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09.07.2019 14:47Joint Nordic Statement to the UN Security Council on the nexus between terrorism and organised crime

<span></span> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">President,</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">I speak on behalf of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and my own country, Norway. We commend our colleagues from Peru for including this matter on the Security Council agenda. Both terrorism and organized crime threaten international peace and security.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">Networks like ISIL and al-Qaida continue to depend on external financing to run their organisations, recruit fighters, buy weapons, spread propaganda and move across borders. This financing must be cut off. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">In order to identify and stop illicit financial flows to terrorist organisations and criminal networks, we must disrupt the links between organised crime and terrorism. We must combine measures targeting the profits from crime with measures targeting financial flows to terrorists. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">Terrorist groups and organised crime networks often flourish where governance and state presence is weak. In these spaces, terrorist and organised criminal networks both use similar approaches to develop and run illicit economies. They seek to develop and exploit territories that are beyond the reach of law enforcement agencies, where they can safely recruit members and raise funds.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">Traditional sources of financing of illicit activity have typically included drug trafficking and kidnapping for ransom. Examples of newer sources include illicit exploitation and taxation of gold, oil and other natural resources. Both terrorist organisations and criminal networks use violence, illicit sources of revenue and political ideology to achieve social, financial and political goals.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">International cooperation is crucial in combating these developments. We need effective coordination. The UN Headquarters in New York and the UN Offices in Vienna must work more effectively together, including by making the best possible use of existing presences in the field. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">As we strive to disrupt illicit financial flows and terrorist financing, we must also <span style="color: black;">make sure that our efforts do not create barriers for legitimate flows and financial inclusion. </span></span><span style="color: black; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Palatino Linotype', serif;">To ensure this and find best solutions, we need cross-sectoral cooperation among humanitarian, financial and counter-terrorism experts.</span></p> <p><span style="color: black; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: black; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans'; letter-spacing: -0.05pt;">We welcome the 2018 Addendum </span><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans'; letter-spacing: -0.05pt;">to the Madrid Guiding Principles to prevent violent extremism and radicalisation in prisons. We also welcome The </span><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">Hague Good Practices on the Nexus between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism developed by the Global Counterterrorism Forum. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans'; letter-spacing: -0.05pt;">We must address the role that prisons play in dealing with terrorist and violent extremist offenders, as well as with those in risk of being radicalized while in prison. ISIL in particular have consciously targeted people with a criminal past to offer them a narrative to joining terrorism.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">Policies to address terrorism and organized crime should be part of a broader strategy to reduce vulnerability. We must strengthen security sector reform and the rule of law.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">We encourage expanding and developing initiatives to deal more effectively with the nexus between terrorism and organised crime. The aspects of these global security challenges are closely connected. They must be addressed both within the security pillar, and as part of advancing Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">Only then can we truly disrupt the links between terrorism and organises crime. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">Thank you.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Open Sans';">&nbsp;</span></p>

25.06.2019 15:51Statement by Jónas G. Allansson delivered at the UNRWA Pledging Conference

<span></span> <p style="background: white; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">Mr./Madam Chair,</span></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">At the outset allow me to express Iceland’s sincere appreciation for the work of UNRWA’s staff, operating in increasingly difficult contexts, and use this opportunity to recognize Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl, for his leadership and dedication as the head of the Agency. We acknowledge with deep appreciation you and your staff</span><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">’s</span><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;"> fundraising efforts and cost-saving measures during UNRWA’s most severe institutional and funding crisis. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">Iceland has been a regular contributor to UNRWA since 1964, providing both funds and complementary staff. We further strengthened our support for UNRWA with the signing of a four-year framework agreement in 2018. In doing so, we committed to providing predictable multi-year funding, in line with our World Humanitarian Summit commitments. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">Iceland greatly values the work of UNRWA and acknowledges that the agency contributes significantly to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, notably in education and health for Palestine refugees. As highlighted by the Palestinian youth leaders earlier. With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, UN Member States pledged to “leave no one behind” and UNRWA is playing its part to ensure the achievement of this commitment. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">UNRWA has managed to provide vital services to Palestine refugees despite an increasingly difficult operating context. This is largely due to UNRWA being a competent, resilient and resolute agency, as highlighted in the most recent performance assessment of UNRWA. Iceland was particularly pleased to see that MOPAN, a network comprised of 18 countries that assesses the effectiveness of major multilateral organizations, found the agency is indeed achieving results in both the humanitarian and development domain despite the funding crisis and external challenges. A clear sign of a well-managed organization. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">The Icelandic Government is pleased to continue to do its part to preserve regional stability and ensure that Palestine refugees can access relief and social services. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">Thank you Mr./Madam Chair. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #2e2e2e;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; color: #2e2e2e;">&nbsp;</span></p>

