Iceland joined the United Nations LGBTI Core Group in New York as a member yesterday. The goal of the group is to work within the UN framework on ensuring universal respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all, specifically lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, with a particular focus on protection from violence and discrimination.
Iceland joins the core group along with Nepal, as applications are considered in pairs of a country from the Global South and the Global North. The Core Group strives to have a broad, cross regional membership with a balanced geographical representation.
In recent years, the Icelandic government has put a special emphasis on promoting human rights of LGBTI people. Iceland's participation in the group is part of the Government’s policy, as outlined in the current coalition agreement.
Yesterday it was announced that Iceland jumps up four places on ILGA-Europe‘s 2020 Rainbow Europe Map and Index, and is now in the 14th place. Iceland is also a member of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC), an intergovernmental coalition of states, protecting and advancing the rights of LGBTI people around the world. Iceland has co-signed the Coalition’s statement on COVID-19 and the human rights of LGBTI persons.
The role of human rights in Iceland's foreign policy has been expanded in recent years. During Iceland's term in the Human Rights Council, from 2018-2019, a special emphasis was given to upholding the rights of LGBTI people. Further information can be found in a report prepared by the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.