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Statement by Iceland in exchange of views with Ms Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1407th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.

Thank you, Mr. Chair, for giving me the floor and let me warmly welcome the Commissioner and thank her for her update as well as her daily work. We welcome today's update on two important topics for which our organization can do more to ensure rights of all Europeans.

Mr. Chair,

First turning to the issue of the environment and human rights we would like to support the Commissioner's effort to draw attention to this link that should be clear to all of us now. As you have stated, living in an unhealthy environment may result in violations of human rights and, conversely, respect for human rights is vital for the protection of the environment. We look forward to continuing our discussion on advancing the recognition of the right to a healthy environment.

Mr. Chair,

We also note with satisfaction the Commissioners commitment to advance the protection and promotion of the human rights of LGBTI+ people in Europe and share her concern over recent negative trends. We must continue to combat stigmatization, violence and discrimination that individuals face, simply for who they are. Iceland is committed to this effort.

Both these topics unfortunately have one thing in common and that is that those that raise their voices on these issues may face violence, harassment and threats to their life. This underlines that we have to continue to work to preserve civil society space across our region.

I thank you, Mr. Chair.

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