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Statements


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Sep 26, 202251st Session of the Human Rights Council: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention - General Debate<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Human Rights Council - 51st session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Item 4: General Debate</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by Iceland</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you, Mr. President. </p> <p>Iceland remains gravely concerned about steps <strong>Russia</strong> has taken to further restrict fundamental freedoms inside Russia since its invasion of Ukraine. We urge Russia to respect freedoms of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly, and welcome steps underway to bring the human rights situation inside Russia to Council’s attention.&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;&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; </p> <p>In <strong>Ethiopia,</strong> we are alarmed by reports of extrajudicial killings, sexual and gender based violence and starvation, as a method of warfare. We urge all parties to immediately cease&nbsp; hostilities, and take steps towards reachin<em>g</em> a political solution. Redress for past violations and abuses, some of which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, must be ensured.</p> <p>We are deeply alarmed by accounts of systematic human rights violations and abuses against Uyghurs and other minorities in <strong>China </strong>that may amount to crimes against humanity, including mass arbitrary detention, cultural and religious persecution, forced labor and sterilization. Accountability must be ensured.</p> <p>In <strong>Iran</strong>, we condemn the violent enforcement of the discriminatory compulsory veiling law. We urge the authorities to ensure that fundamental human rights of its citizens, including those of women and girls, are respected and that those under any form of detention are not subject to any form of mistreatment. Violence directed against peaceful protesters and human rights defenders must stop.</p> <p>In <strong>Egypt</strong>, we remain concerned about widespread and systematic violations and abuses of human rights, including freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of assembly and association.</p> <p>Mr. President.</p> <p>In <strong>Myanmar</strong>, we deplore the relentless attacks on children and call for an immediate end to all forms of violence, including sexual and gender based violence, mass killings, torture, airstrikes and arson. Ensuring accountability for past and ongoing international crimes is vital.</p> <p>Finally, Iceland raised its concerns about the human rights situation in Belarus and Ukraine stemming from Russia’s aggression elsewhere under item 4.</p> <p>I thank you. </p>
Sep 23, 202251st Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue on the interim oral update of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Belarus<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Human Rights Council - 51st session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Item 4: Interactive Dialogue on the interim oral update of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Belarus</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>23 September 2022</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>We thank the acting High Commissioner for her oral update. </p> <p>The Belarusian authorities continue to seriously infringe on the fundamental rights of their own people. The relentless attack on civil society and independent voices, and the widespread use of disinformation is appalling. Today, over one thousand three hundred political prisoners remain detained in Belarus. Moreover, the repression by the Belarusian regime of persons belonging to minorities, such as the Polish minority, is gravely concerning. </p> <p>Despite this grave situation, Belarusian activists continue to show great courage in their fight for the public’s enjoyment of their fundamental human rights. The recent harsh sentencing of Belarusian journalist Katsiaryna Andreyeva and Belarusian activists Maria (Marfa) Rabkova and Andrey Chapiuk are a stark reminder of the risks they take.</p> <p>Mr President. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We call on Belarus to adhere to its international commitments and obligations under human rights law. We request an immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners and other arbitrarily detained persons. The rights of persons belonging to minorities likewise need to be respected, including their right to foster their ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious identity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The international community must send a strong message that we stand united for a democratic Belarus. Iceland certainly does so.</p> <p>Thank you. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br />
Sep 23, 202251st Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive dialogue with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Human Rights Council - 51st session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Item 4: Interactive dialogue with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>23 September 2022</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>We thank the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine for the oral update. </p> <p>We continue to witness systematic violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and human rights law by Russia in Ukraine. Russia´s complete disregard for human lives is appalling, confirmed by sickening reports of mass graves and atrocities in areas recaptured by the Ukrainian armed forces. </p> <p>Evidence of filtration camps in Russian occupied territory in Ukraine are extremely disturbing and bring back painful memories of Europe´s past. Reports of forced transfers of unaccompanied Ukrainian children to Russia are likewise chilling. These cannot and will not be tolerated.</p> <p>Along with the immediate damage and destruction, where civilians and civilian infrastructure, are the primary victims, Russia’s war will have devastating long-term consequences on the Ukrainian population, not least young people and future generations. Scars caused by war take long to heal.</p> <p>Mr President. </p> <p>Iceland strongly condemns Russia´s plans for "referendums". They are a clear violation of international law and their outcomes can never be respected. </p> <p>We once again call on Russia to respect international humanitarian law and human rights law. </p> <p>Iceland stands in full unity with the people of Ukraine and demands the withdrawal of all Russian military personnel and equipment from Ukraine. </p> <p>Thank you. </p> <br />
Sep 14, 202251st Session of the Human Rights Council: Nordic-Baltic Statement - D with SR on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Human Rights Council - 51st session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Item 3: ID with SR on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>14 September 2022</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr 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 report.</p> <p>We firmly belief that safe drinking water and sanitation is not only a human right; it is also central to living a life in dignity. </p> <p>Lack of access to quality water and sanitation disproportionately affects women and girls; and indigenous women and girls are no exception. Discriminatory norms and structures, gender stereotypes, and stigma and taboos related to menstruation and child birth seriously affect the realization of the right to water and sanitation. The multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that indigenous women and girls face need to be taken into account. </p> <p>With growing global water scarcity and contamination, indigenous women and girls are increasingly forced to walk longer distances to fetch water. With this, the risk of sexual and gender-based violence, discrimination and exploitation and lack of autonomy increases.</p> <p>Despite indigenous women’ and girls’ irrefutable live-saving water role, they remain under-represented in consultative processes and decision-making about water management. The vast majority of water-related laws and programmes fail to include their knowledge. Essentially, their effective participation is not guaranteed. This must change. </p> <p>Mr. Special Rapporteur, what more can be done to guarantee indigenous women’s and girls’ seat at the table? </p> <br />
Sep 13, 202251st Session of the Human Rights Council: Annual report of HC for Human Rights and report of OHCHR and SG - General Debate on High Commissioner’s Oral Update<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Human Rights Council<em><br /> 51st session</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong><em>Item 2: Annual report of HC for Human Rights and report of OHCHR and SG</em><br /> General Debate on High Commissioner’s Oral Update</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you, Mr. President. </p> <p>Iceland thanks the Acting High Commissioner for her oral update.</p> <p>We would like to raise concerns of the sharply deteriorating human rights situation in the <strong>Russian Federation</strong> after its war of aggression against Ukraine. The persecution of human rights defenders, silencing of journalists, the ban against independent media and peaceful protests, and the attack against civil society is alarming. </p> <p>Iceland also strongly condemns Russia’s expansion and harsh enforcement of its “foreign agents’ law” which is systematically used to silence dissenting and opposition voices. Formal scrutiny of the human rights situation in Russia is urgently needed.<s><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span></s></p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>In <strong>Afghanistan</strong>, we remain greatly alarmed by the sharp deterioration of human rights, in particular women and girls, and ethnic and religious minorities. We reiterate our call on Taliban to respect women’s and girls’ rights and accept diversity and different views. The Taliban must close the gap between their words and their deeds, as they continue to be judged by the latter.</p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>We thank the OHCHR for the assessment report of human rights concerns in <strong>China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region </strong>which is sound, and its credibility cannot be refuted. </p> <p>Iceland is gravely concerned by accounts of systematic, widespread, and targeted human rights violations and abuses against Uyghurs and other minorities that may amount to crimes against humanity. Accountability must be ensured. We urge China to abide by its international human rights obligations and to immediately implement the report’s recommendations. </p>
Jul 14, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Nordic-Baltic statements, national statements and joint statements<ul> <li><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/HRC50%20All%20NB8%20statements.pdf"><span class="pdf">Nordic-Baltic (NB8) statements</span></a></li> <li><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/HRC%2050%20All%20national%20statements.pdf"><span class="pdf">National statements</span></a></li> <li><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/HRC50%20All%20signed%20joint%20statements.pdf"><span class="pdf">Joint statements</span></a></li> </ul>
Jul 06, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the Fact-Finding Mission on Libya<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>50th session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Interactive Dialogue with the Fact-Finding Mission on Libya</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Delivered by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>6 July 2022</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><br /> </strong>Mr. President,</p> <p>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.</p> <p>We thank the members of the Fact-Finding Mission for their report and reiterate our full support for their mandate. Their work is critical to ensure accountability and to end impunity for human rights violations and abuses in Libya.</p> <p>The human rights situation in Libya remains deeply concerning. It is unacceptable that reports of torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and sexual and gender-based violence remain largely unaddressed.&nbsp; We are also concerned about the use of arbitrary detention and shrinking civic space.</p> <p>We condemn the resurgence of politically motivated violence. We call on all actors to work towards a peaceful political transition in Libya and to adopt a holistic National Human Rights Plan of Action to ensure full respect for human rights and a sustainable transition to peace and democracy through fair elections.</p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>The work of the Mission is not yet completed. It is essential that it is given the necessary time and resources to complete its mandate. We therefore urge for the extension of the mandate and encourage all parties to fully cooperate with the Mission.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>
Jul 05, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: ID on the oral update of the High Commissioner on Ukraine and interim report of Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in Crimea<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>50th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>5 July 2022</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Item 10: ID on the oral update of the High Commissioner on Ukraine and interim report of Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in Crimea</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement by Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you, Mr. President.</p> <p>We thank the High Commissioner for the update and welcome the report.</p> <p>It has been more than four months now since Russia launched its brutal war against Ukraine, which has caused widespread destruction and unspeakable suffering of civilians. We urge Russia to immediately cease all attacks and deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, which constitute serious violations under international humanitarian law.</p> <p>The human rights situation in Crimea and all other Russia-occupied areas of Ukraine continues to deteriorate. We are appalled by increasing reports of arbitrary detentions, executions, sexual and gender-based violence, torture and other ill-treatment, and enforced displacement. We strongly reiterate that international human rights law and international humanitarian law must be upheld.</p> <p>Russia bears the full responsibility for all destruction and loss of life of civilians it is causing. Those responsible for human rights violations and abuses must be brought to justice. </p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>Iceland’s support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity remains firm. We reiterate our call on Russia to immediately withdraw all its troops from the entire territory of Ukraine without precondition, and to fully comply with its obligations under international law.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>
Jul 01, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Nordic-Baltic statement in the Urgent Debate on Afghanistan<p>President,</p> <p>I speak on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries. </p> <p>Afghanistan is facing dark times. </p> <p>When our countries addressed this Council last August, we - as many others - appealed to the Taliban to “live up to their promises, and uphold their obligations under international law to protect civilians and respect human rights”. </p> <p>Regrettably, the Taliban have shown no willingness to listen to such appeals - neither from the international community <em>nor</em> their own people. </p> <p>Almost one year on, a hard-hit population has no representative government and is suffering a humanitarian, economic and human rights crisis.</p> <p>The deteriorating situation for Afghan women and girls is of particular concern. No country of any religious persuasion of its people or government, denies girls the right to a secondary education – with one exception, Afghanistan. </p> <p>This egregious policy comes in addition to multiple directives and practices significantly impeding women’s rights. This includes freedom of movement, the right to gainful employment and freedom of political, economic, and social participation and decision-making.</p> <p>A country ravaged by 44 years of conflict, facing dire humanitarian and developmental challenges, can ill afford to exclude half of its population from participating in rebuilding society. </p> <p>The international community must continue to support Afghanistan. The Security Council provided UNAMA with a comprehensive mandate to engage. We welcome the visit of Special Rapporteur Bennett to Afghanistan and anticipate his first report to the Council in September. We support the convening of an urgent debate and the establishment of a panel. </p> <p>The UN and the rest of the international community must continue to support the Afghan people and promote the establishment of an inclusive government that represents its people and respects the human rights of all, including those of women and girls.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <br />
Jun 30, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Adoption of the Outcome of Iceland’s UPR Report and Addendum<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Item 6 - Adoption of the Outcome of Iceland’s UPR Report and Addendum</strong></p> <p><strong> 50th Session of the Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p><strong>Delivered by Head of Delegation, H.E. Harald Aspelund, Permanent Representative of Iceland</strong></p> <p><strong>30 June 2022</strong></p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>It is my great honour to address the Council on the occasion of the consideration and adoption of the outcome of Iceland’s third Universal Periodic Review.</p> <p>The promotion and protection of human rights is a core priority for the government of Iceland, in both domestic and foreign policies. We firmly uphold the principle that human rights are universal, and we strive to see this reflected in all areas of Icelandic society.</p> <p>The UPR offers an exceptional opportunity to regularly hold ourselves to account, take stock, and learn from others and Iceland greatly appreciates the interest shown in the human rights situation in our country. This review was an opportunity to discuss our own human rights record with fellow Member States and non-state actors. New challenges to human rights continue to rise and we, as all other countries, benefit from new perspectives on where we can do better.</p> <p>Iceland respects the UPR’s core concept of broad stakeholder consultations. A central part of this was the establishment of a Government Steering Committee on Human Rights, which since 2017 has served as a formal platform for human rights consultation and cooperation across all ministries. </p> <p>We closely involved Icelandic civil society in the review process. We held regular open consultations, and throughout the process, stakeholders were invited to submit comments and proposals.</p> <p>Another vital part of the consultation process was the involvement of children and young people, with the <em>Youth Council for the Sustainable Development Goals</em> playing an important role. The input of children and young people was invaluable. </p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>The Government of Iceland welcomes the recommendations received during the third UPR of Iceland on 25 January 2022. Iceland received 230 recommendations. They are highly valuable for our continued national development.</p> <p>The Government’s overall approach when considering the recommendations received was to accept recommendations where the Government could foresee measures before the next review, or where measures had already been or were being implemented.</p> <p>After careful consideration of the recommendations, the Government submitted an addendum to the Report of the UPR Working Group on 4 April this year. A table with all the recommendations and the Government’s responses to them was annexed to the addendum. The responses include explanations with regard to all recommendations that were noted.</p> <p>The Government of Iceland accepted 218 recommendations, partially accepted 2 recommendations and noted 10 recommendations.</p> <p>The recommendations cover a number of different human rights issues. I will provide some comments with regard to the main themes. </p> <p><strong>During our review, the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution was raised by a large group of states. </strong></p> <p>The Government of Iceland has decided to establish a strong, independent and effective National Human Rights Institution that will be fully compliant with the Paris Principles. The establishment of a human rights institution is included in the coalition treaty of the current Government. Work is already underway on the establishment of a new human rights institution a bill will be presented to Parliament in 2023.</p> <p>A number of states recommended <strong>the Ratification of the UN Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance.</strong></p> <p>We are pleased to announce that the process is underway. Icelandic law is based on a dualistic system, whereby national legislation is adapted to conform with international conventions ratified by Iceland. Consequently, the ratification process takes time. The Icelandic authorities emphasize their absolute devotion to continue an ambitious approach to the implementation of international human rights obligations.</p> <p>I would now like to make a few comments about the <strong>ratification of Optional Protocols that entail communications procedures </strong>of the respective human rights treaty bodies. After careful consideration, a decision was made to ratify the third Optional Protocol on the Rights of the Child before the end of 2023. To further strengthen the status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Government of Iceland has decided to incorporate it directly into Icelandic legislation. In parallel with the incorporation of the Convention into Icelandic legislation, a preparation of the Optional Protocol's ratification is planned. </p> <p>Allow me now to highlight a few of the steps the Government of Iceland has taken to <strong>combat gender-based and sexual violence, and trafficking in human beings. </strong></p> <p>The Government is firmly committed to fighting gender-based and sexual violence. Significant efforts have been made to ensure faster and higher quality investigations and prosecutions in gender-based and sexual violence cases. This includes enhanced financing and additional training for police and prosecutors.</p> <p>Combating human trafficking is a top priority for Iceland. In 2019, the Government’s policies were outlined in a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Other Forms of Exploitation which since has been the foundation of a strengthened approach to the prevention, protection, and prosecution of human trafficking, as well as enhanced partnership and consultations across the administration and with the police.</p> <p>We also received several recommendations concerning <strong>equality, non-discrimination and measures to combat discrimination, and accepted all of them.</strong> </p> <p>There should be no doubt that the Government of Iceland attaches great importance to combatting discrimination. Significant steps were taken in 2018, when the Icelandic Parliament adopted two anti-discrimination laws: the Act on Equal Treatment in the Labour Market and the Act on Equal Treatment irrespective of Race and Ethnic Origin.</p> <p>Legislative protection against discrimination has been strengthened, with the broadening of the Act on Equal Treatment outside the Labour Market with a bill passed by the Parliament earlier this month/in June this year. The Act now covers equal treatment in all areas of society, irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion, life stance, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics.</p> <p>I would also like to mention that earlier this month, the Parliament unanimously passed the first Action Plan on the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals in Iceland with the aim of improving their rights in all areas of society. </p> <p><strong>The matter of hate crimes and hate speech was also raised.</strong> The criminal code has been amended and now includes a provision on hate crime. The provision on hate speech has also been broadened to include protection for more groups. </p> <p><strong>During our review, a number of states gave recommendations to address the rights of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees.</strong></p> <p>The government has adopted a new and coordinated approach to refugee reception and integration, aimed at ensuring quicker and better inclusion of refugees into the community. This has gone hand in hand with a detailed Action Plan to further facilitate integration of all immigrants and to monitor societal perception of Iceland’s immigrant population.</p> <p>The Government intends to formulate a comprehensive immigration policy in the coming years, aimed at ensuring that persons who settle in Iceland have the opportunity to integrate and actively participate in Icelandic society and in the labour market.</p> <p>We noted the recommendations on ratifying the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. The revision of the labour law is planned and needs to be conducted and the ratification of the Convention will be taken into consideration after that process. </p> <p>Lastly, the fight against <strong>climate change</strong> is a core priority for the Government and we therefore welcomed and accepted the recommendations received on human rights and the environment. </p> <p>I thank you.</p> <h2>Concluding remarks</h2> <p>Let me first of all thank you and all those who have participated today. I also wish to thank the Secretariat for their invaluable guidance, and our Troika – Argentina, Finland and Senegal – for their excellent work.</p> <p>We have implemented a number of strategic initiatives since our last Review to promote human rights in Iceland, and the Government remains fully committed to continuing to implement the UPR recommendations. We will continue to involve civil society organisations in Iceland, and other stakeholders, in the follow up process. A strong and engaging dialogue with stakeholders is crucial to ensure that all key areas of concern are addressed. I can also confirm that we will, like last time, submit a voluntary mid-term report in 2024.</p> <p>Iceland remains firmly committed to promoting and protecting human rights and we will strive to find adequate solutions and responses as new human rights challenges arise. Iceland views the Human Rights Council as the key platform for the promotion of human rights and a cornerstone of the multilateral system. We will continue to work actively with the Council to ensure that mechanisms for protecting and advancing human rights globally are strengthened.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>
