Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation of Iceland, delivered a Joint Nordic Statement at a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Belarus today. On behalf of the Nordic Foreign Ministers, Guðlaugur expressed great concern about the human rights situation in Belarus following the recent presidential election, which neither could be considered free nor fair.
"The use of widespread violence against peaceful demonstrators, journalists and other media workers, in the aftermath of the election was deeply troubling. The desire of the people of Belarus to be respected and heard in free and fair elections is a legitimate demand," said Thórdarson in the statement. "We cannot stand idly by and hesitate in our criticism, when faced with such grave human rights violations and restrictions of freedoms."
The virtual meeting was chaired by Urmas Reinsalu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. The meeting was initiated by Estonia and co-sponsored by UN Security Council members the United States and United Kingdom, as well as Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine.