Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson met this morning with Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations. The meeting marked the start of Mr. Ban's official visit to Iceland. Sustainable use of resources and the impact of climate changes were among issues discussed as those are topics that the General Secretary will be examining closer during his visit.
Iceland's emphasis on development cooperation, human rights and gender equality were discussed as well. The Foreign Minister especially welcomed the UN's international initiative Sustainable Energy for All by 203, as the President of Iceland, H.E. Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, is a member of the initiative's Advisory Board. Minister Sveinsson emphasized the importance of the Security Council's Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security and stressed that more women should serve as special UN Envoys in areas of conflict.
Minister Sveinsson and the Secretary General discussed what should take over from the UN's Millennium Development Goals after 2015 and the formation of a new set of goals regarding sustainable development.
The Foreign Minister introduced Iceland's main international development emphasis 2013- 2016; sustainable use of natural resources, health and education, peace-building efforts, gender equality and environmental sustainability.
The General Secretary welcomed Iceland's commitment to reaching to UN target of allocating 0,7% of GNI to development aid in 2019. He praised the work being done in Iceland under the auspices of the United Nations University in the field of geothermal utilization, fisheries, land restoration and gender equality.
They then discussed the situation in Syria and peace efforts in the Middle East.