Hoppa yfir valmynd

Statements


DateDateTitillLeyfa leit
2019-03-07 11:32:0007.03.2019 11:32Joint 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>

2019-03-05 13:57:0005.03.2019 13:57Statement 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>

2019-03-05 13:52:0005.03.2019 13:52Joint 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>

2019-03-05 09:22:0005.03.2019 09:22Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on disabilities - Statement by Iceland

Clustered 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.

2019-03-04 14:00:0004.03.2019 14:00Joint 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>

2019-03-04 13:59:0004.03.2019 13:59Statement 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>

2019-03-01 14:03:0001.03.2019 14:03Statement 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>

2019-02-28 14:05:0028.02.2019 14:05Statement 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>

2019-02-26 14:08:0026.02.2019 14:08Minister 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>

2019-02-25 14:18:0025.02.2019 14:18Address 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>

2019-02-04 11:28:0004.02.2019 11:2832nd 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="/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=20355d12-4197-11e9-9436-005056bc530c"><span class="pdf">Iceland's recommendations during the 32nd session of the UPR</span></a></p>

2018-12-10 11:43:0010.12.2018 11:4331st 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="/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=20355d12-4197-11e9-9436-005056bc530c"><span class="pdf"></span></a><a href="/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=96e6bed8-4197-11e9-9436-005056bc530c">Iceland's recommendations during the 31st session of the UPR</a></p>

2018-09-27 11:49:0027.09.2018 11:49Joint 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>

2018-09-27 11:45:0027.09.2018 11:45Statement 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>

2018-09-26 12:03:0026.09.2018 12:03Statement 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>

2018-09-26 12:01:0026.09.2018 12:01Statement 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>

2018-09-26 11:54:0026.09.2018 11:54Statement 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>

2018-09-25 12:21:0025.09.2018 12:21Debate 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>

2018-09-25 12:20:0025.09.2018 12:20Debate 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>

2018-09-25 12:15:0025.09.2018 12:15Debate 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>

2018-09-25 12:10:0025.09.2018 12:10Statement 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>

2018-09-21 12:26:0021.09.2018 12:26Committment 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>

2018-09-20 12:38:0020.09.2018 12:38Joint 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>

2018-09-20 12:34:0020.09.2018 12:34Joint 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>

2018-09-20 12:31:0020.09.2018 12:31Joint 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>

2018-09-18 12:46:0018.09.2018 12:46Statement 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>

2018-09-18 12:43:0018.09.2018 12:43Statement 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>

2018-09-17 13:01:0017.09.2018 13:01Statement 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>

2018-09-17 12:58:0017.09.2018 12:58Joint 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>

2018-09-17 12:47:0017.09.2018 12:47Statement 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="/lisalib/getfile.aspx?itemid=a6a749b6-41a1-11e9-9436-005056bc530c">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>

2018-09-13 13:14:0013.09.2018 13:14Statement 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>

2018-09-13 13:03:0013.09.2018 13:03Joint 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>

2018-09-12 13:30:0012.09.2018 13:30Statement 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>

2018-09-11 13:45:0011.09.2018 13:45Statement 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>

2018-09-11 13:42:0011.09.2018 13:42Joint 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>

2018-09-11 13:37:0011.09.2018 13:37Response 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>

2018-06-19 09:23:0019.06.2018 09:23Statement 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>

2018-06-19 09:16:0019.06.2018 09:16Statement 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>

2018-05-18 09:24:0018.05.2018 09:24Statement 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>

2018-03-13 13:56:0013.03.2018 13:56Joint 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>

2018-03-02 14:02:0002.03.2018 14:02Statement 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>

2018-02-26 09:27:0026.02.2018 09:27Minister 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 Counci</strong><br /> <br /> <strong>Statment 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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