Jun 29, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic<p><strong>UN Human Rights Council<br /> 50<sup>th</sup> session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry <br /> on the Syrian Arab Republic </strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Intervention by Iceland, on behalf of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries. </p> <p>After more than a decade of a brutal armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, civilians continue to bear the brunt of gross violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law committed against them. </p> <p>We are gravely concerned about continuous reports of such violations and abuses, not least targeted attacks and killings, torture and sexual and gender-based violence, arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances throughout Syria. </p> <p>In a continuing pattern documented by the Commission for years, the Syrian regime and its allies have continued to indiscriminately target civilians. Once again, we demand all parties to the conflict to stop the systematic and widespread human rights violations and abuses, and comply with international humanitarian law.</p> <p>We are also concerned about the rising risk of hunger in Syria, particularly in view of increasing global food insecurity as a result of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. In this context, the extension of Security Council Resolution 2585 allowing continued cross-border humanitarian assistance in the northwestern part of the country is vital.</p> <p>We express our unwavering support for the Commission of Inquiry and its mandate. The people of Syria deserve accountability for the crimes continuously committed against them. </p> <p>The war has now lasted for more than 11 years. What can States do to ensure that the war and the suffering of the people of Syria are not forgotten, and to support accountability?</p> <p>Thank you. </p>
Jun 29, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>50th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>28 June 2022</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>ITEM 4 - <span>Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by Iceland</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland thanks the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus for her report, an important update on an ever-worsening human rights situation that we must not lose sight of. </p> <p>Belarus’ involvement in the war against Ukraine exacerbates the situation in Belarus and creates additional concerns. Civil society remains under attack and the widespread use of disinformation is alarming and must stop.</p> <p>We are deeply concerned about widespread and systematic violations and abuses that have been executed as an official policy, as well as recent constitutional and other legislative changes that restrict fundamental freedoms even further, including the recently adopted law on the death penalty. </p> <p>Iceland strongly supports the mandate of the Special Rapporteur. The Rapporteur’s work is vital to gain insight into the human rights violations and abuses taking place every day in Belarus with the collection of information showing persecution of political opponents of the regime, arbitrary arrests, and harassment of human rights defenders. </p> <p>Iceland condemns the systematic human rights violations and abuses of the Belarusian regime<strong> </strong>and calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners. We call on Belarus to adhere to its international commitments and obligations under human rights law. </p> <p>We stand firmly with the Belarusian people in their fight for a free and democratic society.</p> <p>Thank you. </p>
Jun 28, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Nordic-Baltic Statement - Panel on adverse effects of climate change on human rights of people in vulnerable situations<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Human Rights Council<br /> </strong><strong>50th session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Panel on adverse effects of climate change on human rights of people in vulnerable situations</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>28 June 2022</strong><br /> <br /> </p> <p style="text-align: left;">Mr. Chair,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">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 style="text-align: left;">We thank the distinguished panelists for their contributions. It is important to ensure a strong global message on the human rights impacts of climate change, disproportionately affecting persons in vulnerable situations.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The Human Rights Council has rightly underlined the interlinkages between human rights and climate change. It is our joint duty to tackle the adverse effects of climate change on the realization of human rights and to enhance a just and equal transition.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We must pay special attention to the protection and promotion of the rights of those who are more acutely impacted by climate change, including women and girls, children, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, persons in vulnerable situations and environmental defenders.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We thank the panel for highlighting that the integration of human rights into climate action will increase its effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. It is vital to empower women and persons in vulnerable situations and ensure their full, effective, equal and meaningful participation in decision-making at all levels.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"> Esteemed panelists,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">How can we best promote the integration of a gender perspective in climate action?</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Thank you.&nbsp; </p>
Jun 24, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>50th session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement delivered by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>24 June 2022</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Mr President,</p> <p>I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.</p> <p>We thank the Special Rapporteur for her report.</p> <p>We strongly condemn killing, harassment and intimidation of journalists and media workers. The disproportionate, multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and gender-based violence directed at women journalists is extremely worrying. All journalists and media workers must be able to work without fear of reprisals, online as well as offline.</p> <p>Freedom of opinion and expression is fundamental for resilient and democratic societies and protection of all human rights. Free, independent, strong and pluralistic media helps people make informed decisions and hold governments and public institutions accountable, both in peacetime and in conflict or war situations.</p> <p>Protecting journalists and media workers requires further attention and constant commitment. We need strengthened cooperation and dialogue between stakeholders across sectors, regions and fora. States have the primary responsibility to protect freedom of expression and ensure the safety of journalists, including ending impunity for crimes against journalists. As media today is dependent on digital platforms, businesses also have a crucial role to play.</p> <p>Honourable Special Rapporteur, what steps can governments take to strengthen cooperation and dialogue between stakeholders?</p>
Jun 16, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Dialogue with the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity<p><strong>50<sup>th</sup> Session of the Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p><strong>Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (NB8</strong><strong>)</strong></p> <p><strong>16 June 2022</strong></p> <p>Thank you, Mr. President.</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.</p> <p>We thank the Independent Expert for his report and reiterate our unwavering support to the renewal of this crucial mandate. We welcome the focus of the new report on the realization of the right to health in relation to the SDGs. Bringing a SOGI lens to the health-related commitments of the SDGs is of paramount importance to “leaving no one behind”. </p> <p>The right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights and the right to bodily autonomy, must be enjoyed without discrimination of any kind, including on the basis of SOGI and sex characteristics.</p> <p>We would also like to underscore the importance of providing comprehensive sexuality education to reduce health risks for LGBTQI and gender-diverse youth, including with regard to sexual and reproductive health and rights.</p> <p>We strongly condemn all attacks on human rights defenders and civil society organisations, including those working to combat discrimination and violence based on SOGI and call on all States to create a safe, inclusive and enabling environment for the promotion of human rights and equality for all.</p> <p>Mr. Independent Expert,</p> <p>What advice do you have for States to address the serious gaps in the evidence-base regarding health-related discrimination and violence based on SOGI? </p> <p>Thank you.</p>
Jun 16, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Dialogue on the High Commissioner oral update on the situation in Mariupol<p><strong>50th Session of the Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p><strong>Item 2 – </strong><strong>Interactive dialogue on the High Commissioner oral update on the situation in Mariupol (Ukraine, res S-34/1)</strong></p> <p><strong>Statement by Iceland</strong></p> <p><strong>16 June 2022</strong></p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>Iceland thanks the High Commissioner for her briefing on the devastating situation in Mariupol. What we have heard today has unfortunately become a common thread in Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine.&nbsp; </p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>The reports of the atrocities committed by the Russian military in Ukraine are shocking. Blatant disregard for human lives is a signature of Russia’s warfare for the past months. </p> <p>The Russian military continues to flagrantly violate the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, by way of executions, sexual and gender-based violence, arbitrary detentions, enforced displacements and shelling of hospitals and schools. This is something we have unfortunately seen in multiple cities across Ukraine, including Mariupol and Bucha.</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>We must continue to collectively fight against impunity for violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. </p> <p>Those responsible for committing those atrocities against civilians must be brought to justice. </p> <p>Iceland fully supports the Commission of Inquiry and other initiatives to this end, including the investigation of the ICC. Iceland also commends the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and other States in their joint efforts along with the ICC to facilitate investigations and prosecutions in the concerned states as well as those that could be taken forward before the ICC.</p> <p>I thank you. </p>
Jun 16, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Dialogue on the interim oral update by the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Nicaragua (Council resolution 46/2)<p><strong>50th session of the Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p><strong>Item 2: Interactive dialogue on the interim oral update by the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Nicaragua </strong><strong>(Council resolution 46/2)</strong></p> <p><strong>Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)</strong></p> <p><strong>16 June 2022</strong></p> <p>Mr President,</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries. We thank the High Commissioner for the latest update.</p> <p>We remain deeply concerned about ongoing human rights violations in Nicaragua, including arbitrary detentions, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and consistent attacks against human rights defenders, journalists and other media workers, political opposition, and civil society leaders.</p> <p>The space for civil society in Nicaragua is shrinking dramatically. We strongly condemn the authorities’ recent cancellation of 177 additional non-governmental organisations’ legal status and urge the Nicaraguan authorities to immediately revoke these decisions and to guarantee, in all circumstances, the right to freedom of association.</p> <p>We urge Nicaragua to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights, including civil and political rights. Impunity for human rights violations must end. We call on Nicaragua to cooperate fully with international and regional human rights mechanisms, including the OHCHR.</p> <p>Madame High Commissioner,</p> <p>What concrete steps can be taken to encourage Nicaragua to restore the legal personality of the organisations that have been arbitrarily shut down? </p> <p>Thank you. </p>
Jun 16, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in the Sudan <p><strong>50th session of the Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p><strong>Item 2: Enhanced interactive dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights since, and human rights violations and abuses committed during, the period of the military takeover in the Sudan </strong></p> <p><strong>Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)</strong></p> <p><strong>15 June 2022</strong></p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>Iceland has the honour of delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic Countries. We thank the High Commissioner for the update.</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>The situation for human rights in Sudan has deteriorated since the last time we met in this format. </p> <p>We are appalled by the violence from the security forces towards peaceful protesters. More than 100 have been killed and thousands arbitrarily detained. We have seen widespread sexual and gender-based violence. Tensions are increasing nationally, including 200 people killed in inter-communal violence in Darfur. </p> <p>A Sudanese-led inclusive dialogue is necessary to achieve a broad-based support for the path forward. We appreciate the commitment of UNITAMS, AU and IGAD to support the process. The de facto authorities must stop the violence and create a conducive environment for dialogue. The lifting of the state of emergency and release of prisoners are positive steps, more needs to be done. </p> <p>We appreciate the work of the independent human rights expert in Sudan and call upon the Sudanese authorities to fully cooperate with his mandate. </p> <p>Mr. President, </p> <p>How can we and the Office best support the protection and advancement of human rights in Sudan?</p> <p>Thank you. </p>
Jun 16, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: High level commemorative event, achievements and lessons learned<p><strong>High level commemorative event on the occasion of the 50th session of the Human Rights Council: achievements and lessons learned</strong></p> <p><strong>Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)</strong></p> <p><strong>15 June 2022</strong></p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries:&nbsp; Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and my own country Iceland.</p> <p>As we commemorate the 50th session, we reflect on the Council’s successes, challenges and opportunities.</p> <p>Overall, the HRC is a success. It has shown its relevance and ability to respond to crises through rapidly established Commissions of Inquiry.</p> <p>The adoption of the resolution on prevention (45/31) was a milestone. The HRC is perfectly placed to prevent serious human rights situations from deteriorating further.</p> <p>The HRC architecture is working. The special procedures publish bold and timely reports. UPR provides valuable recommendations to improve human rights nationally.</p> <p>However, ensuring adequate and predictable funding is key. We must make sure that mandates established by the HRC get the necessary funding and expertise.</p> <p>Our discussions are often subject to deep polarization. We need to build bridges and seek compromise. We need to work on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights at the same pace, always putting the individual at the centre. Civil society and human rights defenders play a crucial role, as well as national human rights institutions.</p> <p>We have a strong normative framework, but the implementation gap is too large. We can all do more at home to implement the human rights that we call for in this room.&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, we would like to thank the High Commissioner for her tireless efforts for human rights during her mandate.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>
Jun 14, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive dialogue on the annual report of the High Commissioner<p><strong>Item 2 – Interactive dialogue on the annual report of the High Commissioner</strong></p> <p><strong>14 June 2022</strong></p> <p><strong>Statement by Iceland</strong></p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Mr. President.</p> <p>We thank the High Commissioner for her report.</p> <p>We remain gravely concerned over the situation of human rights in the <strong>Russian Federation</strong>, including erosion of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, systematic crackdown on civil society, political opposition and media, and use of disinformation contributing to Russia’s war against Ukraine. Human rights and fundamental freedoms must be respected, and perpetrators held to account.</p> <p>In <strong>Belarus</strong>, we are deeply concerned of widespread and systematic violations that have been executed as an official policy, including the recently adopted law on death penalty, and attacks on civil society and widespread use of disinformation. We reiterate our call on Belarus to stop enabling the Russian aggression in Ukraine and to abide by its international obligations. </p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>We continue to be gravely concerned about the human rights situation in the <strong>Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region</strong>. We urge China to allow unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers and call for the High Commissioner to release her long-awaited report.</p> <p>Finally, we condemn the severe regression in the recognition, protection and realization of the rights of women and girls in <strong>Afghanistan</strong>. We call on the Taliban, and all other parties, to live up to their promises, and to their obligations under international law. </p> <p>I thank you.</p>
Jun 13, 202250th Session of the Human Rights Council: Nordic-Baltic Statement - Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Human Rights Council<br /> </strong><strong>50th session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>I</strong><strong>nteractive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)<br /> </strong><strong>13 June 2022</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.</p> <p>We thank the Special Rapporteur for his report.</p> <p>We remain deeply concerned over persistent human rights violations in Eritrea, in particular the practice of indefinite national service, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and widespread sexual and gender-based violence.</p> <p>We condemn the continuing involvement of Eritrea in the war in Ethiopia, including reports of the deployment of child soldiers and forced conscription of Eritrean refugees. We urge the Government to immediately and unconditionally withdraw Eritrean forces from Ethiopia and to investigate all alleged breaches of international law by Eritrean actors in Ethiopia.</p> <p>We also condemn severe restrictions on the rights to freedoms of expression and religion or belief, and the continued closure of civic space in Eritrea. We call on the Eritrean Government to release all those arbitrarily detained, to end the practices of prolonged, incommunicado and arbitrary detention, and to develop independent rule-of-law institutions to protect human rights.</p> <p>Finally, as a member of the Human Rights Council, Eritrea should uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights and fully cooperate with the Council’s mechanisms, including by granting the Special Rapporteur full and unhindered access to the country.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>
May 13, 202234th Special Session of the Human Rights Council<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>
Apr 07, 2022Introduction by Iceland for resolution on the Islamic Republic of Iran in HRC49<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 HRC49<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 HRC49<p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/HRC49-Statements.pdf"><span class="pdf">Nordic-Baltic Statements and National Statements in HRC49</span></a></p>
