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">In closing, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing fragilities around the globe. The impact of the pandemic also increases the obvious need for the UN and global actors to foster increased cooperation to ensure women’s fullenjoyment of human rights and women’s equal and meaningful participation in all aspects of peace and security, bolster institutions, leverage regional and continent-wide capacity and support, and prohibit current socio-economic challenges to become reinforcing cycles of fragility. We all have an obligation to ensure that human rights and the rule of law are ensured.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The Nordic countries remain committed to supporting the UN in preventive diplomacy, mediation, peacemaking and peacebuilding by effectively addressing the drivers of fragility. As we embark on a new year, we have a renewed opportunity to turn the tide on conflict and insecurity and build sustaining peace and a more sustainable futuretowards realizing the agenda 2030. The UN 75 Declaration is guiding us in the way forward and we stand ready to support its implementation together with other Member States.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Thank you.</p> </div> </div>

Dec 17, 20201296 PC, 17 December 2020 (reply to Chairpersons of 3 Committees, reply to SR on Youth and Security, Federal Executions in US, 51st round of Geneva Int. Discussions, Human Rights Violations in Belarus, Extension of Mandate of PC Ukraine, Ukraine, Minsk Group)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1296%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20Presentations%20by%20the%20Chairpersons%20of%20the%20Three%20Committees%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to the Presentations by the Chairpersons of the Three Committees</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1296%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20SR%20on%20Youth%20and%20Security,%20Keisi%20Seferi%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to the Presentation by the Special Representative on Youth and Security</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1296%20PC%20EU%20on%20Federal%20Executions%20in%20the%20US.pdf">EU statement on Federal Executions in the US</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1296%20PC%20EU%20on%2051st%20Round%20of%20Geneva%20International%20Discussions.pdf">EU statement on 51st round of Geneva International Discussions</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1296%20PC%20EU%20on%20Human%20Rights%20Violations%20in%20Belarus%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Human Rights Violations in Belarus</a></p> <a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1296%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1296%20PC%20EU%20on%20Declaration%20of%20Co-Chairs%20of%20the%20Minsk%20Group%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Minsk Group</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Dec 10, 20201295 PC, 10 December 2020 (Minsk Group, Int. Human Rights Day, reply to Pres. ICRC, reply to Repr. of Exercise for Tolerance and Non-Discrimination, reply to SG Council of Europe, Úkraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1295%20PC%20EU%20on%20Minsk%20Group.pdf">EU statement on Minsk Group</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1295%20PC%20EU%20on%20International%20Human%20Rights%20Day.pdf">EU statement on International Human Rights Day</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1295%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20President%20of%20the%20International%20Committee%20of%20the%20Red%20Cross%20(ICRC),%20Peter%20Maurer.pdf">EU reply to the President of International Committee of the Red Cross</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1295%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%203%20Representatives%20of%20Presidency%20on%20Exercise%20for%20Tolerance%20and%20Non-discrimination%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU reply to 3 Representatives of Exercise for Tolerance and Non-Discrimination</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1295%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20SG%20of%20Council%20of%20Europe,%20Marija%20Pejcinovic%20Buric.pdf">EU reply to Secretary General of the Council of Europe</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1295%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Dec 09, 2020963 FSC, 9 December 2020 (Ukraine, outcome of Tirana MC)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/963%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/963%20FSC%20EU%20on%20outcome%20of%20Tirana%20MC.pdf">EU statement on outcome of Tirana MC</a></p>

