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International Organisations

The Embassy is also a permanent Mission of Iceland to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Council of Europe.

Iceland and the Council of Europe

The Council of Europe was founded in 1949 and Iceland became a member in 1950. From the beginning Iceland has actively participated in the work of the Council of Europe. From May to November 1999 Iceland held the chair of the Committee of Ministers which was a good opportunity to emphasize the country´s support to the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. Icelandic specialised ministries take active part in the co-operation within the Council of Europe and so does the Icelandic delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.


Iceland, along with 19 other countries, signed the Convention founding the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development on 14 December 1960, thereby pledged its full dedication to achieving the Organisation’s fundamental aims.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was established in 1945 with headquarters in Paris. Iceland became a member of UNESCO in 1964 and appointed its first permanent representative (Mr. Pétur Thorsteinsson) to the organisation the same year. In 1983-1987 Iceland held a seat on the Executive Board of UNESCO and again 2001-2005, when the representative on the executive board was Mr. Sveinn Einarsson. Since 1998 the former President of Iceland, Mrs Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, has been very active as Goodwill Ambassador for Languages and was for 2 years the President of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST).

Iceland has ratified the following conventions:
18.9.1956 Universal copyright convention, Geneva 6.9.1952
2.12.1977 Convention on wetlands of international importance esp. as waterfowl habitat, Ramsar (Iran) 2.2.1971
11.6.1986 Protocol to amend the same, Paris 3.12.1982
18.6.1993 Protocol to amend the same, Regina, Canada, 28.5.1987
15.3.1994 International convention for the protection of performers, producers of phonograms and broadcast organisations, Rome 26.10.1961
19.12.1995 Convention for the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage, Paris 16.11.1972
9.2.2005 Convention on the illicit import, export & transfer of ownership of cultural property done at Paris 14.11.1970
5.10.2005 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Paris 17.10.2003

Signature of:
11.4.1997 Convention on the recognition of qualifications concerning higher education in the Europe region 11.4.1997
2.7.2004 Thingvellir is chosen as World Heritage site


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