Mar 30, 2022Joint Nordic-Baltic statement for the Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner's Oral Update on Ukraine <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 <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 29, 2022Joint Nordic-Baltic statement on the human rights situation in Syria<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 <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 Belarus<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 <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 Ethiopia<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 Eritrea<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 Afghanistan<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, 2022Standing Committee of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme (83rd meeting): Statement by Iceland<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 Rights<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 Ukraine<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 22, 2022ILO Governing Body - Cross-Regional Joint Statement on the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine<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 <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 15, 2022ILO Governing Body, opening of the 344th session - Cross-Regional Statement on Russia's aggression against Ukraine<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 Ukraine<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, 2022Joint Statement on Aggression by the Russian Federation Against Ukraine - WTO<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>JOINT STATEMENT ON AGGRESSION BY THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AGAINST UKRAINE WITH THE SUPPORT OF BELARUS</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">COMMUNICATION FROM ALBANIA; AUSTRALIA; CANADA; EUROPEAN UNION; ICELAND; JAPAN; REPUBLIC OF KOREA; MOLDOVA; MONTENEGRO; NEW ZEALAND; NORTH MACEDONIA; NORWAY; UNITED KINGOM AND UNITED STATES</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We, WTO Members, stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and are united in condemning in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation’s military assault on Ukraine, which is supported by Belarus.&nbsp; We consider that the Russian Federation’s actions are an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign democratic state, and an egregious violation of international law, the UN Charter, and fundamental principles of international peace and security. These actions call into serious question the respect of the Russian Federation for all international institutions, disciplines, and norms.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Together, we insist that the Russian Federation urgently stops the military aggression and immediately withdraws its troops.&nbsp; We are firmly convinced that the Russian Federation must be held accountable and stop undermining democracy, global stability and international law. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We will take any actions, as WTO Members, that we each consider necessary to protect our essential security interests.&nbsp; These may include actions in support of Ukraine, or actions to suspend concessions or other obligations with respect to the Russian Federation, such as the suspension of most-favoured-nation treatment to products and services of the Russian Federation. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Furthermore, in light of Belarus’ material support to the actions of the Russian Federation, we consider that its accession process is suspended and will not participate in any accession-related work. </p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Finally, we will continue to call on the Russian Federation to live up to its responsibility to maintain international peace and security.&nbsp; </p>
Mar 09, 2022Statement on the illegal invasion of Ukraine - EFTA<p><strong>EFTA strongly condemns the illegal invasion of Ukraine and stands united with its partner</strong></p> <p>The EFTA States condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. They express deep concern for the severe destruction and human suffering resulting from this act of military aggression. This serious violation of international law is causing the loss of life of civilians and a humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine, which is being felt across the European continent.</p> <p>The EFTA States call on Russia to de-escalate the situation immediately, cease all hostilities and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory without delay.</p> <p>The EFTA States also condemn the involvement of Belarus in Russia’s military attack.</p> <p>The EFTA-Ukraine free trade agreement from 2010 is grounded in respect for the rule of law, democracy, and a common commitment to free societies and open economies – values that are being profoundly thwarted by the current unprovoked aggression by Russia.</p> <p>All four EFTA Member States – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – have joined other democratic partners in supporting Ukraine and its people by imposing numerous economic sanctions against Russia, as a response to the gravity of the violation of our shared fundamental values of human rights, self-determination and democracy.</p> <p>"Russia's attack on Ukraine is a serious threat to European security. The EFTA Member States reiterate their unwavering support to Ukraine and condemn this attack on Ukraine and its territorial integrity. We call on Russia to withdraw its military forces immediately from Ukraine.“ says Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Chair of EFTA – the European Free Trade Association.</p> <ul> <li><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/Statement-EFTA-strongly-condemns-the-illegal-invasion-of-Ukraine-9-March-2022%20(1).pdf">Statement-EFTA-strongly-condemns-the-illegal-invasion-of-Ukraine-9-March-2022.pdf</a></li> </ul>
Dec 17, 2021Joint Nordic-Baltic statement at 33rd Special Session of the HRC on the human rights situation in Ethiopia <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 Ukraine<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>
Nov 11, 202139th Universal Periodic Review in the Human Rights Council<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 09, 2021Joint Nordic-Baltic statements at HRC48<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 statement<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>
Oct 07, 202172nd Executive Committee of the Programme of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees - statement by Iceland<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 06, 202148th session of the Human Rights Council: Joint Nordic-Baltic Statement on the situation of human rights in Cambodia<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 Ukraine<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 intolerance<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>
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 <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 14, 202148th session of the Human Rights Council: Response to the Oral Update by the High Commissioner for Human Rights<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, 202148th session of the Human Rights Council: Joint Nordic-Baltic Statement on Yemen<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>
Mar 23, 2021Statements at the 46th session of the Human Rights Council<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>
Oct 07, 2020Statements at the 45th session of the Human Rights Council<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">During each session Iceland delivers a number of statements on&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">issues ranging from the human rights situation in individual countries to thematic issues. Those statements can be found below:</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/09/15/Raeda-Islands-i-umraedum-um-munnlega-yfirlitsskyrslu-mannrettindafulltrua-Sameinudu-thjodanna-HRC45/">Interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/09/18/Raeda-Islands-i-aridandi-umraeda-mannrettindaradsins-um-stodu-mannrettinda-i-Hvita-Russlandi/">Urgent debate on the human rights situation in Belarus</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/09/21/Avarp-i-umraedu-um-vernd-gegn-thvingudum-mannshvorfum-fyrir-hond-Nordurlanda-og-Balta/">Interactive dialogue with Working group on enforced disappearances</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/09/25/Avarp-i-umraedu-um-lond-sem-tharfnast-serstakrar-athugunar/">Debate on human rights situations that require the Council´s attention</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/10/01/Avarp-i-umraedum-um-mannrettindaastandid-i-Ukrainu/">Interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Ukraine</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/10/02/Avarp-i-umraedu-um-stodu-mannrettinda-i-Sudan-fyrir-hond-Nordurlanda/">Interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Sudan</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">In the Human Rights Council Iceland also works closely with the Nordic countries, as well as the Baltic countries (so called NB8 group). Additionally Iceland is part of the so-called Mountains group which in addition to Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Australia, Canada and New Zealand belong to.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">With these groups Iceland makes a number of statements at each session. During the 45th session there were 27 of those statements on issues ranging from the human rights situation in individual countries to thematic issues. Those statements can be found here:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/library/09-Sendirad/Genf/R%c3%a6%c3%b0ur%20Nor%c3%b0urlanda-NB8-Fjallah%c3%b3psins-HRC45.pdf">Statements</a></p>
Jul 17, 2020Statements at the 44th session of the Human Rights Council<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">During each session Iceland delivers a number of statements on&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">issues ranging from the human rights situation in individual countries to thematic issues. Those statements can be found below:</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/06/30/Avarp-i-umraedum-um-mannrettindaastandid-a-Filippseyjum/">Interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in the Philippines</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/07/01/Avarp-i-panel-umraedu-um-rettindi-barnsins/">Panel discussion on the rights of the child in the context of the environment</a></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/07/01/Raeda-Islands-i-umraedum-um-munnlega-yfirlitsskyrslu-mannrettindafulltrua-Sameinudu-thjodanna-HRC44/">Interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner on her annual report</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/07/02/Avarp-i-umraedu-um-skyrslu-serstaks-fulltrua-framkvaemdastjora-STh-um-ofbeldi-gegn-bornum/">Interactive dialogue on violence against children</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/07/09/Avarp-i-umraedu-um-rettindi-hinsegin-folks/">Interactive dialogue on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/07/09/Avarp-i-umraedu-um-aftokur-an-doms-og-laga/">Interactive dialogue on extrajudicial executions</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">In the Human Rights Council Iceland also works closely with the Nordic countries, as well as the Baltic countries (so called NB8 group). Additionally Iceland is part of the so-called Mountains group which in addition to Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Australia, Canada and New Zealand belong to.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">With these groups Iceland makes a number of statements at each session. During the 44th session there were 24 of those statements on issues ranging from the human rights situation in individual countries to thematic issues. Those statements can be found here:&nbsp;<a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/Raedur%20Nordurlanda%20og%20NB8.pdf">Statements</a></p>
Jul 06, 2020Statement of Iceland at the trade policy review of Japan<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland welcomes the distinguished delegation of Japan led by Deputy Director General Kenko Sone to their 14<span style="box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; line-height: 25px; vertical-align: baseline; top: -0.5em; font-weight: bold; font-size: 16px;">th</span>&nbsp;Trade Policy Review and would like to express appreciation the WTO Secretariat, as well as to Japan for the reports prepared, as well as to the discussant Ambassador Dagfinn Sorli, for his excellent framing of the issues for the discussion.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Japan and Iceland have a long history of shared values and Iceland regards Japan among one of its closest global partners. Japan is Iceland´s largest export partner in Asia and the largest trading partner that we do not have a free trade agreement with.&nbsp;</span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;"></span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Japanese market has for long been one of the most important market for Icelandic seafood products.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Imports from Japan amounted to close to 2% of total imports, with main products including motor vehicles and electronic equipment. Iceland and Japan have also been working towards further strengthening the collaboration in the field of geothermal energy.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Despite the geographical distance, Iceland and Japan are like-minded partners enjoying excellent cooperation in various international fora and sharing commitments to promoting a rule-based multilateral system.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">As island countries with highly developed fisheries industries, Iceland and Japan share common interest in the elimination of harmful subsidies in the fisheries sector. Iceland looks forward to collaborating with Japan for the successful conclusion of an agreement in the field of fisheries subsidies within the WTO.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;"></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black;">Chair,</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Japan was one of 120 WTO members and observers that launched a Joint Declaration on Women and Economic Empowerment that aims at sharing best practices and working together here at the WTO to remove barriers for women’s economic empowerment and increase their participation in trade.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In this respect Iceland thanks the Secretariat for the specific information on Japan’s policies promoting women’s economic empowerment in its report. Japan has enforced labour force reforms, to promote women's participation in the work force through measures such as increased childcare capacity, increased child care leave benefits, training and education programmes, and more flexible working conditions.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The trade policy review provides an excellent opportunity to share best practices in this field. Iceland submitted advance written questions on the participation of women in the economy of Japan.</span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The answers are very useful as we implement the joint declaration on trade and women’s economic empowerment and gather best practices.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Given the very unusual circumstances of this review and the current developments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iceland wishes the Japanese delegation good health and every success for the success for their trade policy review.</span></p>
Jun 19, 2020Statements at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">During each session Iceland delivers a number of statements on&nbsp;<span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">issues ranging from the human rights situation in individual countries to thematic issues. Those statements can be found below:</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/02/27/Raeda-Islands-i-umraedum-um-munnlega-yfirlitsskyrslu-mannrettindafulltrua-Sameinudu-thjodanna.-/">General debate on the oral update of the High Commissioner</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/03/02/Avarp-i-umraedum-um-mannrettindi-og-umhverfid/">Interactive dialogue on human rights and the environment</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/03/04/Avarp-i-umraedu-um-vernd-theirra-sem-berjast-fyrir-mannrettindum/">Interactive dialogue on human rights defenders</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/03/09/Avarp-i-umraedum-um-mannrettindaastandid-i-Nordur-Koreu/">Interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in North Korea</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/03/09/Avarp-i-umraedum-um-mannrettindaastandid-i-Iran/">Interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Iran</a></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/03/10/Avarp-i-umraedum-um-mannrettindaastandid-i-Myanmar/">Interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Myanmar</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/03/09/Avarp-i-umraedu-um-lond-sem-tharfnast-serstakrar-athugunar/">General debate on human rights situations that require the Council´s attention</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/06/16/Avarp-i-serstakri-umraedu-um-rasisma-i-heiminum/">Urgent debate on current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/06/17/Avarp-i-umraedum-um-mannrettindaastandid-i-Ukrainu/">Interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Ukraine</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/06/18/Avarp-i-umraedum-um-mannrettindaastandid-i-Libiu/">Interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Libya</a></span></p> <p><span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;"><a href="https://www.stjornarradid.is/sendiskrifstofur/fastanefnd-islands-i-genf/raedur/stok-raeda/2020/06/18/Avarp-i-umraedum-um-mannrettindaastandid-i-Mid-Afrikulydveldinu/">Interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Central African Republic</a></span></p> <p><span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">In the Human Rights Council Iceland also works closely with the Nordic countries, as well as the Baltic countries (so called NB8 group). Additionally Iceland is part of the so-called Mountains group which in addition to Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Australia, Canada and New Zealand belong to.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">With these groups Iceland makes a number of statements at each session. During the 43rd session there were 17 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-Fjallah%c3%b3psins.pdf">Statements</a></p>
Mar 11, 2020Statement of Iceland at the trade policy review of Australia<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland would like to welcome the distinguished delegation of Australia to their eighth trade policy review and would like to express appreciation to the WTO Secretariat, as well as to Australia, for the reports prepared, as well as to the discussant, Ambassador Braithwaite, for his excellent framing of the issues for our discussion today.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Despite the geographical distance, Iceland and Australia are like-minded partners enjoying excellent cooperation in various international fora and sharing commitments to promoting a rule-based multilateral system.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland and Australia share common interest in the elimination of harmful subsidies in the fisheries sector and Australia is a strong supporter of developing enhanced fisheries subsidies disciplines in the WTO. Iceland congratulates Australia for its commitment and active work in the field of fisheries subsidies within the WTO.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Chair,</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black;">Australia played an active role in championing the Joint Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment and is an active member of the Trade Impact Working Group, that is co-chaired by Botswana, Iceland and the ITC.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Furthermore, Australia is one of the members that have voluntary started to integrate information on their gender-responsive trade policies in the Trade Policy Review process.&nbsp; Iceland submitted advance written questions on the participation of women in the economy of Australia and thanks Australia for the information provided. &nbsp;The answers are very useful for the&nbsp;</span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">implementation of the Joint Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment and for gathering best practices.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Chair, Iceland appreciates Australia’s active engagement in WTO and their continued support for the multilateral trading system. We wish the delegation of Australia every success for their trade policy review.</span></p>
Feb 18, 2020Statement of Iceland at the trade policy review of the European Union<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #000000; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">Thank you chair,</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">Iceland would like to welcome the distinguished delegation of the European Union to their fourteenth trade policy review lead by Sabine Weyand, Director-General, and I look forward to the discussions today. We would like to thank both the WTO Secretariat, as well as the European Commission, for the reports prepared for this trade policy review, and the discussant, Ambassador Alexandre Guido Lopes Parola, of Brazil, for his clear and concise overview for our discussion today.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">It is of particular interest for Iceland to take part in the trade policy review of the European Union</span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; line-height: 25px;">.&nbsp;</span></span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;"><span style="color: #000000;">Iceland enjoys very deep trade relations with the EU under the Agreement on the European Economic Area, the EEA Agreement, and we have a long history of strong economic cooperation. Under the EEA Agreement, Iceland is part of the internal market of the European Union and participates in the EU’s internal harmonization of r</span>ules. We do that while not being a member of the Customs Union of the EU.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">Tariffs on industrial products in trade between Iceland and the EU have been abolished. Our trade arrangement for agricultural products is quite liberal and has recently been updated. Iceland is satisfied with the current level of market access for such products.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">That leaves us with fish. While tariffs have been abolished on most fish products in trade between Iceland and the EU, a large number of Icelandic fish products are still subject to tariffs arrangements, such as tariff reductions or tariff quotas, upon imports to the EU. Such tariff arrangements continue to distort our trade in such products imported from Iceland, while EU enjoys tariff free imports for all its fisheries products exported to Iceland.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">Iceland would therefore like to reiterate its request to the EU to eliminate all remaining tariffs on Icelandic fisheries products into the EU. Our key rationale is the following:</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">Firstly, non-discrimination: The EU policy has shifted considerably in recent years towards full market access for fisheries products from third countries into the EU. Under the EU´s recent FTAs, tariffs have been eliminated of all fish products from Canada, Japan, Vietnam and Mercosur and the same has been offered to current negotiating partners such as New Zealand and Australia. But still refuses to offer it to one of its closest partner, Iceland, which goes much further than any of these partners in harmonizing it rules with the rules of the EU. Another fact that makes Iceland also different from these partners, is that fish is by far the most important goods sector in Iceland’s exports.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">Secondly, economic interests of the EU: To the EU, Iceland is one of the most important trading partner, when it comes to fish imports. The EU is a major importer of seafood – with self-sufficiency rate of only 41% - with future consumption of fish products expected to increase substantially (less meat, more fish).</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">Thirdly, environmental benefits: Iceland´s fisheries are sustainable and therefore environmentally friendly. Furthermore, as Iceland in close geographical proximity with the EU market, imports of fish products from Iceland have lower carbon footprint than from countries that are further away from the EU market.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">Fourthly, the streamlining of current trade arrangements: Current trade arrangements between Iceland and the EU for fish products are not user friendly. They are governed by too many instruments and conditions such as tariff reductions and tariff quotas, without fully liberalizing trade in these products. These arrangements result in additional tariffs and administrative costs for imports of such products.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">And finally, Iceland is among the EU’s closest partners. The EEA Agreement is the deepest and most comprehensive agreement the EU has concluded with other countries. The current trade regime for fish products is no longer justifiable. Finding a solution is a win-win for both parties.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">Chair,</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">In closing I would like to turn to a subject that is particularly close to my heart. The European Union played an important role in the adoption and implementation of the Buenos Aires Declaration of Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment adopted at the MC11. &nbsp;We welcome the focus the EU places on gender equality and the economic empowerment of women. We also applaud the EU for integrating specific provisions on trade and gender equality in recent trade negotiations.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: black; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">As mentioned in the report of the Secretariat gender issues have begun to figure more prominently in EU trade policy, including analysis on how to improve the understanding of the impact of international trade agreements on gender equality. Iceland looks forward to further cooperation on this matter with the EU.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 25px;">Finally, allow me to complement the whole EU team for the enormous work they have put into their TPR and my delegation wishes the EU all the success.</span></p>