18.06.2019 18:25Statement by Ambassador Bergdis Ellertsdottir at the UN Women Executive Board Annual Session

<span></span> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank Madame President, </span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Let me begin by thanking Madame Phumzile for her comprehensive opening statement, highlighting key results achieved during the first year of implementing the new Strategic Plan despite the global push-back. I also want to warmly welcome Anita Bhatia and my countrywoman Hanna Kristjansdottir to their new roles at UN Women. We also welcome the role of Edward Wagani in engaging men and boys, which Iceland attaches great importance to. We wish you all the best and look forward to engaging with you all. </span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We indeed have an exciting year ahead of us with many milestones and opportunities to take stock of where we stand in terms of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, and how to accelerate the achievement of the many commitments we have made. UN Women plays a key role in this regard. Iceland acknowledges this through financial and political support to UN Women. Last year, Iceland had the highest per-capita contribution to UN Women. We are of course proud of this fact. </span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In an increasingly complex environment for the achievement of gender equality, it is extremely important that UN Women performs at its highest level. The most recent MOPAN highlights that UN Women has indeed made significant improvements since its first assessment in 2014 and that the organization has made important contributions to improving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. As a relatively young organization, we urge you to continue improving and to focus particularly on the finalization of country typology, with clear rationale for scale and allocation of country presence. </span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Last but not least, we would like to express our appreciation to the dedicated UN Women personnel and to thank you, Madame Executive Director, for your leadership and dedication to gender quality and the empowerment of all women and girls, leaving no one behind. UN Women can count on Iceland´s continuing support. </span></p> <p class="BodyA"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank you Madame President.</span></p>

11.06.2019 19:40Statement by Thor G. Thorarinsson at the 12th session of the Conference of State Parties to the CRPD

<span></span> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr./Madam President. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Last year in our statement we outlined the many legislative measures we have undertaken, both in the lead up to our ratification of the Convention, and new laws passed to meet the commitments we have undertaken in the Convention, in particular that relate to equality and discrimination and access to the labour market.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Most recently, the Icelandic parliament passed new laws relating to the social services offered by municipalities, as well as services for those with special needs requiring long-term support. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr./Madam President, we have redoubled our efforts to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities but in our changing world we have realized that the we need to change the game. We need to continue to innovative, change our existing assumptions and services so as to truly achieve the aspiration and goals of the Convention and Agenda 2030.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In Iceland, we have been doing just that. For example, now all decision-making must directly involve users; while cases relating to children with special needs and their families are also be handled in accordance with the UN convention on children’s rights. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Further innovations include giving organizations representing persons with disabilities a voice when it comes to formulating policy, as well as asking these organizations and individual service users for their advice and involvement. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In addition it is my pleasure to inform the conference that in Icelandic legislation there is now a stipulated right for all persons with disabilities to live independently with necessary support of their own choosing. That means they can decide themselves, how, by whom, and when the services are implemented. That regards also those who are unable to express themselves. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Finally, Mr./Madam President,</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Just this last May the Icelandic parliament agreed to incorporate the Convention into national law and the adjustment of Icelandic legislation to the convention should be completed in December 2020. With this, we continue on our path towards full implementation on the CRPD. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18pt;">&nbsp;</span></p>

11.06.2019 16:16Statement by Ambassador Bergdis Ellertsdottir at the UNICEF Executive Board 2019 Annual Session

