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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

A Risk Assessment for Iceland


Professor Valur Ingimundarson, Chairman of the interdisciplinary Commission for a Risk Aassessment for Iceland, today delivered the Commission’s report to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Össur Skarphéðinsson. The Commission was appointed by former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, at the end of October 2007. 

This is the first study of its kind in Iceland, addressing security and defence issues on the basis of a broad and inclusive definition of security. Rather than focusing solely on narrow, traditional defence issues, the report analyses “new threats“ posed by global/transnational, societal and human factors

 The Commission assessed the following security categories: financial security; military threats; health safety and pandemics; environmental threats, including natural disasters and climate change; international terrorism; weapons of mass destruction; organized crime; cyber threats; human trafficking; migration and integration of immigrants; maritime safety; civil flight security; road security; food security and the safety of the electrical and communications system.

Each category was analyzed in terms of Iceland’s vulnerability and potential impact, including particularities of the situation in Iceland as compared to other countries. The report makes a number of proposals on risk preparedness and responses, on increased cooperation between national institutions and future strategies in the field of  security and defence.

The Commission’s findings are based on an independent assessment of the security situation in Iceland. It benefited, however, from the work of various governmental and non-governmental organizations in the field of security and defense. In addition, the Commission relied on the expertise and advice of a number of foreign and national specialists. 

The commission was led by Professor Ingimundarson. Other Commission members were: Ms. Margrét Björnsdóttir, Director of the Institute of Public Management and Politics at the University of Iceland, Ambassador Einar Benediktsson (Ret.), Mr. Jón Ólafsson, Professor of Philosophy at Bifröst University, Ms. Ellý Katrín Guðmundsdóttir, Director of the Environmental Division, City of Reykjavik, Ms. Birna Þórarinsdóttir, Political Scientist, Mr. Þór Whitehead, Professor of History at the University of Iceland, Mr. Þórir Ibsen, Ambassador, Ms. Þórunn J. Hafstein, Director of the Department of Police and Judicial Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Sturla Sigurjónsson, Ambassador, Ms. Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir, Director of the Institute of International Affairs, University of Iceland, Mr. Jón Sigurðsson, former Minister of Trade and Industry and Assistant Professor at Reykjavík University and Mr. Ólafur Þ. Stephensen, Editor-in Chief, Morgunblaðið daily newspaper.


A summary of the report can be found here


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