Ambassador Hjálmar W. Hannesson
Permanent Representative of Iceland
to the United Nations
Items 45 and 55 Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations Conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields: follow-up to the outcome of the Millenium Summit: report of the Secretary-General (A/59/2005)
Fifty-ninth Session of the United Nations
New York, 7 April 2005
Like so many colleagues before me I would like to gratefully express Iceland’s appreciation of the thoughtful report of the Secretary-General, “In Larger Freedom: Towards Security, Development and Human Rights for All”. Also I would like to voice our appreciation of your handling, Mr. President, of the organization of our important work based on that report. Furthermore, we highly appreciate the work of the facilitators you appointed.
Iceland has on a number of occasions stressed its commitment to the process set in train by the Secretary-General with the establishment of the High Level Panel and the mandating of the Millenium Project.
The Secretary-General’s incisive and comprehensive report is indeed the culmination of a vital initial phase of preparing the groundwork for heads of state to address the key issues of world poverty and security, and how the multilateral system can best help tackle those challenges in the future.
We fully support the central tenets of the Secretary-General’s report, that development, security and human rights are inextricably linked. While Iceland will return to the chapters with more detailed comment in forthcoming debates, I would like to highlight one or two issues at this juncture.
Freedom from poverty
Development is a shared responsibility of the developing and developed countries and the report makes this clear. But progress can only be achieved if countries themselves take the lead for their own development. The emphasis on Africa is also particularly welcome. Iceland aims to double its development aid by 2009 and has concentrated the bulk of its bilateral development efforts on Africa.
Iceland also supports the emphasis on an open and equitable trade system to allow developing countries to take a full part in the globalised economy.
Freedom from fear
I would like to praise in particular the contribution which the Secretary-General makes to the establishment of a security consensus, the core of which is the interdependence of all states in addressing threats to our security, whether they be in the form of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, disease, environmental degradation or poverty.
I would also like to praise the proposal for a definition of terrorism. Such a definition will certainly facilitate the struggle against this global menace.
Freedom to live in dignity
Iceland fully supports the strong emphasis on the role of human dignity - comprising human rights, democracy and the rule of law. We also agree that in order to ensure human dignity, we must be ready to embrace the responsibility to protect and to provide the judicial mechanisms to punish those who offend against human dignity, particularly the International Criminal Court and other regional courts with international mandates.
The Secretary-General has made some bold proposals for the reform and reinvigoration of the United Nations. Iceland will lend its active support to pushing forward these proposals with the aim of making the UN an organization which can continue to be at the nexus of the multilateral system.
Iceland looks forward to a constructive, open and forward looking discussion and will do its utmost to contribute to far-reaching and effective changes on the basis of the excellent preparatory work carried out under the leadership of the Secretary-General.
Thank you Mr. President.