<span></span> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank you Mr./Madam President, </span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Let me begin by thanking Ms. Henrietta Fore for her introductory remarks and for the thorough presentation of her annual report. Iceland highly values its partnership with UNICEF. You are one of three core UN partners in our newly adopted development cooperation policy and we are not alone in our commitment to UNICEF, with close to 140 governments contributing to the organization last year. We believe your emphasis on leaving no one and no child behind, and to reach the most vulnerable first, contributes to this level of trust. </span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Another aspect contributing to donors’ confidence in UNICEF is its approach to systems strengthening and multisystem approaches, working horizontally and vertically across sectors and regions. We have seen this firsthand in our collaboration with UNICEF in Mozambique in the WASH sector. While our main goal with this programme is to contribute to the reduction of open defacation and to improve access to safe and sustainable drinking water, other cross-cutting issues have been considered as well. These include nutrition and gender, incorporating a training on the importance of dietary </span><span style="color: windowtext; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">diversity for children in all WASH community outreach and ensuring that school latrines are inclusive and gender sensitive. We imagine it would have certainly been much easier to implement the programme through a siloed </span><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">approach, but the UNICEF programme staff work with district officials from WASH, education, health and nutrition departments, promoting an integrated approach between these traditionally siloed entities. </span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">It was disheartening to learn that despite more children entering primary school worldwide, nearly 60% of primary-school aged children are failing to meet minimum learning standards. According to the 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report, education has indeed become less of a priority for development partners, with the share of education falling from just under 9% of total official development assistance in 2010 to 7% in 2017. We are however pleased to see that 2018 saw a renewed global commitment to children’s education and look forward to UNICEF’s upcoming education strategy. We sincerely hope UNICEF will place <em>increasing</em> importance on quality and early learning in the decade to come. This includes advocating that governments spend a larger proportion of their budget on education and that they prioritize the most marginalized. </span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Last but not least, we would like to express our appreciation to the dedicated UNICEF staff that often operate in challenging circumstances. You and they can count on Iceland´s continuing support. </span></p>

06.06.2019 19:52Statement by Norway on behalf of the Nordic Countries on the working methods of the Security Council

<span></span> <p>Statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway by Ambassador Mari Skåre on the Working methods of the Security Council, 6 June 2019.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I deliver this statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and my own country, Norway.</p> <p>President,</p> <p>Improving the Security Council’s working methods enhances the council’s ability to take meaningful action in an efficient, results-oriented and accountable way.</p> <p>We commend Kuwait’s efforts in chairing the Informal Working Group on Documentation to this end. We welcome progress achieved and support the initiatives taken to ensure the full implementation of revised Note 507.</p> <p>Permanent and elected members share Charter obligations to maintain international peace and security. They should have equal means to shoulder this responsibility. That includes a balanced division of labor in areas such as penholdership and chairing of subsidiary bodies. Better inclusion of newly elected members into the Council’s affairs is also important.</p> <p>The Office of the Ombudsperson is central in safeguarding due process. The Nordic countries urge the Secretary-General to ensure that the capacity of the Office is strengthened. Necessary arrangements must be made “to ensure its continued ability to carry out its mandate in an independent, effective and timely manner”, as stated in resolution 2368 (from 2017). We also recommend that the Council consider creating an Ombudsperson for other sanctions regimes.</p> <p>The Nordic countries would also like to acknowledge the valuable role of the Security Council Report. Each year, Finland has arranged a Hitting the Ground Running retreat for the Council and the newly elected members, in close cooperation with the Security Council Report and Professor Ed Luck from Columbia University. The informal discussions have proven useful and important.</p> <p>President,</p> <p>The past few years, it has been made abundantly clear that the continued use of the veto, or the threat of its use, gravely hampers the Council’s ability to respond to global crises. Therefore, the Nordic countries strongly support all measures to limit the use of the veto. That includes the ACT group’s Code of Conduct against mass atrocity crimes, as well as the French-Mexican initiative to restrain the use of the veto. We encourage member states that have not yet supported these initiatives to do so without delay.</p> <p>President,</p> <p>We recall that article 24 of the Charter enshrines the Council’s responsibility to act on behalf of the entire United Nations membership. We call for broader engagement in that regard. The Council should also find a role in the decision-making process for concerned states on issues discussed by the Council. They should also be involved in informal consultations, in accordance with article 31 of the Charter. Interaction with the broader membership should be improved and enhanced. The Council needs to talk with countries, not only about them.</p> <p>The Council must also be open to voices from outside of this Chamber. The practice of inviting civil society briefers should be maintained, in order for the Council to broaden its understanding of the issues on the agenda.</p> <p>The Council should also improve its ability to address problems at all stages of a conflict cycle. More attention needs to be given to the prevention of conflict. Informal situational awareness briefings by the Secretariat is a format that should be fully utilized. Recent progress regarding the role of the Peacebuilding Commission as an advisory body to the Council should be harnessed and developed further.</p> <p>President,</p> <p>A relevant and strong UN requires an efficient, transparent and inclusive Security Council to meet today’s challenges to international peace and security, and to improve global governance.</p> <p>I can assure you of the Nordic countries’ full support in the important work of improving the working methods of this Council.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