Mar 07, 2019Joint statement on the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia<span>STATEMENT UNDER AGENDA ITEM 2:<br /> INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH THE HIGH COMMISSIONER<br /> 40TH SESSION OF THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL<br /> DELIVERED BY H.E. HARALD ASPELUND (ICELAND)<br /> 07 MARCH 2019<br /> <br /> Mr. President, <br /> I have the honor to read this statement on behalf of a number of States.<br /> <br /> While acknowledging the spirit of modernization and reform embodied by the Saudi Vision 2030, we express significant concerns about reports of continuing arrests and arbitrary detentions of human rights defenders in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including women’s rights activists. <br /> <br /> We are particularly concerned about the use of the counter-terrorism law and other national security provisions against individuals peacefully exercising their rights and freedoms. Human rights defenders and civil society groups can and should play a vital role in the process of reform which the Kingdom is pursuing.<br /> <br /> We join the High Commissioner and Special Rapporteurs in their calls upon the Saudi authorities to release all individuals, including Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef, Nassima al-Sadah, Samar Badawi, Nouf Abdelaziz, Hatoon al-Fassi, Mohammed Al-Bajadi, Amal Al-Harbi and Shadan al-Anezi, detained for exercising their fundamental freedoms.<br /> <br /> We condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which Saudi Arabia has confirmed took place in its consulate in Istanbul. <br /> The circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death reaffirm the need to protect journalists and to uphold the right to freedom of expression around the world. Investigations into the killing must be prompt; effective and thorough; independent and impartial; and transparent. Those responsible must be held to account.<br /> <br /> We call upon Saudi Arabia to disclose all information available and to fully cooperate with all investigations into the killing, including the human rights inquiry by the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. <br /> <br /> Finally, we call on Saudi Arabia to take meaningful steps to ensure that all members of the public, including human rights defenders and journalists, can freely and fully exercise their rights to freedoms of expression, opinion and association, including online, without fear of reprisals. <br /> <br /> I thank you, Mr. President.<br /> <br /> List of countries supporting the Joint Statement:<br /> Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. </span>
Mar 05, 2019Statement of Iceland on freedom of religion<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">religion and the Special Rapporteur on sale of children</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">5 March 2019</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Statement by Iceland</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland thanks the Special Rapporteurs for their latest reports.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We believe persecution of people based on their religion or belief should never be condoned. I therefore take this opportunity to reiterate the worry expressed by our Minister for Foreign Affairs, in his address to this Council last week, of the apparent increase in both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Europe, where individuals are being targeted for hate and discrimination simply for their faith.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We need to do more to address this trend, in Europe and where ever else it is found. And we need to do it urgently.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. Shaheed, we warmly welcome the conceptual focus of your report on the freedom of religion and belief. This is most useful in a time when new methods of communication are becoming ever more important and have made it possible to immediately share information between people, across borders and boundaries, including&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;"><em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">false&nbsp;</em></span>information, incitement and intolerance.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We take particular note of your attempt to highlight the importance of not curtailing freedom of expression, while attempting to address issues relating to incitement of discrimination, hostility or violence against persons on the basis of religion or belief.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. Shaheed, in this regard, with an eye on your comments regarding the challenge policy-makers globally are faced with of responding to online expression, that can be viewed as incitement to violence or at least discrimination and stigmatization, we would like to ask whether you have had any contacts and discussions with leaders of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to name but two?</p>
Mar 05, 2019Joint Statement of the Nordic - Baltic states on violence against children<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">40<span style="box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; line-height: 25px; vertical-align: baseline; top: -0.5em;">th</span>&nbsp;session of the Human Rights Council</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Clustered Interactive Dialogue</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">5 March 2019</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Intervention by the Nordic – Baltic States</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">delivered by H.E. Mr Jānis Kārkliņš, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to the United Nations Office in Geneva</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Thank you Mr President.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries [Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Latvia].</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We thank both Special Representatives for their valuable work and express support for their mandates.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We share Ms Gamba’s concern over abductions as a means of instilling fear and terror. We are looking forward to the guidance note in this field.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We are pleased to see that best practices obtained during two decades of mandate for children and armed conflict will serve as a guidance on the integration of child protection issues in peace processes.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Ms Gamba,&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">taking into consideration the unanimous adoption of Security Council resolution 2427, what do you see as the main challenges for ensuring that the understanding of child protection as a preventive measure of conflicts is put in practice?</em></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">While we see positive developments in protecting children from violence around the world, [including those referred to in the report of&nbsp;<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> Ms Santos Pais,] we are not doing nearly enough [to protect our children].</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">[Today’s reality is alarming, as noted by the Special Representative, every five minutes a child dies because of violence and every year half of the world’s children suffer from violence.]</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Our countries believe stronger political commitment by states is necessary to protect children from violence. Violence, in all its forms, conducted online or offline, is unacceptable!</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Greater effort is required by national governments to develop national violence prevention and response programmes with effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. To ensure protection is effective, we would like to stress the importance of mainstreaming gender in these programmes. The protection of children from violence can not be done without addressing the gender, especially the specific risks, needs, vulnerabilities and coping strategies that girls are facing.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Ms Santos Pais,&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">we would be grateful if you could elaborate on the best practices already in place to ensure gender sensitive prevention and response.</em></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Finally, as “no-corporal-punishment countries”, we call on all states that have not done so, to prohibit corporal punishment in all settings.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you!</p>
Mar 05, 2019Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on disabilities - Statement by IcelandClustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on disabilities and the Independent Expert on Albinism<br /> <br /> 5 March 2019<br /> <br /> Statement by Iceland<br /> <br /> Iceland thanks the Special Rapporteur and the Independent Expert for their latest reports.<br /> <br /> Mrs. Devandas-Aguilar, we find your focus in your report on disability-specific forms of deprivation of liberty most welcome and agree with you that depriving people of their liberty on the basis of their disability represents a violation of human rights.<br /> <br /> We take particular note of your conclusion that persons with disabilities are systematically incarcerated, imprisoned, detained or otherwise physically restricted across the globe, regardless of the economic situation of the country or its legal tradition.<br /> <br /> This conclusion, while worrying in itself, invites somewhat contradictory deductions. On the one hand, it would indicate that the problem is so deep-rooted that it will be difficult to address. On the other hand, it could also offer an opportunity, in the sense that if the same applies to all or most states, then perhaps some unity of purpose may be achieved.<br /> <br /> We would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.<br /> <br /> I would also like to ask you how one can tailor into the debate the passage of time, of progress that has taken place in recent years and decades. I will presume you agree that in many countries the situation has improved very considerably in fifty years, maybe even in just twenty years.<br /> <br /> But what does that mean on a longer time-scale; can we foresee a continuing gradual march towards elimination of such methods as described in your report, or is it your opinion that a drastic intervention is needed at this time, in all societies, in all corners of the world, in equal measure?<br /> <br /> Lastly, I want to say that we share your view that children are particularly vulnerable to institutionalization on the basis of impairment and that if we are to start anywhere, we should start there.<br /> <br /> I thank you.
Mar 04, 2019Joint Nordic - Baltic statement on the rights of children with disabilities<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Human Rights Council</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">4 March 2019</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Annual full day meeting</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">on the rights of children</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Theme: Empowering children with disabilities for the enjoyment of their human rights, including through inclusive education</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">STATEMENT BY H.E. ASMUNDUR EINAR DADASON,</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">MINISTER FOR SOCIAL AND CHILDREN AFFAIRS OF ICELAND,</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">ON BEHALF OF THE NORDIC-BALTIC STATES</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr./Madam President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I am honoured to deliver this intervention on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic States: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Iceland.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We thank the panellists for their interventions and particularly appreciate that the voices of children have been brought to this debate.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr./Madam President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Children with disabilities hold the same rights as all children and their empowerment depends upon the realization of those rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provide a robust policy and legal framework to achieve the rights for children with disabilities.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We are all committed to the goal of achieving self-determination and full participation in society of persons with disabilities, and that includes children with disabilities. A crucial element in ensuring the meaningful participation of children with disabilities in society is inclusive education.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We need to take a holistic approach to ensuring the inclusion of children in society and education, ensuring that families and communities are supported to enable their inclusion. Similarly, in our experience working towards fully inclusive education requires our different agencies, ministries and municipalities working together across traditional sectors so that the right of each child is realized. It is also urgent that civil society is involved in this work.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Finally, it is worth mentioning that children with disabilities also receive education on their autonomy and rights, including comprehensive sexuality education, as well as how to protect themselves from violence and abuse in the same way as other children. Without it, we fall short of delivering a truly inclusive education.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">In closing, we would like to ask the panel to share best practises or examples of supportive policies to families and communities that support inclusive education.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Thank you.</p>
Mar 04, 2019Statement of Iceland on human rights and the environment<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Interactive dialogue with the&nbsp;</span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Special Rapporteur on</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">human rights an and the environment</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">4 March 2019</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Statement by Iceland</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland thanks the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment for his latest report and its focus on clean air and the negative impact of air pollution on the enjoyment of many human rights. Air pollution is one of the silent killers of our world and has a devastating impact on our health and wellbeing.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The good news is that realising clean air for all goes hand in hand with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including healthy lives for all, sustainable cities, universal access to clean energy and effective action to address climate change. We have the tools needed and must redouble our efforts.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">For my delegation it was also particularly interesting to receive the concise overview of the different ways we have in our regional and sub-regional frameworks acknowledged that every person has the right to live in an environment adequate to his or her health and well-being.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">It is becoming increasingly clear that we will, at the same time as we recognize this right, have to acknowledge the flip side of this coin; with this right also comes a responsibility and a duty, both individually and in association with others, to protect and improve the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The question we would therefore have for the Special Rapporteur is what he feels should be the next steps when it comes to bringing together and solidifying our common understanding of the right of every person to live in an environment adequate to his or her health and well-being?</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you.</p>
Mar 01, 2019Statement of Iceland on the misuse of counter-terrorism legislation<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Individual interactive dialogue with the&nbsp;</span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">1 March 2019</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Statement by Iceland</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland thanks the Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism for her latest report.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We remain deeply concerned about the widespread misuse of counter-terrorism legislation worldwide. The trend of using counter-terrorism legislation to silence human rights defenders, including women and LGBTI rights defenders, is particularly worrying.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The findings of the report that the targeting of civil society is not a random or incidental aspect of counter-terrorism law and practice must be urgently addressed. States must not use the pretext of ‘national security’ to shrink civic space or to arrest or detain individuals exercising their rights and freedoms.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">A vibrant and active civil society play a key role in preventing violent extremism and countering terrorism and the successful implementation of counter-terrorism strategies rely on broad communal support. Any effective counter-terrorism strategy needs to strengthen, not weaken, civil society.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">In this context, I want to highlight the importance of the fourth pillar of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy which focuses on measures to ensure respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism. We firmly believe that your mandate Madame Special Rapporteur, is crucial for the implementation of this pillar.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">In conclusion, I would like to ask the Special Rapporteur how she views the role of her mandate in the broader UN counter-terrorism architecture?</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you.</p>
Feb 28, 2019Statement of Iceland on the protection of human rights defenders<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders and the Special Rapporteur on torture</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">28 February 2019</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Statement by Iceland</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland thanks the Special Rapporteurs for their latest reports.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. Forst, we warmly welcome the focus of your report on the situation of women human rights defenders. We applaud the courageous and vital work carried out by women human rights defenders in challenging traditional notions of family and gender roles in society while acknowledging the significant and specific risks, threats and attacks they face.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">It is important to highlight that not all women human rights defenders are female. All human rights defenders who work in the defence of the human rights of women or on gender issues are women human rights defenders. Women, however, as your report clearly highlights - are also targeted for or exposed to gender-specific threats and gender-specific violence.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">States must stop criminalizing women for their work as human rights defenders and develop measures to tackle the root causes of discrimination against women, while ensuring the protection of human rights defenders in a manner that systematically integrates a gender perspective.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">While the responsibility for ensuring a safe environment for human rights defenders belongs to the State, women defenders need spaces of trust among women to talk about the challenges that affects them. States must ensure that women human rights defenders enjoy freedom of movement, have safe spaces and communications channels in order to create and participate in networks.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I ask you Mr. Forst, how can Member States better ensure that women human rights defenders are recognized and supported and enabled to participate equally, meaningfully and powerfully in the promotion and protection of human rights, at the national and international levels?</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you.</p>
Feb 26, 2019Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gudlaugaur Thor Thordarson's statement on behalf of the Nordic - Baltic states on the question of the death penalty<span><span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Human Rights Council</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Geneva, 26 February 2019</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Biennial high-level panel discussion&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Theme: Human rights violations related to the use of the death penalty, in particular with respect to the rights to non-discrimination and equality</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">STATEMENT BY H.E. GUÐLAUGUR ÞÓR ÞÓRÐARSON,&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF ICELAND,&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">ON BEHALF THE NORDIC-BALTIC STATES</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">I am honoured to deliver this intervention on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic States: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Iceland.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">We thank the panellists for their interventions. We reiterate our strong opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances. The death penalty constitutes a violation of the right to life and its abolition is necessary for the enhancement of human dignity and the progressive development of human rights.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">We are alarmed by the evidence of discriminatory use of the death penalty against persons belonging to racial and ethnic minorities or based on gender or sexual orientation. The disproportionate impact of its use on persons in vulnerable and marginalized situations is particularly troubling.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">When the UDHR was adopted, only 16 countries had abolished the death penalty. Today, more than two-thirds of the countries in the world have abolished it in law or practice. This represents a huge positive shift in the global outlook.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">It is therefore deeply worrying that some States are now choosing to go against this global trend by resuming executions. Imposition of death sentences for any offence, including drug offences, is incompatible with the fundamental tenets of human rights.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Instead of resuming executions, authorities should focus on evidence-based approaches to crime prevention in conformity with international human rights law. Moreover, States providing bilateral technical assistance to combat drug crime must ensure that the programmes, to which they contribute, do not result in violations of the right to life.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">In closing, we would like to ask the panel to share best practises in addressing the discriminatory use of the death penalty against women, especially linked to adultery.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Thank you.</span></span>