Dec 08, 2020Statement on Oceans and the Law of Sea at UN General Assembly by H.E. Mr. Jörundur Valtýsson Permanent Representative of Iceland to the UNStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Oceans and the Law of Sea</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>General Assembly, 8 December 2020</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by H.E. Mr. Jörundur Valtýsson</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Permanent Representative of Iceland</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>„The ocean, the blue ocean, captures the mind,</p> <p>what lies beyond the far horizon?” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These lines from a classic Icelandic poem come to mind when looking back at the year 2020. The ocean affairs have always captured our minds, but at the beginning of this year no one could foresee the COVID-19 pandemic lurking on the horizon – let alone the dramatic effects it has had on our way of living, working and thinking. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pandemic has also taken its toll on international cooperation. The year that was expected to be a grand year of international ocean events, commitments, conferences and treaty-making, ended up as a year of status quo for ocean affairs. Almost all international events were postponed or cancelled and negotiations here at the UN on the resolutions on oceans and law of the sea and on fisheries were limited to technical updates. Iceland supported this pragmatic approach and is a co-sponsor to both resolutions. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The COVID-19 situation, however, has also brought about some positive points. It has taught us how to adapt and improved our navigation skills in the virtual world. We have seen that it is possible to keep international relations going during travel restrictions and lockdowns - albeit in a different form. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our words of immense gratitude go to the people who have kept our work on ocean affairs going; the on-line facilitators of the omnibus and fisheries resolutions, Ms. Natalie Morris-Sharma from Singapore and Mr. Andreas Kravik of Norway respectively; the president of the BBNJ Intergovernmental Conference, Ambassador Rena Lee of Singapore, and her facilitators and staff; the Acting Director of DOALOS, Mr. Vladimir Jares and his able staff - as well as all the other hardworking people who have kept the UN boat afloat under these exceptional circumstances. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pandemic has also taught us a valuable lesson. Cooperation, science and resilience will get us through even the most serious difficulties. That is a lesson we should treasure.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One thing has not changed during this extraordinary year. The ocean is still the same, Oceans and Law of the Sea is important as ever and the need for international cooperation in this field has never been more urgent. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Oceans and Law of the Sea is of utmost importance to Iceland as fisheries have always been a fundamental pillar in the Icelandic economy. We have a long-standing policy of science-based environmental protection and sustainable use of living marine resources, which can only be maintained in harmony with other nations. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We strive to be active and constructive participants in international cooperation on Ocean and Law of the Sea, while also emphasising the regional control and framework for negotiating stocks and environmental protection of species. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is a cornerstone in the international system of Oceans and Law of the Sea and Iceland is honoured to have the Icelandic judge, Mr. Tómas Heiðar, running for re-election for a seat on the Tribunal in elections taking place in 2023. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The new agreement within the remit of the World Trade Organisation, prohibiting fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity, overfishing and IUU fishing, will be a welcome step on our long way to worldwide sustainable fisheries. Although we were not able to meet the mandate of SDG 14.6 and conclude this Agreement by 2020, we look forward to its conclusion in the near future.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are mounting challenges in the field of Oceans and Law of the Sea. According to the World Meteorological Organization, last decade was the warmest on record and climate change is melting the polar ice, elevating sea levels, and affecting the marine ecosystem. The UN Secretary-General calls this situation a climate emergency and, indeed, these changes are clearly felt in Iceland where we lose 4 billion tons of our glaciers every year. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland is willing to do its share to meet these challenges and has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 under the Paris Agreement. We are in the process of stepping up these commitments even further, as indicated in the updated Icelandic Climate Action Plan of 2020. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During our current chairmanship of the Arctic Council, Iceland has prioritized Arctic marine issues with emphasis on plastic pollution and blue bio economy, as well as climate and green energy solutions. The complex challenges of the oceans are best addressed through science and we welcome the Decade of Oceans Science for Sustainable Development, which will begin in 2021.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although international cooperation on Oceans and Law of the Sea has been less than expected this year, we are grateful for the work that could still be executed. We are also pleased that solutions were found and designed to facilitate future work, such as the possibility of virtual meetings for the Committee on the Limits on the Continental Shelf – in order for the committee to continue its important work.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Beyond the horizon we hope to find a promising new year packed with all the ocean commitments and events, which could not be held this year. Ocean affairs continue to capture our minds and Iceland looks forward to continued and reinforced international cooperation on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Dec 07, 2020Joint Nordic Statement for the launch of Group of Friends for the Elimination of Violence against Women and GirlsStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p><strong>Joint Nordic statement -&nbsp;</strong><strong>launch of Group of Friends for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, 7 December 2020</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I deliver this joint statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Denmark. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me start by extending our sincere appreciation to the EU, Argentina, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, New Zealand, and Turkey, for the initiative to establish this important Group of Friends for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, and to her Excellency, UN Deputy-Secretary-General, Ms. Amina Mohammed, for her firm support for this group.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As strong champions for gender equality and the full enjoyment of human rights by women and girls, all the Nordic countries are honored to be part of this group. Violence prevents women and girls from participating in all spheres of life. All forms of gender-based violence, each act of forced submission and degradation is a barrier to the achievement of gender equality and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. And it is among the most widespread and devastating human right abuses in the world with a third of all women and girls experiencing physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">And</span> this was before COVID-19. With the pandemic and its side effects in terms of security, health, and financial worries, all types of violence against women and girls have intensified. Earlier this year, this rightly led the UN Secretary-General to declare it a ‘shadow pandemic’ and to call for an end to all violence everywhere.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/news%20and%20events/stories/2020/answering-the-secretary-generals-call-on-covid-19.pdf">Almost a 150 countries responded to the Secretary-General’s call and agreed</a> to make ending violence against women and girls a key part of their COVID-19 response plans. And 121 countries adopted measures to strengthen support for women victims of violence during COVID-19. Yet, a recent study found, that only 48 countries treated services related to violence against women and girls as an integral part of their COVID-19 response plans, with very few adequately funding these measures. Therefore, there <span style="text-decoration: underline;">is</span> a strong need for a group like this to coordinate actions and share information to ensure follow-up to the Secretary-General’s call.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You can count on the Nordic countries to do our part to support the Secretary-General and this Group of Friends. As part of our commitment, we will use our strong voice and leadership in the Executive Boards of UN Women and UNFPA, in the Action Coalitions under the Generation Equality Forum, as well as in other relevant fora, including in regards to the Istanbul Convention. We will use the Danish leadership of the ‘Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies’ in 2021 and 2022 to promote the agenda and explore synergies with the work of this Group and other ongoing, relevant initiatives. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In closing, we look forward to work together with this group to make progress towards our shared goal of eliminating violence against women and girls.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you. Stay safe.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Dec 04, 2020Iceland calls for strengthen comprehensive security at the OSCE Ministerial Council, Tirana, 3- 4 December 2020.StatementsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/Endanleg%20%c3%a1varp%20r%c3%a1%c3%b0herra%202020%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf"> </a> <a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/Endanleg%20%c3%a1varp%20r%c3%a1%c3%b0herra%202020%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">Statement by H.E. Mr. Martin Eyjólfsson, Permanent Secretary og State on behalf of H.E. Mr. Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland</a>