23.05.2019 19:59Statement by Norway on behalf of the Nordic Countries in the Open Depate on Protection of civilians in armed conflict

<span></span> <p class="ingress">Statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway by Ambassador Mari Skåre in the Open Debate on Protection of civilians in armed conflict, 23 May 2019. </p> <div class="article-content"> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>I take the floor on behalf of the Nordic countries, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.</p> <p>20 years after the first Security Council Debate on Protection of Civilians, civilians are still in the line of fire in armed conflicts across the world, not least due to the rise in urban conflict, the proliferation of non-state armed groups and asymmetric warfare.</p> <p>I thank you, President, for convening this open debate on an issue that regrettably must continue to be of great concern to the Council.</p> <p>Let me state the obvious. The civilian population is not a legitimate target. Attacks directed against civilian objects such as schools and hospitals must end and schools and hospitals must not be used for military purposes.</p> <p>We are exasperated at the inadequate respect for international humanitarian law, international human rights law and humanitarian principles shown by many parties to conflicts around the world. And yet, we can and must take heed of the multiple ways in which we have progressed over the last 20 years.</p> <p>The resolution 2286 of this Council and the following recommendations by the Secretary General are examples of concrete progress on how to enhance protection of civilians. We welcome the report by the Secretary General to this Council with further practical measures.</p> <p>Sexual and gender based violence in conflict has received due attention as the heinous crime that it is – in the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court, in landmark convictions by the International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda as well as in multiple UN Security Council Resolutions, recently through the new resolution 2467. The Special Representative of the Secretary General monitors, reports and raises awareness of sexual violence in conflict.</p> <p>Protection of civilians has become firmly embedded in mandates and activities of UN peacekeeping operations.</p> <p>Despite this, it is an underreported crime, there is lack of support to victims and perpetrators go unpunished.</p> <p>Norway, Iraq, Somalia, UAE, ICRC and OCHA are hosting a conference today and tomorrow precisely to improve coordination and mobilize greater resources in the humanitarian response to sexual and gender-based violence. In these efforts, we must listen to those affected. Persons with disabilities are particularly at risk of violence, exploitation and abuse. Women’s participation and rights must be a priority.</p> <p>The developments mentioned are no small feats. Still, they are not sufficient. We can and must do better.</p> <p>First and most obviously, we must increase the UN’s capacity to prevent and solve conflicts. We must continue to strengthen the UN´s mediation efforts and support UN’s broader political and peacebuilding efforts as well as the situational awareness of peacekeeping operations. In this regard, we welcome the DPO´s revised peacekeeping intelligence policy.</p> <p>Second, we need to enhance respect for international humanitarian law, international human rights law and humanitarian principles. For example, those responsible for violations and abuses of international law against the rohingya in Myanmar must be held accountable.</p> <p>We must support national efforts and capacity to pursue justice and reparations in the wake of armed conflict. Innovative initiatives such as the Safe Schools Declaration plays an important role in strengthening the protection of civilians and civilian objects. The Safe Schools Declaration has now been signed by 89 countries, and we appreciate Spain hosting the third safe schools conference next week.</p> <p>Third, the Security Council needs to maintain the issue of medical care on its agenda and strongly underline the seriousness of attacks on medical care and denial of access, as suggested by the recommendations from the Arria-meeting on Protecting Medical Care in armed conflict held in December last year.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Council should, to a greater degree, consider issues relating to the protection of medical care in country resolutions and mission mandates.</p> <p>We must constantly stand up and say that medical care as well as civilians is not a target.</p> <p>Once more, I would like to pay tribute to the leadership of Indonesia in organizing this debate, which serves to strengthen the Council’s resolve in safeguarding civilians in armed conflict.</p> <p>Thank you!</p> </div>