Feb 25, 2019Address by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gudlaugaur Thor Thordarson during the 40th session of the Human Rights Council<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Human Rights Council<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> Geneva, 25 February 2019<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> Address by<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> H.E Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> Mr./Madame President, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> &nbsp;<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> When I addressed this chamber one year ago, I did not know that Iceland would soon after be elected to serve on the Human Rights Council. For Iceland, it was a proud moment, made even more meaningful as we celebrated 100 years of sovereignty in 2018. I thank you for your support.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr./Madame President, I have sometimes been asked what useful purpose it serves to be a member of the Human Rights Council. There are those who deem it merely a talking shop. Others argue that the Council has been guilty of bias – that it spends too much time debating human rights violations in some countries, while ignoring similar or worse situations in others.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">My response is that yes, the Human Rights Council certainly has its flaws. For me though, the answer to the question is clearly not to disengage with the Council because of these imperfections, but rather to engage even more. Why? Because if it is broken, we need to fix it.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">This Council is and should be the primary arena for debating and advancing human rights at the national and international level.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Most importantly, we must not forget that the Council has been successful on many fronts. Only last September, it came together to pass landmark resolutions on the dire human rights situations in Venezuela, Myanmar and Yemen.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Similarly, the UPR has proven to be of utmost importance as it allows each Member State – even those that may think they are beyond reproach – to listen to the comments and questions of others, to receive criticism and recommendations to improve their human rights record.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Overall, the Human Rights Council has proven to be a valuable platform for advocacy on behalf of those left voiceless and have their rights ignored or violated in all parts of the world.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Nevertheless, and I want to stress this part: The Council could and should do even more, and Iceland will, for its part, strive to support efforts to that effect - in the session underway and in future sessions.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Ladies and Gentlemen,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">When the Human Rights Council was established more than ten years ago, we made it clear that Council members should “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights” and “fully co-operate with the Council”.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">As a new member of the Council, and as a first-time member of the Council, Iceland has pledged to act in accordance with this standard. Regrettably, however, many Member States have proven unwilling to do the same. States which join the Council should lead by example and expect their own human rights record to be subject to particular scrutiny during their time as members.&nbsp;</p> <span><span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">We have in this body highlighted the situation in the Philippines, where reports of extrajudicial killings have reached new heights with some estimates up to 27.000 people killed with impunity. It is, therefore, a concern when a re-election to this Council is claimed to justify these killings as a legitimate part of the so called “war on drugs”.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">The question we must ask ourselves is whether we are not, by electing and re-electing countries to this Council that have less than stellar human rights records, to put it mildly – playing into the hands of those who argue and accuse this Council of not being a force for good but rather a protector of human-rights abusers.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;"></span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr./Madame President,</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> </span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland is not only a first-time member of the Human Rights Council, but also the smallest country to be elected to the Council. We believe more countries should be encouraged to serve as members, of all sizes and strength, to expand its reach and impact. We advocate for the full participation of small states from all corners of the world and hope our election can serve as an inspiration.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <span><span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Large and powerful member states tend to run repeatedly for membership, thereby making it harder for smaller countries to gain a seat at the table. One could argue that this is the ultimate proof that the Council matters greatly, but on the other hand, this often blocks the way for others, including smaller members of the United Nations.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> </span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">In our opinion, we ought to consider a rotational basis of membership and ensure that all those that desire to serve on the Council can do so. Human rights are universal and belong to all of us, big and small, and we should all be able to engage fully.</p> <span><span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr./Madame President,</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> </span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I would like to add my voice to those who have in this chamber expressed concern about the rising intolerance against migrants and minorities, also in mainland Europe. We also see a worrying trend in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia where individuals are targeted for hate and discrimination simply for their faith. We cannot return to our past of us versus them, of indiscriminate hate and fear.&nbsp;</p> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">I am also concerned about increasing repression, through arrests and detention of human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and judges. Let me in this context draw attention to the independence of the judiciary in countries such as Turkey, where it has come under increased scrutiny, and call on the Turkish Government to ensure fair proceedings.</span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has confirmed took place in its consulate in Istanbul, further highlights the plight of journalists and human rights defenders. Widespread arbitrary arrests, torture and the persecution of human rights defenders for peacefully exercising their fundamental rights is unacceptable – always and everywhere. I cannot mention Saudi Arabia without also stressing the urgent need for the Kingdom to improve the status of women’s human rights.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We must also continue to advocate for political resolution of disputes; for the rights of all citizens to be upheld and, in the case of Venezuela, for the peaceful return to democracy – and for humanitarian assistance to be allowed to reach those in need.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Finally, repeated reports of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals, including in Chechnya and Tanzania are also of great concern to us.&nbsp; On this point, I want to highlight our pledge to put the human rights of LGBTI individuals in the forefront of our membership of the Human Rights Council.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I am also pleased to announce Iceland´s intention to become a regular contributor to the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner´s work in this field. We got it right decades ago in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights when we set out that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. This means everyone, irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you.</p>
Feb 04, 201932nd session of the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) <p>Iceland is an active participant in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council. The UPR is an important forum where the state of human rights in all states is discussed roughly every five years. The 32nd session of the UPR took place January 21. to February 1. During the session the state of human rights in 14 states was discussed. Iceland's recommendations to all 14 states can be found below.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/UPR32%20Iceland%20all%20statements.pdf"><span class="pdf">Iceland's recommendations during the 32nd session of the UPR</span></a></p>
Dec 10, 201831st session of the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) <span></span> <p>Iceland is an active participant in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council. The UPR is an important forum where the state of human rights in all states is discussed roughly every five years. The 31st session of the UPR took place November 5. - 16. During the session the state of human rights in 14 states was discussed. Iceland's recommendations to all 14 states can be found below.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/UPR32%20Iceland%20all%20statements.pdf"><span class="pdf"></span></a><a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/All%20UPR31%20Statements.pdf">Iceland's recommendations during the 31st session of the UPR</a></p>
Sep 27, 2018Joint Nordic statement on the human rights situation in Cambodia <p><span>The Permanent Representative of Sweden to the Human Rights Council delivered last Wednesday a statement on behalf of all the Nordic countries during a discussion on the human rights situation in Cambodia.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong>UN Human Rights Council<br /> </strong></p> <p><strong>39th&nbsp;session</strong></p> <p><strong>Item 10 debate: Cambodia 26 Sep 2018</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Delivered by H.E. Swedish Permanent Representative Veronika Bard</strong></p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you, Mr. President,</p> <p>Statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway,&nbsp;</p> <p>We thank Special Rapporteur Rhona Smith for her work and for the report on the human rights situation in Cambodia.</p> <p>As the report outlines, there has been a sharp decline of political and civic space in Cambodia over the past year, resulting in serious negative impact on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. This is illustrated by the dissolution of the main opposition party and the banning of many of its representatives from political activities.</p> <p>The arrests, threats and harassment directed against media and civil society underscores the severity of the situation. Furthermore, opposition leaders and supporters, civil society activists and journalists have fled the country in fear of arbitrary arrest.</p> <p>Democracy and the rule of law, as well as a fair and free election process, are prerequisites for the full enjoyment of human rights. Sweden, on behalf of the Nordic countries, would like to join others in expressing its deep concern over the restrictive conditions in which the Cambodian parliamentary elections took place in July.</p> <p>We would like to emphasize that an election, from which the main opposition party is effectively excluded, cannot be considered neither legitimate, nor representative of the will of the Cambodian people. Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of democracy, as is the protection for the freedom of expression and opinion, and of association and peaceful assembly.</p> <p>We call on the Cambodian government to drop all criminal charges against opposition leader Kem Sokha, recently released on bail, and to remove all restrictions against him. All other individuals imprisoned for exercising their fundamental rights, including the freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, must also be unconditionally released and have all charges against them dropped.</p> <p>Prior to this year’s election we noted a steady progress of elections in terms of compliance with international standards.</p> <p>We now call on the Government of Cambodia to reopen democratic space and to permit human rights defenders and media to engage in political life and carry out their roles freely, allowing civil society to flourish.</p> <p>Thank you</p>
Sep 27, 2018Statement of Iceland on the situation in Georgia<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Item 10 Iceland Statement</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Situation in Georgia</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">27 September 2018</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland would like to thank the Office of the High Commissioner for its efforts to provide cooperation and assistance to Georgia. We also take note of and welcome the commitment of the Government of Georgia to human rights, as described in the High Commissioner´s latest report.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We take this opportunity to encourage the Government to prioritize the promotion of gender equality, welcoming work done so far, in particular the adoption earlier this year of a National Action Plan on Measures to be Implemented for Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence for the period 2018-2020.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We would like to echo the concern of OHCHR of the state of human rights of populations living in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and call on those in control of these regions to grant immediate access to OHCHR.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We reiterate that it is not acceptable that no access has been granted, despite repeated requests since 2011. It is not sufficient to allow access to United Nations development and humanitarian actors, actors dealing with human rights must also be allowed access, including OHCHR, the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner and others.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The few reports that have come out of these areas would seem to point to serious human rights issues. Therefore, all parties should be embracing the need for credible and verified information.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Finally, Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Ten years have passed since the conflict between Russia and Georgia. Iceland would like to express its full support for a peaceful resolution of conflict in Georgia and takes this opportunity to reiterate its firm support for Georgia’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you.</p>
Sep 26, 2018Statement of Iceland on racism<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span>Harald Aspelund, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the international organisations in Geneva, delivered last Tuesday a statement in the Human Rights Council on racism and the importance of all states coming together to combat prejudice and persecution based on racial or ethnic origin.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Iceland Statement under Item 8</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">24 September 2018</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland is committed to fight racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The Icelandic Constitution prohibits discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, and provisions in the General Penal Code specifically safeguard against such discrimination.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">In addition, The Penal Code also makes it clear that any kind of attack or incitement against a person or a group of persons based on their nationality, ethnicity, race or religion is not tolerated.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We unfortunately see an increase in such incitement around the world. But this is not only true for racism and xenophobia but we also see increased intolerance and attacks being directed at those that fight for gender equality, as well as those that fight for the rights of LGBTI persons. Hate speech and incitement is never justified, for whatever reason.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Just yesterday our leaders came together in New York to celebrate the life and achievements of Nelson Mandela. There they committed to redouble efforts to build a just, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and fair world, and revive the values for which Nelson Mandela stood by placing human dignity at the centre of their actions.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">And relevant to the work of this Council, they recognised that the respect for the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights, as well as the fundamental freedoms, of all members of the human family is the foundation of inclusivity, justice and peace in the world. They declared that racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance represent the very opposite of the noble purposes of the United Nations.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We must build on those commitments in our work to advance the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We all constitute one human family. We must never forget that it is our joint obligation to eliminate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. We must work together to achieve this goal. Iceland is willing to its part.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you Mr. President</p>
Sep 26, 2018Statement of Iceland on the situation in Ukraine<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span>Harald Aspelund, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the International Organisations in Geneva delivered last Tuesday a statement in the Human Rights Council on the situation in Ukraine.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Iceland Statement</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Interactive Dialogue with High Commissioner on Ukraine</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">25 September 2018</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Thank you, Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland would like to thank the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for its continued work to monitor the human rights situation in the armed conflict zone and other parts of Ukraine.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We share concerns about the lack of effective investigation into conflict-related human rights violations, such as arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment in government-controlled territory.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland deplores that between 16 May and 15 August 2018, OHCHR recorded 105 civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine, which constitutes a 30 per cent increase compared to the previous reporting period. As noted in the report, increased hostilities worsen the immediate and long-term human rights protection of people living in the affected areas. We call on all parties, –the Government of Ukraine and the Russian Federation and other groups – to end all hostilities and human rights abuses and to bring to an end to the conflict by strictly adhering to the ceasefire and implementing other obligations foreseen in the Minsk agreements.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We also call on the Russian Federation to Implement General Assembly Resolution 72/190 of 19 December 2017, including by ensuring proper and unimpeded access of international human rights monitoring missions and human rights non-governmental organizations to Crimea as well as to respect obligations applicable to an Occupying Power pursuant to international humanitarian law, including the obligation to respect laws in force in an occupied territory.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We reiterate our respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Finally, we call on all sides to take urgent measures to protect LGBT persons and activists, who are subjected to cruel attacks and harassment and hold perpetrators accountable.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you.</p>
Sep 26, 2018Statement on the situation in Yemen<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span>Edda Björk Ragnarsdóttir, specialist, delivered on Tuesday a statement in the Human Rights Council on the situation in Yemen, where a bloody conflict has led to the death of thousands of civilians and had devastating effects on the human rights and living conditions of the people.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Iceland statement in Interactive Dialogue on Yemen<span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 400; line-height: 25px; text-decoration-line: underline;"></span></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: right;">25 September 2018</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The findings of the Group of Independent Eminent International and Regional Experts with regard to the situation in Yemen are as important as they are shocking.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland is deeply concerned by the conclusion of the Group of Experts that parties to the armed conflict in Yemen may have committed war crimes, and&nbsp;are responsible for various human rights violations, including unlawful deprivation of the right to life, arbitrary detention, rape, torture, ill-treatment, enforced disappearance and child recruitment, as well as violations of freedom of expression and economic, social and cultural rights.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We take this opportunity to reiterate our condemnation of the indiscriminate air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland wholeheartedly agrees with the recommendations of the Group of Experts, including their call for an immediate cessation of violence committed against civilians in violation of applicable international human rights and international humanitarian law.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Taking note of the warning issued by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Lowcock, earlier this week, that a famine may strike Yemen under current circumstances, we also urge all parties to fulfill obligations to facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief and unhindered access to medical facilities.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We would also like to stress that acts of sexual and gender-based violence, including sexual violence against women and children, must be stopped. We furthermore condemn the recruitment and use of children in the armed conflict.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The people of Yemen deserve peace and must be given a sustainable and inclusive peace. The Human Rights Council must do its part by ensuring that the situation in Yemen remains on its agenda, including by renewing the mandate of the Group of Experts.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you.</p>