Dec 03, 2020Joint Nordic Statement on "Report on Alleged Human Rights Violations related to the Presidential Elections of 9 August 2020 in Belarus"StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Joint Nordic statement for side-event on “Report on Alleged Human Rights Violations related to the Presidential Elections of 9 august 2020 in Belarus by Professor Dr. Wolfgang Benedek” – 2. December 2020</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">On behalf of the Nordic countries, I would like to initially thank Professor Wolfgang Benedek for his work as Rapporteur under the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism.I would also like to thank the numerous individuals, including human rights defenders, journalists and other media workers and members of civil society in Belarus who contributed information and testified for this extensive report. We are deeply grateful for your efforts. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">The report confirms that we were right to be concerned. Based on extensive documentation, the report concludes that there is overwhelming evidence that the presidential elections of 9 August 2020 were falsified. And that massive and systematic human rights violations were committed by the Belarusian security forces in response to peaceful demonstrations and protests. The tragic death of 31-year old Raman Bandarenka last month is yet another horrific example of the brutal reality in Belarus. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">Despite numerous reported cases of human rights violations and abuses, including cases of torture and other ill-treatment, as well as sexual and gender-based violence, the security forces continue to operate with general impunity. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">We encourage Belarus to engage to follow up the recommendations of the report, to end this campaign of violence and repression, to ensure the release of all unjustly imprisoned as well as to allow for a safe return for those in forced exile and to bring to justice all perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses. This is not an internal matter of concern for Belarus. Within the OSCE, participating States – including Belarus – have agreed that the commitments undertaken in the field of the human dimension of the OSCE are matters of direct and legitimate concern to all participating States.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We welcome the recommendations Professor Benedek has offered in the report. In closing, we would like to ask Professor Benedek a question: What do you consider to be the most effective thing we, as the international community, can do in order to end the impunity of perpetrators of torture and ill-treatment? Given that we are meeting in a New York context today, could we kindly ask you to elaborate on the recommendation on the role of the UN in this regard? </p> <p style="text-align: left;">Thank you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Nov 27, 2020The International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women. StatementsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1291%20PC%20N%20Joint%20Statement.pdf">Joint Statement addressed by Ambassador Guðni Bragason</a>

