Meeting at the United Nations, New York
24 September 2018
Thank you for giving me the floor and our thanks to the organizers for bringing us together here today.
Iceland is pleased to be among the signatories of the political declaration that is the foundation of our group. We are committed to working with all of you, for the human rights of all, by ending trade in goods to be used for capital punishment, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
We were pleased to participate in the meeting that took place in Brussels this summer to discuss how we can further work together and put this commitment into practice. Allow me to thank the European Union for convening us and to all partners, including civil society, for their contribution.
The co-operation in this group, and with civil society, will surely assist us in delivering on our commitment by identifying new products that should belong among those which are banned, as well as in cooperating on the full implementation of the political declaration.
International law prohibits torture in all circumstances. It is important to provide no discount on this absolute. In Iceland we have taken appropriate acting by adopting a directive that makes it clear that no one can export any product, technology or service from Iceland that can be used for torture or with the execution of the death penalty. Violating this directive can result in fines and imprisonment up to 6 years if they are severe.
Although dual use technology products can be difficult to tackle, we have approached it with of caution and included those in the directive. These products are not normal merchandise to be traded with impunity.
Horrific stories of torture should urge us on - no one should be subjected to what we are discussing here today. We must all do our part and Iceland is committed to this cause.
I thank you