Sep 25, 2018Debate on Gender Equality I - Mountains Group joint statement<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: left;"><span>Canada delivered on Monday a statement in the Human Rights Council on behalf of the Mountains Group (Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) in a special debate on gender equality.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">HRC39</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Joint Statement</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Annual Discussion on integration of a gender perspective</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">September 24, 2018</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I have the honour to deliver this joint statement on behalf of Australia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and my own country, Canada.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We welcome this important discussion on the use of gender-sensitive methodologies and the integration of a gender perspective into human rights investigative mechanisms.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">In recent years, UN commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions have increasingly sought to integrate a gender perspective into their work, in particular through the presence of gender advisors dedicated to ensuring the gender sensitivity of the investigation mechanism and by collecting evidence of sexual and gender-based violence.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">While this is to be commended, there is much more work to be done by COIs, FFMs and other investigative mechanisms in fully integrating a gender perspective throughout investigations.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">First, commissioners and experts should gather contextual information to uncover and analyze the root causes of gender-based human rights violations and abuses in conflict settings, including historical and structural gender inequalities and multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Second, investigators should systematically collect data disaggregated by gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability and other identifying characteristics to determine the degree to which all human rights – including sexual and reproductive health and rights – of various subgroups of individuals are respected, protected and fulfilled in times of conflict.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Third, meeting with women human rights defenders and civil society organizations, including feminist networks and LGBTI persons, should be built into the working methods of human rights investigative mechanisms in order to capture diverse gender perspectives.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Fourth, recommendations on accountability measures should reflect the voices of women, girls and all individuals who experience gender-based human rights violations and abuses in conflict.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The comprehensive integration of a gender perspective into the mandates of COIs, FFMs and other human rights investigative mechanisms is not only an important – but truly an essential – step towards achieving gender equality.</p>
Sep 25, 2018Debate on Gender Equality II - Joint Nordic - Baltic statement by Latvia<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span>Latvia delivered on Monday a statement in the Human Rights Council on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic States (NB8) in a special debate on gender equality.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">39<span style="box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; line-height: 25px; vertical-align: baseline; top: -0.5em;">th</span>&nbsp;session of the Human Rights Council</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Annual discussion on the integration of a gender perspective through the work of the Human Rights Council and that of its mechanisms</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;"><em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">Theme: Gender integration and human rights investigations: strengthening a victim-centred approach</em></span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">24 September 2018</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Intervention by the Nordic – Baltic States</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">delivered by H.E. Jānis Kārkliņš, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to the United Nations Office in Geneva</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr President, Distinguished panellists,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries [Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Latvia].</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We welcome todays’ important discussion.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Gender mainstreaming is essential to all the work of this Council and its mechanisms, including human rights investigative teams.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Despite efforts to combat sexual and other forms of gender-based violence, these crimes remain common and widespread in humanitarian and conflict situations. Women and girls continue to account for the vast majority of those affected. Impunity for such crimes can never be tolerated. Human rights investigative teams play a vital role in mapping human rights violations and abuses in a given context, which is crucial for holding perpetrators of such crimes to account. In carrying out this work, it is crucial to understand and investigate all forms of gender-based violence, not merely sexual violence.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We believe that integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of the Council’s human rights investigative bodies is crucial not only to uncover the causes, patterns and extent of the human rights violations committed, but also to better respond to the fact, that women, girls, men and boys may experience human rights violations and abuses differently.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The investigation of human rights violations through the prism of gender perspective also allows moving towards specific, action-oriented and victim-cantered recommendations that can bring a real change ensuring that all violations and abuses are accounted for, as well as preventing gender-based violence and discrimination in the future. Identifying the root causes of gender-based violence should also contextualize it within the gendered structures of society, identifying the broader patterns of discrimination against women and girls.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Gender integration of human rights investigations also relates to the composition of the mechanisms of the Human Rights Council, where gender parity must be the goal.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We would like to ask the distinguished panellists the following – Conflict often exacerbates existing inequalities. How can we ensure that human rights investigations are gender transformative, not focusing only on the sexual and gender based violence but also look at the underlying causes such as stereotypes, gender power relations and structural discrimination against women and girls?</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you Mr President!</p>
Sep 25, 2018Debate on Gender Equality II - Joint Nordic - Baltic statement by Estonia<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span>Estonia delivered on Monday a statement in the Human Rights Council on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic states (NB8) in a general discussion on gender equality.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Human Rights Council 39<span style="box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; line-height: 25px; vertical-align: baseline; top: -0.5em;">th</span>&nbsp;Session.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Item 8: General Debate</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">24 September 2018</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Nordic-Baltic Intervention by H.E. Ambassador Andre Pung, Estonia</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">This statement is made on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries: Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Estonia.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and “Human rights of women and of the girl-child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights” are quotes from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Vienna Declaration, that are often highlighted. However, while celebrating the 70<span style="box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; line-height: 25px; vertical-align: baseline; top: -0.5em;">th</span>&nbsp;and the 25<span style="box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; line-height: 25px; vertical-align: baseline; top: -0.5em;">th</span>&nbsp;anniversary of the mentioned documents, we can conclude that these words have not always been followed by sufficient actions.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Acknowledging the advancements of the enjoyment of human rights by women and girls, the World Economic Forum in its last year’s report concluded that at the current rate of progress, the global gender gap will take 100 years to close. The struggle of women’s rights movements and the strive for equal opportunities for women around the world show that it is high time to move from words to actions, to end all forms of gender inequalities.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Women and girls are often more deeply impacted than men and boys by poverty, climate change, food insecurity, conflict, inadequate access to basic services and global economic crises. For making progress on ensuring the enjoyment of human rights by all women and girls and making our words count, we need to have a gender responsive approach in all policy fields, at the international, national and local levels. This is also well demonstrated through a number of thematic reports presented to the Human Rights Council at the ongoing session, be it on safe drinking water and sanitation, death penalty or preventable maternal mortality. For women’s and girls’ rights to be realized it is crucial to eliminate gender based violence and ensure women’s and girls’ right to decide freely on matters affecting all aspects of their life, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights. There also needs to be effective and meaningful participation of women at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The Nordic and Baltic countries remain fully committed to respecting, protecting and fulfilling the human rights of all women and girls. We urge all States to fulfill their human rights obligations towards women and girls in their countries.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Thank you!</p>
Sep 25, 2018Statement of Iceland on the rights of LGBTI persons<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span>Þorvarður Atli Þórsson delivered on Monday a speech in the Human Rights Council on behalf of Iceland on the rights of LGBTI persons.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Iceland Statement under Item 8</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">24 September 2018</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;"><br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> This year we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Iceland firmly believes that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the declaration and reinforced in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.&nbsp;<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> As a member of the Human Rights Council Iceland will continue to support the Human Rights of LGBTI individuals, both home and abroad, and in that context I would like to hail the recent decision by the Indian Supreme Court to decriminalise same-sex relations.&nbsp;<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> This ruling is a welcome development. Too many states still hold laws on their books that criminalise consensual adult relationships and we want to take this opportunity to encourage them, as the High Commissioner did in her Oral Update, to look to India´s example in this respect.<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> Mr. President,<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> I am proud to be able to say that Iceland currently tops the index when it comes to LGBTI social acceptance, according to a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development from 2017. Recently, domestic funding for LGBTI issues has been doubled and an ambitious law on gender identity recognition is in the pipeline.<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> We continue to support the historic mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as the United Nations Free and Equal campaign. Both are important in their own right as we need to address both discrimination and violence but also work to increase the social acceptance in our societies. We have seen that change can happen fast when we come out together for the dignity and rights of all.&nbsp;<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> I thank you</span></p>
Sep 21, 2018Commitment to good practices by incoming members<p><strong>39th session of the Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p><strong>Human rights bodies and mechanisms&nbsp;- Item 5</strong></p> <p><strong>21 September 2018</strong></p> <p><strong>Delivered by Iceland</strong></p> <p>Mr President.</p> <p>As incoming members of the Human Rights Council, we are committed to the success and effectiveness of the Council and are convinced that the Council plays an invaluable role in promoting and protecting human rights worldwide.</p> <p>Resolution 60/251, setting up this Council over ten years ago, makes clear that Council members shall “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights” and “fully cooperate with the Council”.</p> <p>In furtherance of these requirements, we commit to strengthening the Council through good practice, and pledge to:</p> <ul> <li>cooperate in good faith with the OHCHR, the Council and its mechanisms, including responding in a timely manner to Special Procedures’ communications, urgent appeals and country visit requests;</li> <li>address human rights concerns on their merits, applying objective and human rights-based criteria in determining whether and how the Council should respond to a situation of concern, and take leadership and responsibility in initiating action when such criteria are met;</li> <li>engage in the work of this Council in a spirit of self-reflection with a view to improving our own human rights situation, recognizing that no State has a perfect human rights record;</li> <li>engage in the work of the Council in good faith and in a transparent manner, including in resolution negotiations;</li> <li>avoid procedural tactics when used to block genuine debate and prevent the Council from considering human rights issues on their merits;</li> <li>work to fulfill the Council’s prevention mandate through both technical assistance and capacity-building, as well as receiving from the High Commissioner “early warning” information about patterns of violations, and taking early preventive action;</li> <li>plan to make progress in the promotion, protection and realization of human rights at the national level, including through implementation of recommendations and resolutions of the Council and its mechanisms;</li> <li>work in cooperation with civil society in relation to our engagement with the Council, support civil society participation throughout the work of the Council, strive to create a safe and enabling environment for civil society, and engage robustly to prevent and address acts of intimidation and reprisals, speaking up to address such incidents when they occur.</li> </ul> <p>We are convinced that these commitments when properly respected and applied will help strengthen the Council’s effectiveness and credibility.</p>
Sep 20, 2018Joint Nordic - Baltic statement on the rights of indigenous peoples<p><strong>Human Rights Council 39th Session</strong></p> <p><strong>NORDIC-BALTIC STATEMENT&nbsp;<br /> Delivered by Denmark</strong></p> <p><strong>Annual Panel Discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples, on the participation and inclusion of indigenous peoples in the development and implementation of strategies and projects in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development</strong></p> <p><strong>19 September 2018</strong></p> <p>[Check against delivery]</p> <p>Thank you, Mr President</p> <p>I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries[1].</p> <p>We welcome the report[2]&nbsp;of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the rights of indigenous peoples, which underscores the particular relevance of the 2030 Agenda - and its focus on reducing inequalities and leaving no one behind - to indigenous peoples.</p> <p>The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) place emphasis on participation and the principle of consultation in order to obtain free, prior and informed consent. Consequently,&nbsp;we support&nbsp;mechanisms for indigenous peoples’ participation in the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda. Here, it is important to consider the interlinkages and possible synergies with other initiatives and frameworks such as the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform. We therefore also encourage States to include information related to indigenous peoples in their voluntary reviews for the high-level political forum on sustainable development.</p> <p>We support integrating the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples into development policies, including in the implementation of development programmes aiming at achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda. In order to systematically monitor the level of recognition and implementation, we encourage the further development of tools for collecting disaggregated data, such as the “Indigenous Navigator”.</p> <p>In closing, we kindly ask the Panel’s reflections on how all stakeholders can better integrate the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda?</p> Thank you. <div style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;"><br clear="all" /> <hr align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div id="ftn1"> <p>[1]Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Denmark together with Greenland.</p> </div> <div id="ftn2" style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;"> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; line-height: 25px;">[2]A/HRC/39/37</p> </div> </div>
Sep 20, 2018Joint Nordic - Baltic statement on reprisals against human rights activists<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>39th&nbsp;Session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Interactive Dialogue with the Assistant Secretary-General on SG report on reprisals</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>19 September 2018</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>I am delivering this statement on behalf of Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.</p> <p>We are deeply concerned by the increased number of allegations contained in the reprisals reports from the Secretary-General, which documents how acts of intimidation and reprisal against those cooperating with the United Nations continues to be a grave problem.</p> <p>Intimidation and reprisals affect not only individuals and groups, but are alarming also for the very negative message they send to others who wish to engage with the United Nations freely. It is very disturbing that the UN has documented self-censorship in all regions. We are particularly concerned about reports of acts of reprisals by Council Members and candidates for Council membership who must uphold the highest human rights standards. We call on every State to make it a priority to prevent and put an end to acts of intimidation and reprisals.</p> <p>Another disturbing trend is&nbsp;the use of national security arguments and counter-terrorism strategies by States as justification for blocking access for civil society to the UN. As the report highlights, protecting human rights is the best way to tackle the root causes of terrorism. National security should never be an excuse to limit participation and engagement with the UN.</p> <p>With reference to resolution A/36/21, we encourage the&nbsp;&nbsp;HRC Presidency to provide short oral updates on cases of alleged intimidation or reprisal, including actions taken, at the start of the Item 5 general debate of each Human Rights Council session, and to provide States concerned with the opportunity to respond.</p> <ul style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; overflow: inherit; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;"> <li style="box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; list-style-type: none; line-height: 25px;">Mr Gilmour, what do you see as the greatest obstacles in combatting reprisals, and how can we best help you from Geneva?</li> </ul>
Sep 20, 2018Joint Nordic statement on the rights of indigenous peoples<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>39th&nbsp;Session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP)</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>19 September 2018</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement on behalf of the Nordic countries</strong></p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Denmark together with Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We welcome the reports presented by both the Special Rapporteur and the Expert Mechanism.&nbsp;During its 10th&nbsp;session in July 2017, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Expert Mechanism), under its mandate in resolution 33/25, decided to produce a study on “free, prior and informed consent” (FPIC), as it&nbsp;appears in several provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In this study the Expert Mechanism provides insight how EMRIP understands free, prior and informed consent.&nbsp;We look forward to reading the final version, in light of the input that has been given on the draft version.The concept of free, prior and informed consent is closely connected to consultations, which&nbsp;serve as an important tool to secure participation from indigenous peoples in decision-making processes and as a tool to increase knowledge of indigenous peoples' issues in Government ministries and agencies.&nbsp;Consultation requires resources as well as time. The consultations must for example take place at a time where it is still possible to influence the legislative or administrative measures.</p> <p>Turning to the report by the Special Rapporteur. We note with concern the findings of her report highlighting the unique vulnerability of indigenous human rights defenders towards attacks and criminalization.</p> <p>The work of indigenous human rights defenders is highly important as it attests to the developments on the ground – for better or for worse - and provides important information to this Council. The work of indigenous human rights defenders must be safeguarded and their efforts recognized for its importance in the advancement of the rights of indigenous peoples.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In closing, we would like the Special Rapporteur’s reflections onwhat good practices can be identified in implementation of human rights impact assessments for large scale development projects?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you for your attention.</p>
Sep 18, 2018Statement of Iceland on the situation in Myanmar<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">39th session of the Human Rights Council</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px; box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">Statement in Interactive Dialogue with Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">18 September 2018<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> Delivered by Iceland</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We are pleased to have this opportunity to engage with the Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar on this urgent matter.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The findings of the report of the Fact-Finding Mission are indeed shocking. The report indicates genocide and crimes against humanity may have been committed by Myanmar Security Forces during their campaign against the Rohingya people. As is always the case in crises and conflicts, women and children are among those suffering most.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">We are alarmed by these findings, in particular we are dismayed that persecution of Rohingya people appears to be continuing to this day in Rakhine. It indicates that the Myanmar security forces are acting with complete impunity. Thus, my delegation fully supports the efforts of this body including the ongoing discussions on how we can ensure accountability including through trial in national and international courts, including possibly by the International Criminal Court.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The report is based on hundreds of interviews with affected individuals. It is conclusive beyond reasonable doubt, identifying where specifically violations and/or crimes have been committed and where the principal responsibility lies. Indeed, the report names individuals who should be investigated and prosecuted.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">In this context, the response of the Myanmar Government to the report of the Fact-Finding Mission is deeply disappointing.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland furthermore finds it abhorrent that the Government of Myanmar has arrested and prosecuted journalists involved in documenting some of the massacres which have occurred. We support the High Commissioner´s call that these individuals be immediately released. We also want to use this opportunity to commend Bangladesh for opening its doors to Rohingya fleeing the violence and persecution in Myanmar.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you.</p>
