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The 75th UN General Assembly 2020 - Prime Minister's Adress

Mr President, Secretary-General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United Nations was created with the vision to make the world a better and more peaceful place. It has been instrumental in preventing and solving conflicts, promoting peace, human rights, equality, and socioeconomic development for all.

Iceland joined the United Nations in 1946 and has benefitted greatly from the role the UN has played in shaping the rule-based international order with its multilateral institutions, liberal democracy, and international cooperation.

I firmly believe that international law and the principles and values of the UN Charter, reinforced by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights still provide the best foundation for international cooperation. We must continue to build unity, solidarity and to foster understanding between peoples and nations, which is the foundation for lasting peace and underscores our common humanity.

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world it reinforces the core values of the United Nations, the notion that all people should be supported and cared for.

In rebuilding and reimagining the world after COVID-19, we must keep issues of gender equality, and of racial equality, at the forefront. Accessible health-care for all is crucial – not only as a public health issue, but also as a security issue. When economic crises hit, we often see the tendency to put social justice and equality, along with environmental issues, on the back burner. But equality and environmental issues must be front and central to all our planning.

Our future must be based on well-being and inclusive sustainable growth, with a focus on protecting our planet from the devastating effects of climate change. Agenda 2030 is the global plan for fulfilling our commitments to each other and our planet, allowing all people to live in dignity under conditions of equality where they can reach their full potential, safeguarding peace and prosperity, protecting our environment, and taking meaningful actions against climate change.

Multilateral cooperation has indeed never been more important. Let us reject the dividing forces of polarization and populism.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, let us remember the core values on which it was built. Let us recommit to the principles of the UN-Charter, to build trust and strengthen our cooperation to build a greener and more equitable future for coming generations, a future with a healthy planet, plentiful opportunities and prosperity for all.


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