Nov 26, 20201291 PC, 26 November 2020 (reply to President PA, reply to HoM Albania, 25th Anniversary of Framework Agreement for Peace in BiH, Minsk Group, Nagorno Karabakh, Ukraine, Presidential Elections in Georgia, Int. Day on Elimination of Violence against Women)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1291%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20President%20PA.pdf">EU reply to President PA</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1291%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20of%20HoM%20Albania.pdf">EU reply to HoM Albania</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1291%20PC%20EU%20on%2025th%20Anniversary%20of%20General%20Framework%20Agreement%20for%20Peace%20in%20BiH.pdf">EU statement on 25th Anniversary for Framework Agreement of Peace in BiH</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1291%20PC%20EU%20on%20Minsk%20Group%20-%20Copy%20(2).pdf">EU statement on Minsk Group</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1291%20PC%20EU%20on%20Nagorno%20Karabakh%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Nagorno Karabakh</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1291%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1291%20PC%20EU%20reply%20on%20presidential%20elections%20in%20Georgia.pdf">EU reply on Presidential Elections in Georgia</a></p> <a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1291%20PC%20N%20Joint%20Statement%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">Joint Statement on International Day on Elimination of Violence against Women</a>

Nov 25, 2020962 FSC, 25 November 2020 (Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/962%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a>

Nov 20, 2020IAEA Board of Governors, 18-20 November 2020 (agenda items 2, 3, 4a, 4b, and 5)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span></span> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2020%20IAEA%20BoG%20november%20agenda%20item%202.pdf">Agenda item 2: Technical Cooperation: Report of the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2020%20IAEA%20BoG%20november%20agenda%20item%203.pdf">Agenda item 3: Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of UNSCR 2231 (2015)</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2020%20IAEA%20BoG%20november%20agenda%20item%204a.pdf">Agenda item 4a: Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2020%20IAEA%20BoG%20november%20agenda%20item%204b.pdf">Agenda item 4b: Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2020%20IAEA%20BoG%20november%20agenda%20item%205%20(AOB)%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">Agenda item 5: Any Other Business - Application of Safguards in the Middle East</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2020%20IAEA%20BoG%20november%20agenda%20item%205%20(INC).pdf">Agenda item 5: Any Other Business - INC</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2020%20IAEA%20BoG%20november%20agenda%20item%205%20(safeguards%20agreements).pdf">Agenda item 5: Any Other Business - Safeguards Agreements - Small Quantities Protocol</a></p>

Nov 19, 20201290 PC, 19 November 2020 (reply to Co-Chairs Minsk Group, reply to Representative Latvian-Russian Joint Commission on Military Pensioners, Presidential Elections in Moldova, reply to Project Co-ordinator Ukraine, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span></span> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1290%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20Co-Chairs%20of%20Minsk%20Group.pdf">EU reply to Co-Chairs Minsk Group<span><br /> </span></a></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1290%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20OSCE%20Representative%20to%20Latvian-Russian%20Joint%20Commission%20on%20Military%20Pensioners.pdf">EU reply to Representative Latvian-Russian Joint Commission on Military Pensioners </a></span></p> <p><span><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1290%20PC%20EU%20on%20presidential%20elections%20in%20Moldova.pdf">EU statement on presidential elections in Moldova</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=9b2d75f7-2ff2-11eb-8129-005056bc8c60">EU reply til Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine</a></span></p> <p><span><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=818a5605-2ff2-11eb-8129-005056bc8c60">EU statement on Ukraine<br /> </a></span></p>