Sep 18, 2018Statement of Iceland on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">39th session of the Human Rights Council</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Item 4</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">18 September 2018<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> Delivered by Iceland</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland is very concerned about the situation in&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Nicaragua</span>, where OHCHR has reported&nbsp; some 400 people have been killed because of a police campaign of extrajudicial killings; enforced disappearances; widespread ill-treatment, and instances of torture and sexual violence, as well as other human rights violations. We regret the decision by the Government to cease cooperation with OHCHR after the publication of its report.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">The situation in&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Venezuela&nbsp;</span>is also of great concern, with reports that more than two million people have fled the country, with those numbers expanding day by day, and that those remain may be suffering from extreme effects of poverty, including malnutrition and health problems. Iceland will support a resolution in this Council which seeks to address the situation there.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. It goes without saying, in our view, that women should be allowed to enjoy their full human rights. Therefore, reports of a recent serious crackdown on human rights defenders in&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Saudi Arabia</span>, especially defenders of women´s rights, are of great concern to us.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland is opposed to the use of the death penalty under any circumstance but reports of the use of the death penalty by Saudi authorities to silence those who seek to enjoy their full human rights is deplorable in our opinion.&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">In&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">Iran</span>, Iceland finds the continued use of the death penalty for juvenile offenders very troubling. The arrests and ill-treatment of human rights defenders in Iran is also of concern and we would like to stress that freedom of expression is one of the fundamental principles imbued in every living person, in our view.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you.</p>
Sep 17, 2018Statement of Iceland on the situation in South Sudan <span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">39th session of the Human Rights Council</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">ID with Commission on Human Rights</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">in South Sudan (oral update)</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">17 September 2018<br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a;" /> Delivered by Iceland</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland is grateful for having this opportunity to engage with the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff;">In its last report in March of this year, the Commission concluded that most of the parties to the conflict in South Sudan had been “deliberately targeting civilians on the basis of their ethnic identity and by means of killings, abductions, rape and sexual violence, as well as looting and the destruction of villages“.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff;">We would agree that those acts constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity and believe there must be accountability for those responsible for any such acts.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff;">We look forward to receiving the Commission´s next report, at the March session of the Council next year, which we hope will provide clarity on who is responsible for the worst human rights violations in the conflict in South Sudan, including sexual and gender-based violence and ethnic violence.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff;">While we welcome the latest peace agreement signed by the warring parties in South Sudan, and hope it will finally bring durable peace to the long-suffering people of South Sudan, we are concerned about the recent announcement by President Kiir of a general amnesty and would like to ask the members of the Commission whether they think peace in South Sudan can take hold if there is no &nbsp;accountability for the crimes committed against civilians in the country, as well as international aid workers.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff;">I thank you.</p>
Sep 17, 2018Joint Nordic statement on the human rights situation in Syria<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">39th session of the Human Rights Council</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: inherit; font-weight: inherit; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Item 4: Interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> Syrian Arab Republic</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">17 September 2018<br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a;" /> Intervention by the Nordic countries</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px;">Delivered by Iceland</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">We are deeply concerned about the looming humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib. Only this year, 1,2 million Syrians have been displaced. We call on all parties, in particular the Syrian regime and its allies, to cease hostilities and ensure &nbsp;protection of civilians, as well as&nbsp; humanitarian access. All parties in Syria must respect their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">We condemn all use of chemical weapons in Syria. The regime’s repeated use of chemical weapons against its own population, as confirmed by the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism, is unacceptable. All such use is reprehensible and constitutes a serious violation of international law. Those found responsible for chemical weapons’ use must be held accountable.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">We express alarm over the systematic human rights violations committed by the Syrian regime, including related to detention practices. There are numerous challenges connected to the protection of housing, land and property rights (HLP), such as Law No. 10 enacted by the Syrian regime. We are especially worried about the grave implications for female-headed households and refugees. The Nordic countries support the recommendations proposed on HLP in the latest COI report.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">We continue to pursue accountability and strongly support the triple-I-M and the COI as well as civil society actors who risk their lives to ensure documentation of crimes. We urge others to support these efforts.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">Finally, we underline the need for progress in the UN-led political processes. The underlying causes must be addressed to end the conflict and prevent future conflicts.</p>
Sep 17, 2018Statement of Iceland on the situation in Burundi<p>Davíð Logi Sigurðsson, director for Human Rights, delivered today a statement during a discussion of the <a href="/library/09-Embassies/Geneva/burundi.pdf">Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi.</a>&nbsp;The report contains&nbsp; information on serious human rights violations in Burundi and a lack of cooperation with the Commission by Burundian authorities.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>39th session of the Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement on Burundi</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>17 September 2018</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Delivered by Iceland</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you Mr. President<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland thanks the Commission of Inquiry for their report on the human rights situation in Burundi.<br /> <br /> We take this opportunity to express our concern over the lack of cooperation shown by the Government of Burundi, as described in the report. The Human Rights Council has passed resolution 36/19 urging the Burundi Government to cooperate fully, allow visits by the Commission and provide it with all the relevant information to fulfill its mandate.<br /> <br /> In this context, we would like to recall in particular that elected members of this Council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>The Commission of Inquiry is to be commended for the detailed report it has been able to provide, despite the difficult conditions it has had to conduct its work under.<br /> <br /> We remain deeply concerned over the situation in Burundi, as described in the report, with indications that crimes against humanity may have been committed.<br /> <br /> We are concerned over the continued violence committed by the National Intelligence Service, the Burundian police, army and the Imbonerakure, the ruling party‘s youth league. Furthermore, the persistence of violations of international law, such as extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and sexual violence continue to be a grave concern.</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>We look forward to supporting a resolution in this council extending the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry. However, we take this opportunity to reiterate our call to the Government of Burundi to immediately cooperate with the Commission.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>
Sep 13, 2018Statement of Iceland on development and human rights<span></span> <div style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; color: #555555; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><span>Þorvarður Atli Þórsson delivered today a statement during the 39th session of the Human Rights Council on the importance of including human rights in the discussion on development and the positive interplay between development and human rights. Iceland emphasized the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and that focus on inequality was important in that regard.</span></div> <div style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; color: #555555; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">39th session of the Human Rights Council</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Item 3</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">The right to development</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">13 September 2018</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px;">Delivered by Iceland</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">Mr. President,<br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a;" /> We are pleased to engage here today with the Special Rapporteur on the right to development.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">One of the major advances of the Sustainable Development Goals compared with the Millennium Development Goals is that they apply to developing and developed countries alike. &nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">We believe that another key component of Agenda 2030, which the MDGs neglected, is that it explicitly acknowledges that human rights are essential components of sustainable development, and vice versa. The premise of the Goals to leave no one behind can help to promote inclusive development policies, as well as to serve as a foundation for human rights promotion in development.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">We believe this is particularly important in our discussion on the right to development, as well as on the link between development and human rights. It is also founded on our commitment in the Vienna Declaration where we reaffirmed that democracy, development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;"><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a;" /> Mr. President,</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">We are particularly pleased with the focus of the report of the rapporteur on inequality as it is an element of Agenda 2030 that could benefit from increased attention and it can affect not only enjoyment of economic and social rights, but also infringe on civil and political rights.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">We particularly would like to thank the Rapporteur for highlighting gender inequality in this context and for featuring the positive steps Iceland has taken to outlaw unequal pay. We agree with the Rapporteur that ensuring that no one is left behind requires a dedicated focus on the equal rights of women and men and on ensuring women’s participation in decision-making.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">We would therefore like to ask the Special Rapporteur, how can the lens of Agenda 2030 and the right to development continue to support and build a foundation for the mutually reinforcing link between development and human rights?</p>
Sep 13, 2018Joint Nordic -Baltic statement on the 70th Anniversary of the Convention on Prevention of Genocide<p>Andrius Krivas, Permanent Representative of Lithuania in Geneva, delivered today a statement in the Human Rights Council on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic states (NB8) in a special discussion on the 70th Anniversary of the Convention on Prevention of Genocide. The Convention was the first human rights convention created by the United Nations. </p> <p>Various esteemed specialists in the field of international law took part in today's discussion, some of which have served on UN courts on genocide in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. Michelle Bachelet,&nbsp; UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Foreign Minister of Armenia, also took part in the discussion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>39th session of the Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>High Level Panel discussion on the 70th Anniversary of the Convention on Prevention of Genocide Nordic-Baltic Statement</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>13 September 2018</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Delivered by Lithuania</strong></p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries; Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden and my own country Lithuania.</p> <p>This year marks the 70th&nbsp;anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. During these years, much progress has been made in the fight against impunity for the perpetrators of atrocity crimes. Landmark convictions paved the way for the establishment, twenty years ago, of the International Criminal Court.</p> <p>After the genocide in Rwanda, the international community promised “never again”. Despite this, and a commitment by UN Member States to protect populations, atrocity crimes, continue to be perpetrated. For persecuted persons across the globe, these promises and commitments have failed to translate into action.&nbsp; Impunity is still all too common.</p> <p>We therefore need, not only more robust accountability mechanisms, but also a focus on prevention. While the primary responsibility lies with States, early responses must be undertaken by all, at local, national and international level. We believe that the Human Rights Council and other Geneva-based human rights mechanisms are particularly well suited to recognise early warning signs of genocide and other mass atrocity crimes. Violations of human rights law and humanitarian law are common risk factors that can lead to the commission of atrocity crimes. These crimes are also a threat to national, regional and international peace, security and stability. We also welcome the Special Rapporteur’s commitment to strengthen the gender perspective in his thematic and country-related work</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We would like to thank the UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, for his tireless work on genocide prevention by putting human rights, the responsibility to protect and prevention of atrocity crimes at the center of his office’s work. The anniversary of the Genocide Convention provides an opportunity to promote its universal ratification. The Nordic and Baltic countries urge all states that are not yet party to the Genocide Convention to ratify or accede to it. We are committed to continue our unwavering support for the Special Advisor and his office’s work. We can all, and must all, do more. &nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Adama Dieng, how can we support you in your important work to promote the universal ratification of the Genocide Convention?</p> <p>I thank you.</p>
Sep 12, 2018Statement of Iceland on toxic substances and hazardous waste<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff;"><span>Andri Júlíusson, counsellor, delivered today a statement on the dangers posed to workers handling toxic substances. Iceland emphasized that all states have the responsibility to protect worker’s health and live up to international obligations and that this was not an issue that should divide states but unite them in searching for solutions.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">39th session of the Human Rights Council</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Item 3</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: inherit; font-weight: inherit; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Hazardous wastes</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">12 September 2018</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px;">Delivered by Iceland</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">Thank you Mr. Vice-President</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">Every worker wants to, and has the right to be safe at work, free from harm and exposure to toxic substances. Unfortunately, millions of workers do not enjoy this right as clearly displayed in the report by the special rapporteur, and we thank him for his work.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">States have the responsibility to protect worker’s health and live up to international obligations. Companies, economic actors, investors, regional and local governments are also responsible for the conditions of workers. Today, no one can hide behind lack of information about what substances used in industry and manufacturing can cause illness, disability or premature death.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">Some argue that preventive action and using alternative materials is too expensive or too cumbersome! Such arguments are not to be accepted, never should short term profit, at the cost of human health or human lives, be tolerated.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">States must rise above such behaviour and take immediate action to improve the grave situation. To do so may be challenging, however, assistance and guidance from competent international organisations is readily available, e.g. from WHO and ILO.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">Protecting our workers from toxics is not a geopolitical issue – this is one of the rare issues at our table that surely should unite us and give us a common undisputed goal. That is, to ensure respect for basic human rights of workers, to create a safe working environment for all and by doing so cutting both financial and societal losses caused by the current situation.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; color: #555555; font-size: 14px; line-height: inherit; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: justify;">Thank you.</p>
Sep 11, 2018Statement of Iceland on modern forms of slavery<span><span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">Thank you Mr. President,</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">Iceland thanks Ms. Urmila Bhoola, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery for her comprehensive report.&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">Slavery is not a problem of the past. Modern slavery remains widespread in all parts of the world. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur is central to international efforts to eradicate it and Iceland will continue to fully support it.&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">Mr. President,</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">Iceland strongly commends the Special Rapporteur’s emphasis on the issue of the impact of slavery and servitude on marginalized migrant women workers in the global domestic economy. We fully share her observations, that policies are needed that tackle discrimination while also helping to balance the legitimate concerns of both employers and workers.&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">Mr. President,&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">Iceland is certainly not immune to the difficulties encountered by migrant women in employment and their exposure to violence. A sustainable domestic work economy should ensure access to justice, effective enforcement and remedies in the case of exploitation and abuse, while also addressing issues of prejudice against migrants through advocacy.&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">Modern slavery and trafficking is – in clear violation of our laws. The Government is actively working on eliminating this practice through better cooperation mechanisms and stronger supervision measures of the Icelandic Labour Market in cooperation with the labour unions</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">Mr. President,</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">The fight against forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking requires a global response, and we will continue to advocate for a coherent multidimensional and multi-actor response both at the regional and international level.&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">This type of criminality causes its victims in particular women and girls great suffering, and constitutes a challenge to the entire international community.&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <em style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;">The Special Rapporteur mentions in one of her recommendations that States should create&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 600; line-height: 25px;">viable, accessible and non-discriminatory employment options for women as a sustainable alternative to poverty and to prevent exploitation. We ask the Special Rapporteur to give us some examples of these options?&nbsp;</span></em><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;"></span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="background-color: #ffffff; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; color: #4a4a4a;">I Thank you</span></span>
Sep 11, 2018Joint Nordic statement on the rights of the elderly<span><span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and my own country Iceland.&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Allow me to thank Ms. Kornfeld-Matte for her presentation and report. We also complement her for working with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities on supporting the autonomy of older persons with disabilities. Such cooperation across mandates is exemplary.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">The Nordic population is growing. The average age of the population is also increasing, requiring the full implementation of existing obligations to ensure that the enjoyment of human rights for all is guaranteed.&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">We fully support the work of the Independent Expert and are pleased to engage with her here today and in many other forums where we address the full enjoyment of human rights by older persons.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President,</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">We are proud of our Nordic welfare model that promotes equality through state policies that ensure universal access to education, health care and social protection through life. The basic values underpinning the model are compassion, tolerance and the conviction that all humans are of equal worth.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">That does not mean, however, that there are no challenges in the region. The ability to continually adapt to new challenges is a prerequisite for preserving the Nordic model and for coming up with innovative new welfare solutions.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <span style="color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">We therefore particularly welcome the focus of the report of the Independent Expert on social exclusion of older persons. We have seen many of the key recommendations pay dividend in our countries in reducing exclusion, such as universal pension coverage that includes both a contributory pillar and social pensions delinked from formal work. This is especially important for women who still tend to have shorter work lives and lower salaries.</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;" /> <em style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; color: #4a4a4a; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; background-color: #ffffff;">We therefore ask the Independent Expert, how can we ensure the implementation of existing rights and recommendations, such as to social security for older persons, without discrimination of any kind and within the existing human rights framework?</em></span>
