The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation, Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, took part in the yearly consultation meeting between the Nordic Ministers for Development and UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azouley.
The Nordic countries are among the most active Member States in UNESCO's work and all place a great emphasis on the integration of human rights and gender equality into the organization's work. UNESCO also promotes the freedom of the media and the safety of journalists, which have particularly been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"UNESCO has a very important role to play in the rebuilding phase in the wake of the pandemic," said Foreign Minister Thórdarson. "Human rights, freedom of expression and the security of journalists are widely under attack, and UNESCO's work will play a key role in counteracting this development."
Foreign Minister Thórdarson emphasized that Iceland has increased its contributions and activities to the organization in the past two years, through a framework agreement providing support in the fields of education, media freedom, and safety of journalists, e.g. in Afghanistan. Iceland is a candidate for a seat on the UNESCO Executive Board at the organization's General Conference in November this year for the period 2021-2025.
Nordic Ministers for Development 🇮🇸 @GudlaugurThor, 🇸🇪 @thinkper, 🇳🇴 @dagiulstein, 🇫🇮 Deputy Min. Kalkku & 🇩🇰 Amb. Staur met with DG @AAzoulay on 🇺🇳 @UNESCO's work.— L’Islande à Paris 🇮🇸 (@IcelandinParis) May 25, 2021
"We are firmly committed to the organization's mandate & basic principles." Iceland’s FM Thórdarson #IcelandUNESCO pic.twitter.com/3Gsp7Ex7ww
The GRÓ - International Centre for Capacity Development, Sustainability and Societal Change (the Fisheries Training Programme, Gender Equality Studies Training Programme, Geothermal Training Programme and Land Restoration Training Programme) now operates as a Category II Centre, under the auspices of UNESCO. Through its activities Iceland contributes to UNESCO's goals by focusing on capacity development in developing countries.