Nov 18, 2020961 FSC, 18 November 2020 (Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/961%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a>

Nov 18, 2020IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee (TACC), 16-18 November 2020 (agenda items 2, 3 and 4)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<span><section class="single-news__content"> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/library/09-Sendirad/Vin/2020%20IAEA%20TACC%20november%20agenda%20item%202.pdf?design" target="_blank">Agenda item 2: The Agency's proposed TC Programme 2021</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/library/09-Sendirad/Vin/2020%20IAEA%20TACC%20november%20agenda%20item%203.pdf?design" target="_blank">Agenda item 3: Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action (ZODIAC) Project</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/library/09-Sendirad/Vin/2020%20IAEA%20TACC%20november%20agenda%20item%204.pdf?design" target="_blank">Agenda item 4: Evalution of Technical Cooperation Activities in 2020</a></p> </section></span>

Nov 16, 2020Statement on Draft Resolution on the Human Rights Treaty Body System in the Third CommitteeStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>DRAFT RESOLUTION ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY BODY SYSTEM</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Check against delivery</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Action on 13 November 2020</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>INTRODUCTION</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">by Mr. Agust Flygenring,</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Permanent Mission of Iceland to the UN</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madame Chair,</p> <p>I have the pleasure to introduce the draft resolution on the Human rights treaty body system contained in document A/C.3/75/L.39, under agenda item 72(a), tabled on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden -- the five Nordic countries -- and Belgium and Slovenia. </p> <p>This is the third time this resolution is being presented in Third Committee. There is a very encouraging number of member states on the co-sponsorship list, which we believe proves that our approach has been successful in seeking consensus and broadened support for the resolution. </p> <p>We would like to especially thank the member states who are already co-sponsors and invite all those who believe in the importance of an effective and efficient human rights treaty body system to join us, if they have not already done so. </p> <p>The text before us today is very similar to the resolution adopted two years ago by the General Assembly as resolution 73/162. Only three noticeable changes were made to the text.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>First, a new preamble paragraph (PP8) reads:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Recalling paragraph 41 of resolution 68/268, and in this regard welcoming the process of the consideration of the state of the human rights treaty body system and taking note of the report of the co-facilitators, the Permanent Representatives of Morocco and Switzerland to the United Nations, to the President of the General Assembly.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As specified in a footnote to this paragraph, the report by the two co-facilitators it refers to was circulated by a letter of the President of the General Assembly at its 74<sup>th</sup> Session on 14 September 2020.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In consultations on this draft resolution, it was clear that the aforementioned process is indeed welcomed by most parties, and while differences exist on specific recommendations and conclusions, the continued work on the process enjoys wide range of support, as reflected in this resolution.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The second change is the removal of OP6 from the resolution adopted two years ago. This paragraph had recalled paragraph 22 of resolution 68/268 where, in principle, the General Assembly decided that the public meetings of the treaty bodies should webcast as soon as feasible. As this has now been addressed, there was, simply put, no need to retain the previous OP6 in this year’s resolution.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The third and last noticeable amendment is that the last operative paragraph, marked as OP9 in the draft before us, has been amended to reflect the ongoing process. It retains the reference to paragraph 40 of resolution 68/268, reiterating the General Assembly’s request that the Secretary-General submits what has become a biannual report on the status of the human rights treaty body system. The paragraph omits previous reference to paragraph 41 and the process, which is as previously mentioned, under way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madam Chair, </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The ongoing pandemic has made this 75<sup>th</sup> session unprecedented for the Third Committee. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Like almost all aspects of our lives, we have had to learn how to tame our expectations and adapt to highly unusual circumstances. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Therefore, our approach from the outset was that we should retain and reinforce the principles of resolutions 68/268 and 73/162. We thank all the delegations for constructive cooperation on this, both in informal consultation and bilateral discussions. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By taking action on this draft resolution here and in the General Assembly with consensus, we will have managed this together. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Madame Chair, I thank you.</p>