Sep 11, 2018Response to the High Commissioner's report<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">Thank you Mr. President,<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> Iceland wishes to congratulate Mrs. Bachelet on taking up the post of High Commissioner, while at the same time using this opportunity to thank her predecessor, High Commissioner Zeid, for his leadership and courage during his tenure.<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> As a new member on this Council, Iceland welcomes the High Commissioner´s very useful oral update yesterday. We share many of her concerns and she can rely on our full support in her challenging assignment.<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> Mr. President,<br style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;" /> We believe, as the High Commissioner, that Human Rights express the core purpose of the United Nations. Advancing the dignity and equality of all human beings must be our fundamental goal. Only that way can we attain peace, security and sustainable development for all societies. We firmly believe also that upholding human rights is in the interest of every state.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">It is States which have the primary responsibility for upholding the rights of their people. It would seem logical that the States that sit on this Council should be first among equals in their contribution to the promotion and protection of Human Rights. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as we heard yesterday, when the High Commissioner raised some of the most pressing human rights issues facing this body currently.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">I take this opportunity to recall that in his address to this Council in February, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, shared his concerns that countries such as the Philippines, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are members on the Council and yet their human rights record has been far from exemplary.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">We could add others, mentioned by the High Commissioner yesterday, but the question is how we can, together with these countries, truly deliver on the commitment that members elected to the Council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">Multilateral institutions such as the Human Rights Council will continue to face criticism, and the call for reform will become ever louder if we cannot deliver on this commitment. Member states, not least those elected to this Council, must implement the human rights commitments they have made and we must hold each other accountable when need be.</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-family: 'Fira Sans'; color: #4a4a4a; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 25px;">I thank you.</span></p>
Jun 19, 2018Statement of Iceland at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council<p style="text-align: left;"><span>Ms Edda Björk Ragnarsdóttir, delivered today a statement at the Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on violence and discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at the 38th Session of the Human Rights Council.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><br /> ID with IE on violence and discrimination based on SOGI</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Item 2</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>19 June 2018</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Delivered by Iceland</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you Mr. President</p> <p>Iceland congratulates Mr. Victor Madrigal-Barloz for assuming his position and thanks him for his work on this very important portfolio.</p> <p>We are very gratified to receive this initial report which underlines the importance of the mandate of the Indipendent Expert, which Iceland fully supports. The fact that more than 3 billion people, almost half of the world’s population, live in one of 72 countries in which law or other measures criminalizes on the basis of sexual orientation is indicative of the size of the task ahead of us.</p> <p> Mr. President,</p> <p>I am happy to announce that earlier this year, Iceland became a member of the Equal Rights Coalition, a partnership of close to 40 countries with a particular focus on ensuring the full and equal enjoyment of rights by LGBTI people worldwide</p> <p>Iceland is committed to this goal. The current government aims to put Iceland in the front rank regarding LGBTI issues with ambitious legislation on self--determination based on gender awareness. Through legislation the government intends to lay down provisions under which individuals are able to determine their gender and gender identity; their gender awareness is to be respected, individuals are to enjoy the right to respect of their physical persons and equality before the law irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender awareness, gender characteristics and expression of their gender identity.</p> <p><strong>Question to the Independent Expert:</strong>&nbsp;In your report you highlight recent allegations of violence or violations against LGBT+ individuals in Chechnya, Republic of Korea, Azerbaijan, Egypt and Indonesia. Have you been able to communicate your concerns appropriately with the relevant national authorities and what has been their response?</p>
Jun 19, 2018Statement of Iceland on the Human Rights situation in the Philippines<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Human Rights Council 38th&nbsp;session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Joint Statement on the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>General Debate - Item 2</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>19 June 2018</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Delivered by Iceland</p> <div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you Mr. President,</p> <p>I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of a group of 38 States.</p> <p>The Philippines is a current member of the Human Rights Council. States which are elected to join the Council should lead by example and are expected to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights during their time as members. The Human Rights Council has a responsibility to fulfill its duty to promote universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner. If needed, the Council may take further steps, including a more formal Council initiative to try and ensure that member states meet their human rights obligations.</p> <p>While acknowledging that drug use in the Philippines is a serious problem, actions to tackle drug abuse must be carried out in full respect of the rule of law and compliance with international human rights obligations. We urge the government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to bring killings associated with the campaign against illegal drugs to an end and cooperate with the international community to investigate all related deaths and hold perpetrators accountable.</p> <p>We are also concerned over reports of harassment of persons exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression, including human rights defenders and journalists. We are also concerned about the harassment of members of the Commission on Human Rights. We call upon the Philippines to provide and guarantee a safe and secure environment for all, including journalists and Human Rights defenders.</p> </div> <div> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>We are encouraged by reports that the Government of the Philippines has indicated a willingness to cooperate with the UN to allow an objective assessment of the human rights situation in the country.</p> <p>We urge the Government of the Philippines to cooperate with the United Nations system - including the Human Rights Council and its special procedure mandate holders - without preconditions or limitations.</p> <p>I thank you</p> </div> <div> <p><em>On behalf of:&nbsp;</em></p> <div> <p>1.&nbsp; Australia<br /> 2.&nbsp; Austria<br /> 3.&nbsp; Belgium<br /> 4.&nbsp; Bulgaria<br /> 5.&nbsp; Canada<br /> 6.&nbsp; Croatia<br /> 7.&nbsp; Cyprus<br /> 8.&nbsp; Czech Republic<br /> 9.&nbsp; Denmark<br /> 10. Estonia<br /> 11. Finland<br /> 12. France<br /> 13. Georgia<br /> 14. Germany<br /> 15. Greece<br /> 16. Iceland<br /> 17. Ireland<br /> 18. Italy<br /> 19. Latvia<br /> 20. Liechtenstein<br /> 21. Lithuania<br /> 22. Luxembourg<br /> 23. Malta<br /> 24. Macedonia<br /> 25. Montenegro<br /> 26. Netherlands<br /> 27. New Zealand<br /> 28. Poland<br /> 29. Portugal<br /> 30. Romania<br /> 31. Slovakia<br /> 32. Slovenia<br /> 33. Spain<br /> 34. Sweden<br /> 35. Switzerland<br /> 36. Ukraine<br /> 37. United Kingdom<br /> 38. United States</p> </div> </div>
May 18, 2018Statement of Iceland on the Human Rights situation in Palestine<p>Geneva, May 18. 2018</p> <p><em>As delivered by Ambassador Harald Aspelund, Permanent Representative of Iceland.</em></p> <p>Thank you, Mr President,</p> <p>Iceland is deeply concerned over the situation on the border between Israel and Gaza and regret the loss of lives. We urge political leaders on both sides to exercise restraint and avoid further violence and casualties.</p> <p>The right to freedom of expression is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and while we would like to stress that Israel has the right to defend itself under attack and secure its borders against violent incursion, the exercise of that right must be proportionate.</p> <p>The use of live ammunition and of number of fatal casualties raises serious questions on the proportionality of the response, and call for an independent and transparent investigation into the incidents forthwith.</p> <p>At the same time, we urge Palestinian leaders not to inflame the situation further – any demonstration must be peaceful. Those who intentionally place civilians in harm's way are in breach of international law.</p> <p>Iceland is committed to a two-state solution where Israel and a Palestinian state exist side-by-side in peace and security. This objective will not be reached if Israel continues its settlement policies and its blockade of Gaza, and if Hamas continues to use its position in Gaza to fan the flames of radicalism.</p> <p>A peace process needs urgently to be put back on track. Otherwise, we run the risk of violence continuing and conditions deteriorating even further.</p> <p>I thank you Mr. President.</p>
Mar 13, 2018Joint Nordic statement on the situation in Syria<p>Iceland delivered today a statement on behalf of the Nordic countries during the 37th session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in Geneva in which the effect of the appalling humanitarian situation in Syria on children was emphasized.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Nordic comments on Syria (panel discussion on human rights of children in Syria)</strong></p> <p><strong>13 March 2018&nbsp; - Human Rights Council</strong></p> <p>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and my own country Iceland.</p> <p>The already appalling humanitarian situation in Syria, in particular Eastern Ghouta, has deteriorated significantly. As a direct result, thousands of children have been killed or maimed, or suffer from acute malnourishment and profound trauma.</p> <p>We have all been shocked by horrible footage of desperately ill and wounded children needing immediate evacuation from the hell they have been made to suffer.</p> <p>There is no group as vulnerable as children. Their suffering is particularly devastating because they represent the future.&nbsp; Despite the protection provided by international law, children are often separated from their families, driven from their homes, sexually abused or exploited in other ways. Syrian girls are now more vulnerable to child marriage; and access to basic services, like reproductive healthcare, is limited.</p> <p>It is unacceptable that schools are increasingly becoming targets of violent attacks. Too many Syrian children are out of school or have lost long periods of learning. All parties must ensure that schools remain open and a safe space for students.</p> <p>Mr. President</p> <p>The Nordic countries call on all parties to the conflict, in particular the regime, to stop the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure and to ensure the protection of children. We further urge all parties, in particular the regime and its allies, to fully and immediately implement and respect Security Council resolution 2401 and cease all hostilities and ensure safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access, as well as safe and unconditional medical evacuation of all those in need.</p> <p>I thank you.</p>
Mar 02, 2018Statement of Iceland on the situation in Syria<div>Harald Aspelund, Permanent Representative of Iceland, delivered today a statement on the situation in Syria during a special meeting in the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.&nbsp;</div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div><strong>Item 1 - Urgent Debate on situation in Eastern Ghouta</strong></div> <p><strong><br /> Statement by Iceland, 2 March 2018</strong></p> <p><em><strong>As delivered by Ambassador Harald Aspelund, Permanent Representative of Iceland</strong></em></p> <div >Thank you Mr. President</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The tragic events in Syria have unfortunately, once again, called for an urgent reaction of this council. Last Monday our foreign minister expressed our deep concerns over the terrible suffering of civilians in the never-ending conflicts in Syria.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>The Security Council on Saturday agreed on a ceasefire which is a step in the right direction. However, airstrikes, barrel bombs and artillery shelling were reported across eastern Ghouta this week. Has the Security Council resolution 2401 been fully implemented? No. Is there a ceasefire in Syria? No.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>We condemn such a devoid of respect for international law.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>It is imperative that we do our utmost to pressure those responsible to bring the killing to a complete stop and allow for humanitarian access to take place. The world cannot stand by, yet again, while massacres are being committed in broad day light, and innocent women, children and men are killed indiscriminately.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>I thank you.</div>
Feb 26, 2018Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gudlaugaur Thor Thordarson's statement during the High Level Segment of the 37th session of the Human Rights Council<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>37th session of the Human Right Council</strong><br /> <br /> <strong>Statement of H.E. Mr.</strong><strong>&nbsp;Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson<br /> Minister for Foreign Affairs</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>&nbsp;26 February 2018</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,<br /> High Commissioner,<br /> Excellencies,<br /> Ladies and Gentlemen,</p> <p>This year, as we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is appropriate to go back to basics.</p> <p>Article 1 pretty much says it all: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”</p> <p>How can&nbsp;<em>anyone&nbsp;</em>object to the thought and meaning inherent in these words?</p> <p>Article 2 also states very clearly that “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.</p> <p>Article 3 is short and to the point: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”</p> <p>So is article 5: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”</p> <p>I am reciting some articles of this fundamental document because many of the issues facing this body, the Human Rights Council, would unfortunately suggest that not every member state of the United Nations is shouldering its responsibility - to fully respect the rights of all human beings under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.</p> <p>Governments were not coerced by the UN or anyone else into creating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was created because it seemed imperative, after the horrors of the Second World War, to create a better world where everyone would have full and equal human rights.</p> <p>So why does not everyone live up to the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and why are we living in a period when, according to the High Commissioner, there is an increasing tendency to try and negate and deny the value of human rights?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>I take this opportunity to recognize and applaud the work of the High Commissioner who has shown courage in speaking out about negative trends in the field of global human rights. And while I am an optimist by nature, and tend to try always to see the positive, one has to agree with the High Commissioner that we are falling short on too many fronts.</p> <p>But what can be done when states violate the commitments they have taken upon themselves to respect and who is to hold them accountable? Can we not agree that it is primarily<em>&nbsp;us</em>&nbsp;– other states that have taken upon ourselves to accept these obligations? We should not point towards the UN as some body unrelated to the states that make up its membership.&nbsp;<em>We</em>&nbsp;must hold&nbsp;<em>each other</em>&nbsp;to account.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>Last year, Iceland took the lead in this body in highlighting the human rights situation in the Philippines and were joined in our statements by close to 40 states.</p> <p>We shared our concerns over the methods, used by the Government of the Philippines, in their “war on drugs”, and we urged the Government to take all necessary measures to bring unlawful killings to an end, and to cooperate with the international community to pursue appropriate investigations in keeping with universal principles of democratic accountability and the rule of law.</p> <p>We welcome reports that the Philippines have indicated that they may be willing to cooperate with the UN to allow an objective assessment of the human rights situation in the country. We would like to take this opportunity to urge the Philippines to continue on that path and to accept, without preconditions or limitations, a visit from the UN Special Rapporteur and to cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner to receive a mission by independent experts to conduct such an assessment without delay.</p> <p>The International Criminal Court announced earlier this month that it will conduct a preliminary examination into killings linked to the Philippine government’s “war on drugs.”</p> <p>This is an important development – but it does not take the responsibility away from this body to fulfill its duty to monitor, investigate and to deliberate, and take further steps, including a more formal Council initiative if the need arises, to try and ensure the Philippines meets its human rights obligations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>It should be noted, that the Philippines is currently an elected member of the Human Rights Council.</p> <p>So too is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, recently accused of widespread and arbitrary arrests through its use of counter-terrorism and security laws, and the persecution of human rights defenders for peacefully exercising their fundamental rights.</p> <p>So too is Venezuela, a country which has in recent months and years witnessed excessive use of force by security officers, and multiple other human rights violations, in the context of anti-Government protests.</p> <p>Egypt is also a member of the Council and yet the High Commissioner has recently informed us of reports of oppressive measures by the Government, including increasing waves of arrests, allegations of torture in detention, extra-judicial killings and restrictions on human rights defenders.</p> <p>States which join the Council should lead by example and expect their own human rights record to be subject to particular scrutiny during their time as members. If the Human Rights Council does not hold its own members to account to ensure they uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights, then who will?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>We are&nbsp;<em>deeply</em>&nbsp;concerned over the terrible suffering of civilians in the never-ending conflicts in Syria and in Yemen. Recent images from Ghouta in Syria, and similar news reports from Yemen, have provoked, once again, strong reactions. The Security Council on Saturday agreed on a ceasefire which is a step in the right direction. However, it is imperative that we do our utmost to pressure those responsible to bring the killing to a complete stop and allow for humanitarian access to take place. The world&nbsp;<em>cannot&nbsp;</em>stand by, yet again, while massacres are being committed in broad delight, and innocent women, children and men killed indiscriminately.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>Women's rights are human rights. For us, gender equality is a priority. For Icelanders it is a source of pride to be the frontrunner in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index for the ninth year in a row. Ranking at the top is a confirmation of successes achieved in recent decades and inspires us to share with others, advocate changes and do better ourselves.</p> <p>My Government is committed to eradicating gender-based wage discrimination at home and, inspired by the global #metoo revolution, we aim to eradicate sexual violence, including in the cybersphere. We aim to ratify soon the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.</p> <p>We will also continue to speak out, in this arena and elsewhere, on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI). At home, my Government aims to pass ambitious legislation on self-determination based on gender awareness. Abroad, I am happy to say that we plan to accept an invitation to join the&nbsp;<em>Equal Rights Coalition</em>, a partnership of 35 countries, where we hope to work with other like-minded countries to promote and protect the fundamental rights of LGBTI individuals.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>Last autumn, Iceland chaired the UN General Assembly´s Third Committee and, in that capacity, we were proud to welcome to New York, for the first time, the Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity - a function wisely established by this Council recently. During our chairmanship, the Committee passed almost sixty resolutions, some of them regular items, but others brand new - such as the resolution on the human rights situation in Myanmar.</p> <p>The Committee unfortunately faces some of the same challenges as the Human Rights Council with regards to its workload. We believe much can still be done to streamline and strengthen the coordination between the Third Committee and this Council to make our work for our common agenda more effective. We remain available to take part in any work to that effect.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>As we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights we accept the challenge the High Commissioner has given us - to mobilize once more and strive to reach universal respect for, and observation of, the human rights and fundamental freedoms we so cherish.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

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