Statement by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson,
Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations
General Assembly 76th session, 10 December 2021
50th Plenary Meeting – Agenda Item 75
Strengthening the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance
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.
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.
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.
Finally, Madam/Mr. President,
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.