Nov 12, 20201289 PC, 12 November 2020 (reply to Co-Chairs Geneva International Discucssion, review of OSCE Cooperation with Mediterranean Partners, Nagorno Karabakh, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1289%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20Co-Chairs%20of%20Geneva%20International%20Discussions.pdf">EU reply to Co-Chairs Geneva International Discussions</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1289%20PC%20EU%20on%20review%20of%20OSCE%20Cooperation%20with%20Mediterranean%20Partners.pdf">EU on the review of OSCE Cooperation with Mediterranean Partners</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1289%20EU%20on%20Nagorno%20Karabakh%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU on Nagorno Karabakh</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1289%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU on Ukraine</a></p>

Nov 11, 2020960 FSC, 11 November 2020 (Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/960%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a>

Nov 06, 2020Moscow Mechanism Report introduced at the 1288th OSCE Permanent Council on 5 November 2020.StatementsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1288%20PC,%205.11.2020.pdf">Statement by the Permanent Representative of Iceland on 5 November 2020.</a>

Nov 05, 20201288 PC, 29 October 2020 (reply to Coordinator EEA, International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, Nagorno Karabakh, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1288%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20CoEEA%20Vuk%20Zugic.pdf">EU reply to Coordinator EEA Vuk Zugic</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1288%20PC%20EU%20on%20International%20Day%20to%20End%20Impunity%20for%20Crimes%20against%20Journalists.pdf">EU statement on International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1288%20PC%20EU%20on%20Nagorno%20Karabakh%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Nagorno Karabakh</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1288%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine<br /> </a></p>

Nov 04, 2020959 FSC, 4 November 2020 (Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/959%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a>

Oct 30, 2020Statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries Interactive Dialogue with the President of the Human Right Council UNGA Third Committee 30 October 2020StatementsNew York - United Nations

<p>Madam Chair,</p> <p>I have the pleasure to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic Baltic countries, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Iceland.</p> <p>We thank the President of the Human Rights Council for her presentation and for her extraordinary efforts in steering the Council in challenging times, most primarily because of the Covid 19 pandemic but also the financial constraints the Council is facing. </p> <p>Madam President, with the support of your very capable bureau representing all regions, you have fulfilled the role given to the President in the Council´s founding resolutions and carried on the efforts of our last President, from Senegal, to steer its work in a neutral and unbiased way. Any claims by some of political favoritism should be rejected as baseless attempts to discredit the Council´s important work.</p> <p>Madam Chair,</p> <p>The Human Rights Council is not without faults and shortcomings. Too often states that get elected to the Council neglect to uphold its main mission: to protect and promote universal human rights. But on the whole, the Council regularly witnesses the best we can do in this field, with reports from the Council´s Special Procedures and mechanisms casting light on key human rights topics and situations – the urgent debate on the situation in Belarus at its last session being a clear example thereof -, and with all stakeholders participating in dialogues that advance the promotion and protection of human rights and prevent human rights violations.</p> <p>However, we need to remain vigilant. The current crisis should never be taken as an excuse for undue restrictions on democracy or human rights, and we can see an effort to negate some of the important progress made both here in New York and in Geneva.&nbsp; </p> <p>Advancing the dignity and equality of all human beings, and leaving no one behind, must be our goal today and in the future. The Human Rights Council has a crucial role to play in advancing that global conversation on, and the respect for, human rights and fundamental freedoms; discussions that affect everyone and everywhere. </p> <p>Thank you.</p>

Oct 29, 20201287 PC, 29 October 2020 (reply to Director CPC, Nagorno Karabakh, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1287%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20Director%20CPC.pdf">EU reply to Director CPC</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1287%20PC%20EU%20on%20Nagorno%20Karabakh%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Nagorno Karabakh</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1287%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Oct 28, 202079 Joint FSC PC, 28 October 2020 (Structured Dialogue)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/79%20Joint%20FSC%20PC%20EU%20on%20Structured%20Dialogue.pdf">EU statement on Structured Dialogue</a>

