Iceland is one of 24 United Nations Member States without a standing military. Two members of this group, Panama and Costa Rica, are currently sitting members on the United Nations Security Council.
On 20 February, the President of Iceland, Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, was the guest of honour at a reception for representatives of the 24 countries hosted by Iceland’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Hjálmar W. Hannesson. The President’s address acknowledged this group of countries for approaching contemporary challenges and conflict through peaceful means instead of traditional military solutions. Today’s challenges are broader and more complex than before, said the President, incorporating issues such as climate change. The voice and interests of countries without a standing military deserve expression no less than others when it comes to matters of international peace and security.
The UN Member States without a standing military include Andorra, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Iceland, Kiribati, Costa Rica, Liechtenstein, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, Palau, Panama, Vatican City, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.