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Iceland PM convenes a first of many high-level roundtable in historic Höfði House, Reykjavík, calling for peaceful solutions to armed conflict and the protection of universal human rights

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland, convened a high-level roundtable of women leaders to discuss peace, security and sustainability in Höfði House today. Calling for inclusive and sustainable solutions to today’s global challenges, the roundtable discussions highlighted the continuing and devastating effect war and armed conflict has on women and girls across the world.

The meeting was held in relation to the first-ever Women Leaders Global Forum, co-hosted by the Icelandic Government, the Parliament of Iceland and Women Political Leaders, with participation of the Council of Women World Leaders. Located in the historic Höfði House – where presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev negotiated the end of the Cold War in 1986 – the roundtable marked the beginning of collaboration between women leaders to build lasting solutions to contemporary challenges.

PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir:

“We discussed the conditions for peaceful societies and the means to achieve such normative aims. This includes education, healthcare and welfare, factors that are our best tools to combat the rise of religious fundamentalism, extreme nationalist ideologies, and the radical right. It is also widely established that the inclusion of women in peace processes increases the likelihood of lasting peace. As we commemorate the centenary since the end of World War 1 and the 70 years anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we should be constantly reminded of the need to protect and advance our international organisations.“

Prior to the meeting the Prime Minister received a declaration from the Icelandic Youth Council of the UN Sustainable Development goals, where world leaders were encouraged to include the voices of young people in all decision making. The declaration said: “We are the future. It will be our task, your children’s, task to deal with and to face, head on, the consequences of decisions made today. That is why it is imperative that the we get a voice among those who are shaping our societies, and making our laws.”

Katrín Jakobsdóttir:

“I welcome the declaration of the UN SDG Youth Council. Global warming, political unrest and growing inequality will have a devastating impact on our future generations, unless we find ways to reverse the course. We need to listen to your young people and include them in decision making at all levels.”


About Höfði
Höfði House, built in 1909, served as the location for the 1986 Reykjavík summit meeting of presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbatsjov. This was a historical event that marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Currently, Höfði is the home to the Reykavík Peace Centre.

About the Women Leaders Global Forum
The Women Leaders Global Forum is co-hosted by the Government and the Parliament of Iceland and Women Political Leaders (WPL), and co-chaired by leaders of OECD, World Bank, World Economic Forum and others. The 2018 forum is the first of its kind and will be held annually for the next three years. The Women Leaders Global Forum’s mission is to provide a platform where women leaders discuss and share ideas and solutions on how to further advance society, increase equality between women and men and promote and positively develop the number of women in leadership positions. This year’s theme is Digitalisation. Amongst participants in the Höfði meeting were Ana Birchall, Deputy Prime Minister of Romania, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, former President of Iceland, and Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary General of OECD and former Prime Minister of Finland.


Declaration from the Icelandic Youth Council of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (english below)

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