Oct 22, 20201286 PC, 22 October 2020 (reply to HoM Moldova, 20th Anniversary of UNSCR 1325, Nagorno Karabakh, Ukraine)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1286%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20HoM%20Moldova%20Dr.%20Claus%20Neukirch.pdf">EU reply to HoM in Moldova, Dr. Claus Neukirch</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1286%20PC%20EU%20on%2020th%20Anniversary%20of%20UNSCR%201325.pdf">EU statement on UNSCR 1325</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1286%20PC%20EU%20on%20Nagorno%20Karabakh%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Nagorno Karabakh</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1286%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p>

Oct 21, 2020958 FSC, 21 October 2020 (Ukraine, UNSCR 1325)AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/958%20FSC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/958%20FSC%20EU%20on%20UNSCR%201325.pdf">EU statement on UNSCR 1325</a></p>

Oct 15, 20201285 PC, 15 October 2020 (reply to Special Representative and Co-ordinator CTHB, reply to HoM Kossovo, 3rd Anniversary of assassination of D.C Galizia, Nagorno Karabakh, Belarus, Ukraine, International Day of Girl Child )AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1285%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20SR%20and%20Co-ordinator%20CTHB.pdf">EU reply to Special Representative and Co-ordinator Combating Trafficking on Human Beings</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1285%20PC%20EU%20reply%20to%20report%20by%20HoM%20Kosovo.pdf">EU reply to Head of Mission of Kosovo</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1285%20PC%20EU%20on%20Galizia.pdf">EU statement on 3rd Anniversary of assassination of D.C. Galizia</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1285%20PC%20EU%20on%20Nagorno%20Karabakh%20-%20Copy%20(1).pdf">EU statement on Nagorno Karabakh</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1285%20PC%20EU%20on%20Belarus.pdf">EU statement on Belarus</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1285%20PC%20EU%20on%20Ukraine.pdf">EU statement on Ukraine</a></p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/1285%20PC%20N%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20Girl%20Child.pdf">Joint statement on International Day of Girl Child</a></p>

Oct 12, 202019th Annual Regular Meeting of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC), 12 October 2020AlignmentsVienna - OSCE, IAEA, CTBTO, UNOV

<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Vienna/2020%20HCoC%20EU.pdf">EU statement</a>

