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17.05.2024 11:33 Félags- og vinnumarkaðsráðuneytið

Ávarp ráðherra á ráðherrafundi Evrópuráðsins í Strassborg

Council of Europe, 133rd Session of the Committee of Ministers

Statement by H.E. Mr. Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister of Social Affairs and the Labour Market

Strasbourg, 17 May 2024

Madam President, Madam Secretary General, Distinguished Ministers, and Colleagues,

Let me join others by beginning by expressing our solidarity to Slovakia.

The promise of “never again” has been fundamentally challenged by Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine.

Together, we must stand resolute in unity to ensure that Europe’s violent past does not become its future.

In light of these challenges, European leaders gathered in Reykjavík for the fourth Summit of the Council of Europe one year ago.

At the Reykjavík Summit, we recommitted to the values of the Council of Europe and its crucial role to continued freedom, peace, prosperity, and security for Europe.

We showed that Europe is united around Ukraine.

Iceland continues to strongly support the work of the Register of Damage established at the Reykjavík Summit, actively participates in discussions on possible next steps towards a Special Tribunal for Ukraine, and firmly supports the work for the children of Ukraine.

At home, we also continue our steadfast long-term support for Ukraine with a newly adopted parliamentary resolution on long-term assistance.

Madam President,

The world is facing new and serious challenges to human rights, including those emerging from rapidly developing technologies and rising inequalities.

The greatest challenge we now face is the climate crisis posing a significant threat to human rights globally. I argue that combatting climate change is not only the world‘s largest environmental issue but also the largest social issue we face in the 21st century so far.

The link between human rights and the environment was a priority of Iceland‘s Presidency in the Council and we welcome the renewed focus of the Council on environmental issues that can lead the way with decisive action.

Another challenge is increased democratic backsliding with rising autocratic tendencies.

Together we must fight the discontent and suspicion of the values of democracy that has created the greatest human welfare and economic prosperity in human history.

Let’s continue our work together by inviting new member states to join the organization, that are committed to respect our values.

Madam President,

Lastly, allow me on this International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Intersexphobia, to remind us of the importance of our solidarity to respond to the increased discrimination, violence and hatred faced by LGBTI people on our continent and beyond.

Love will conquer!


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