On 13 April Parliament approved the Minister for Foreign Affairs' proposed Parliamentary resolution on a national security policy for Iceland, with no dissenting votes. Minister for Foreign Affairs Lilja Alfreðsdóttir participated in the second round of discussions on the proposal yesterday evening.
During the discussions, the Minister mentioned the terrorist attacks in Brussels last month and emphasised the importance of maintaining solidarity on security and defence issues. “This is an important milestone for us. For the first time in the history of the Republic, Parliament has approved a national security policy for Iceland. The multipartisan consensus that has been achieved here in Parliament on this important issue is particularly satisfying,” said Lilja.
National security policy covers policies on foreign affairs, defence, and public safety and, among other things, provides for the establishment of a national security council that will oversee the execution of national security policy and promote effective discussion of security and defence issues.
The policy entails giving particular consideration to Iceland's environmental and security interests in the Arctic region and stresses that Iceland's participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its defence agreement with the United States will continue to be key elements of the country's defence. Nordic cooperation on security and defence will also be developed and strengthened, and emphasis will be placed on effective cross-border collaboration based on international law and respect for human rights. It will be ensured that Iceland has the defence structures, equipment, capacity, and expertise needed to respond to challenges in the area of security and defence. The Government's public defence and civil security policies are part of its national security policy. Consideration will be given to threats related to climate change, natural disasters, food safety and security, health safety issues, and epidemics.
The national security policy encourages the promotion of increased internet security and stresses that Government policy must take into account other threats such as terrorism, organised crime, and threats to financial and economic security. Furthermore, Iceland and its territorial waters shall be declared free from nuclear weapons, subject to Iceland´s international commitments.