Oct 09, 2020Statement at the General Debate of the First Committee by Ambassador Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the UNStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: left;">Statement by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations</p> <p style="text-align: left;">General Assembly 75th session, 9 October 2020</p> <p style="text-align: left;">First Committee – General debate</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Chairman,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me join others in congratulating you and the members of the Bureau on your election and wish you every success during this session.&nbsp;Having delivered a statement on behalf of the Nordic countries, I would briefly like to highlight few key issues from a national perspective.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The current COVID-19 crisis is a stark reminder that global challenges call for a global response, openness, and transparency. Hopefully, this experience will guide our co-operation to counter the growing tensions, distrust, and non-compliance that increasingly define the global arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation agenda.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the&nbsp;nuclear domain, we need to safeguard some of the key multilateral and bilateral agreements that brought us out of the wasteful arms race of the Cold War, not least the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), that are both up for review.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Having postponed the&nbsp;NPT-review conference, we should make use of the time to better prepare and build bridges. The NPT treaty continues to be effective in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons while safeguarding the benefits of nuclear technology for civilian use. We need to move forward and strengthen the third pillar of the Treaty on nuclear disarmament. It is incumbent upon all of us to make an extra effort to deliver on the implementation of Article VI.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The&nbsp;New START&nbsp;plays a crucial role for international stability, limiting the number of strategic nuclear weapons and, consequently, providing confidence-building measures for the benefit of all. We look forward to positive outcome of the US – Russia dialogue on strategic balance, including the extension of the New START. Furthermore, we encourage China to engage with Russia and the United States on nuclear arms control and disarmament. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Other mechanisms and agreements should be fully utilised, including&nbsp;the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, that provides a verification system fostering trust and transparency and is widely supported by the UN membership. All states, not already members, should sign and ratify the treaty, in particular those states belonging to Annex II of the CTBT. Iceland reaffirms it strong support for commencing negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, to further cement existing non- proliferation arrangements.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is regrettable to note the continued threat that the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea poses to global security with its illegal nuclear program in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. The DPRK needs to revert to responsible actions and join the CTBT and return to the NPT. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland supports the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and we urge Iran to fully comply with the agreement and fulfil their commitments in full cooperation with the IAEA.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we commemorate the&nbsp;75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, we should work together towards a world without the existential threat of nuclear weapons,&nbsp;pursuing nuclear disarmament based on a mutual, balanced, verifiable, and irreversible step by step approach.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Chemical Weapons Convention is currently being tested due to the re-emergence of the use of chemical weapons.&nbsp; Today, we have an on-going case with a Russian citizen poisoned in his own country - a tragic event that must be thoroughly investigated without any delay.&nbsp; The use of&nbsp;chemical weapons is utterly unacceptable by anyone anywhere.&nbsp; All such incidents need to be thoroughly investigated, and the perpetrators of such heinous crimes held accountable. In that regard, Iceland&nbsp;firmly commends the role of the OPCW and its ongoing investigative efforts, which are guided by strong integrity, impartiality, and outstanding expertise.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When discussing the weapons of mass destruction, we must reaffirm our commitment to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, which will come under review next year. The need to review its implementation is becoming increasingly urgent in the light of rapid biotechnical advances and the current pandemic situation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The urgency of arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation when it comes to weapons of mass destruction is undisputable.&nbsp; However, that must not be to the detriment of the work in field of conventional disarmament and fast emerging weapons technology. The importance of preserving, universalising, and developing treaties and initiatives in conventional weapons sphere is no less critical for the global security and sustainable development.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The illicit trade in&nbsp;small arms and light weapons&nbsp;continues to undermine peace, development, and human rights. Effective implementation of&nbsp;the Arms Trade Treaty and the Programme of Action on small arms&nbsp;is key to reversing this negative trend that significantly affects sustainable development. Iceland also welcomes the significant role these arm control instruments play in preventing gender-based violence in conflict situations. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland welcomes the successful results of the 20th Anniversary Conference of the Anti-Personnel Landmine Treaty, held in Oslo last year, where the goal of land-mine free world in 2025 was reinforced with solid implementation. Another important stride in the right direction is the attempt to address explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA), which Iceland strongly supports. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Recent months, with most societies in lockdown, have left no one in doubt about the vital significance of&nbsp;information technology and cyber stability for individuals and states alike. The weaknesses in our systems also make us more vulnerable to irresponsible behaviour, surveillance, and attacks by state and non-state actors.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We need to streamline and bring together different UN workstreams on cyber security and stability, building on existing international frameworks and norms. Furthermore, we should explore how we can best build capacity and safeguard human rights and fundamental freedoms in the cyber domain.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>New challenges and frontiers in the field of disarmament, including increasing activities in outer space and lethal autonomous weapons, need to be coherently addressed, drawing on existing international law, norms, and conventions. Any translation of the growing interest in activities in outer space into arms race or, for that matter, weaponization of space is unacceptable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are encouraged by the work of the GGE on the lethal autonomous weapons, in particular its consensus on the 11 Guiding Principles.&nbsp; We hope for concrete results based on these principles in time for the CCW Review Conference in late 2021. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is of deep concern that many of the treaties forming the complex rules-based global disarmament architecture are under serious financial strain.&nbsp; We urge all states to fulfil their financial commitments under the relevant treaties.&nbsp; Investment in disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation cannot fail under the present conditions of uncertainty when it comes to global security. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The 75th anniversary of the United Nations should be used as an opportunity to reinvigorate the UN disarmament agenda. We clearly need more resources, creative thinking, and inclusivity, not least making sure that women have an active and equal role in arms control and disarmament in line with UNSCR 1325.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me end by wishing us all a productive and constructive session.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p><strong><br /> </strong></p>

Oct 09, 2020Joint Nordic Statement at the First Committee - 75th General debateStatementsNew York - United Nations

<p style="text-align: left;">Nordic statement delivered by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Permanent Representative of Iceland</p> <p style="text-align: left;">9 October 2020</p> <p style="text-align: left;">First Committee – General debate</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Chair,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is an honour to address this Committee on the behalf of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Iceland.</p> <p>&nb