07.05.2019 20:01Statement by Norway on behalf of the Nordic Countries in the Open Debate on Investing in Peace

<span></span> <p class="ingress">Statement by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden delivered by Ambassador Mona Juul in the Open Debate on Investing in peace: delivering quality training and capacity building to improve safety and security and performance of UN peacekeepers, 7 May 2019. </p> <div class="article-content"> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>I have the honour to speak on behalf of the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and my own country, Norway.</p> <p>We welcome Indonesia’s initiative to hold this timely debate. We fully agree that quality training and capacity-building are crucial for improving the safety, security and performance of peacekeepers.</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>I will make three points, based on our experience and the current challenges facing UN peacekeeping.</p> <p>First,</p> <p>The Nordic countries cooperate to provide a wide range of training courses that are vital to the effective implementation of peacekeeping mandates. These courses are open to all UN member states, which means that a wide range of valuable perspectives are brought into the discussions. The Nordic countries are also supporting the review and updating of UN police training architecture in line with the Strategic Guidance Framework for International Police Peacekeeping.</p> <p>Second,</p> <p>We strongly support the emphasis on innovative approaches to make training more effective. The in-mission training carried out by the Nordic Mobile Training Team in Mali is one example. The team from Finland and Sweden trained more than 400 soldiers and officers from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt and Liberia during a five-week period in Timbuktu. The training focused on strategies to cope with the demanding security environment in the mission area, such as counter-attack tactics, medical first aid, escorting and patrolling.</p> <p>This was a pilot project. We found it to be of great value to the mission. But we also saw the need for the well-coordinated preparation on the part of all those involved prior to the training period. We are therefore looking forward to learning from the project and sharing best practices, including with other countries that have provided or received this training.</p> <p>Third,</p> <p>If we are to improve the safety, security and performance of peacekeepers, training should focus on crisis management. This includes casualty evacuation and medical evacuation. It should also focus on the protection of civilians. Situational awareness is vital, as is good conduct and a gender-sensitive approach. We are convinced that if peacekeepers take a gender-sensitive approach, this will enhance their capacity to engage with local communities in promoting reconciliation and peace.</p> <p>Special efforts must be made to ensure that women are included in all training activities. Moreover, those who have been trained must actually be deployed. A greater number of women peacekeepers will result in more effective implementation of mandates.</p> <p>Relevant training also needs to focus on the work to prevent, investigate and prosecute serious crimes committed against peacekeepers.</p> <p>The Nordic countries are longstanding and consistent supporters of UN peacekeeping. Engagement in training and capacity-building will remain integral elements of our support.</p> <p>Thank you, Mr. President.</p> </div>

30.04.2019 15:38General Statement of Iceland by Þórður Ægir Óskarsson to the 3rd Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference

<span></span> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr Chairman</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I join others in congratulating you on assuming the chairmanship of this final preparatory committee meeting of the 2020 Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and wish you every success in your leadership of this important gathering.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland fully aligns itself with the statement made by Norway on behalf of the Nordic countries and the statement made by Belgium on behalf of the Group of States.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I will use this opportunity to make few comments in my national capacity.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. Chair,</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">It is no exaggeration that we are meeting at a critical juncture when some of the key agreements that have underpinned the global disarmament efforts since the end of the Cold War are being put test by glaring examples of non-compliance and new security challenges.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">At this stage we should be preparing the celebration of the 50<sup>th</sup> Anniversary of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the most successful treaty in this history of nuclear arms control and disarmament in general along with the Chemical Weapons Convention.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Instead we face the critical challenge of preserving the integrity and the global validity of this major treaty.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland is strongly committed to work towards the objective of eliminating nuclear weapons and the Non-Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of our policy when it comes to nuclear disarmament.&nbsp; A demise or weakening of this important treaty is wholly unacceptable to Iceland.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The rogue behaviour of the DPRK is the single most immediate threat to the non-proliferation regime and in that undermines the security of the global community.&nbsp; We harbour the hope that the DPRK will return to compliance to its international obligations, including return to the NPT and IAEA Safeguards Arrangements and welcome the strong diplomatic efforts by the United States in that regard.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Another threat to the non-proliferation efforts is the looming demise of the INF treaty, due to expire in three months.&nbsp; Iceland reiterates its call to Russia to return to full compliance as the treaty is an important part of the rule-based order in global arms control.&nbsp; It is also important for global security that Russia and The United States extend the New Start Treaty.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland supports the continuation of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), an important contribution to the rule-based non-proliferation regime.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In referring to these three immediate challenges to global non-proliferations it is important to note the special responsibility of the nuclear states when it comes to the disarmament aspects of the Treaty.&nbsp; There, a solid movement is needed in order to preserve the relevance of the NPT.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">This slow progress in the disarmament pillar should; however, not discourage us from seeking to strengthen other supporting mechanism such as the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and in particular the successful Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which success would be carved in stone with joining and ratification of all Annex II states.&nbsp; To begin negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty would be another important factor in underpinning the non- proliferation arrangements</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">However, apart from disarmament aspect and the difficulties regarding the proliferation pillar, there are positive stories to take from the implementation of the Treaty.&nbsp; The success in the peaceful application of nuclear technology and the increasing acceptance of the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and the Additional Protocol are stand outs. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In the face adversity it is important to bring out how the Non-Proliferation Treaty is serving our publics everyday through the peaceful uses and the safeguards.&nbsp; This is a treaty truly serving the global community.&nbsp; More needs to be done!</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland believes that one very important step in this regard would be much stronger effort to ensure that women have an active and equal role in this disarmament efforts in line with Security Council Resolution 1325.&nbsp; Hopefully that will be realised when it comes to the 2020 NPT Revie Conference.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland is not alone in the view that there is an urgent need to apply more energy, more creative thinking and even more resources to the disarmament and arms control efforts, not only when it comes to weapons of mass destruction but also on conventional weapons, emerging technologies and hybrid threat.&nbsp; There the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention are there absolutely first in line. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">On that note I implore all of us to make this preparatory committee meeting constructive and successful.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

29.04.2019 18:45Joint Nordic Statement at the General Debate of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference

<span> <header> <div class="container"> <h1 class="padded--xsmall">NPT: General Debate</h1> </div> </header> <section> <div class="container"> <p class="ingress"> Statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway delivered by Ambassador Mona Juul at the general debate of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <div class="article-content"> <p>Mr Chair,</p> <p>I have the privilege to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and my own country, Norway.</p> <p>Mr Cair,</p> <p>Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Our message is clear: We call for continued global commitment to the treaty, and a willingness to rebuild trust after years of polarisation.</p> <p>This will require a concerted effort and clear political engagement on the part of both nuclear and non-nuclear-weapons states.</p> <p>We all have a responsibility to work hard to find common ground. We must focus on what unites us, rather than on what divides us. A case in point is the work on nuclear disarmament verification, and we welcome the fact that the UN Group of Governmental Experts has agreed on a consensus report.</p> <p>The Nordic countries cooperate closely on disarmament and non-proliferation, despite our different relationships with the EU and NATO.</p> <p>History has taught us that sustainable security can only be achieved through close cooperation. In our efforts to uphold and strengthen the NPT, this is a lesson well worth remembering.</p> <p>We therefore also welcome the Secretary-General’s Agenda for Disarmament, and we join his call for all states to work together for a world without nuclear weapons.</p> <p>Preparing for a successful 2020 NPT Review Conference is an overarching priority. The treaty has proved to be resilient and effective.</p> <p>Over the past five decades, the global stockpile of nuclear weapons has been substantially reduced, the proliferation of nuclear weapons has been curtailed, and the benefits of civilian applications of nuclear energy and technology have been shared globally.</p> <p>The NPT has been a resounding success. We have to make sure it will also be the case in the future.</p> <p>Mr Chair,</p> <p>The global security environment is becoming increasingly challenging. This heightens the need for international rules-based cooperation. We need to focus on our common interests to effectively pursue nuclear disarmament, and to close the remaining nuclear proliferation loopholes.</p> <p>We encourage the nuclear-weapons states to actively engage in arms control efforts, with the United States and Russia, possessing the largest arsenals, taking the lead by reviving a constructive dialogue.</p> <p>We regret Russia’s non-compliance with the INF treaty and strongly encourage Russia to return to full compliance before the treaty is terminated in August. At the same time, we strongly encourage the US and Russia to extend the New START treaty and to seek further reciprocal reductions in strategic and non-strategic, deployed and non-deployed warheads.</p> <p>We welcome the diplomatic dialogue between the US and the DPRK. The only sustainable solution to the situation on the Korean peninsula is political.</p> <p>The DPRK’s nuclear and missiles programmes violate a series of UN Security Council resolutions and pose a serious challenge to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. Nuclear disarmament by the DPRK is essential.</p> <p>The Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) is a landmark non-proliferation achievement, which was endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council through resolution 2231.</p> <p>Therefore, we regret the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA, which has put the agreement into jeopardy. We urge the continued, full and effective implementation of the JCPOA and call on Iran to maintain its full cooperation with the IAEA. At the same time, Iran’s ballistic missile activity remains a significant concern.</p> <p>Failure to address these challenges could seriously undermine the global disarmament and non-proliferation regime of which the NPT is the cornerstone.</p> <p>Mr Chair,</p> <p>The obligations under the NPT, and commitments made at review conferences, remain as valid as ever. We call for the implementation of all commitments, including those related to Article VI.</p> <p>A forward-looking agenda covering all three pillars of the NPT is needed for the 2020 Review Conference. This agenda should include the following points:</p> <ul> <li>Strengthening the global norm against nuclear testing by promoting the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.</li> <li>Developing an effectively verifiable treaty that bans the production of fissile material.</li> <li>Developing credible multilateral solutions to verify future nuclear disarmament.</li> <li>Pursuing measures to reduce the risk of accidental use of nuclear weapons.</li> <li>Strengthening confidence-building measures, including efforts to enhance transparency on the part of nuclear-weapon states.</li> <li>Strengthening negative security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states.</li> <li>Addressing the issue of non-strategic nuclear weapons.</li> <li>Working towards universal acceptance of the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and its Additional Protocol as the global safeguards standard.</li> <li>Making the most of peaceful applications of nuclear technologies in advancing efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.</li> <li>Promoting political support and practical capacity-building to ensure diverse and more equal participation in efforts to fully implement all pillars of the NPT.</li> </ul> <p>Mr Chair,</p> <p>For the past 50 years, the NPT has served the international community well. Yet for all its success, its future cannot be taken for granted.</p> <p>Above all, NPT states parties must uphold the common goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.</p> <p>Everything possible must be done to avert the risk of nuclear war and, in the words of the treaty itself, ’the devastation that would be visited upon all mankind’ in the event of a calamity of this kind.</p> <p>We, the Nordic countries, reaffirm our commitment &nbsp;to doing our part.</p> <p>Thank you, Mr Chair.</p> </div> </div> </section></span>

23.04.2019 16:18Statement by Ambassador Bergdis Ellertsdottir at the Pleding Conference on Women, Peace and Security

<span></span> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Statement at the pledging conference</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Women, Peace and Security</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">April 23, 2019</span></strong></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Chair</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I would like to thank our co-hosts Germany, United-Kingdom and UN-Women for organizing this session in the lead up to 20th anniversary of resolution 1325 and Germany for its clear leadership in highlighting the central importance of women for maintenance of peace and security during its presidency of the Security Council in April. Including the adoption of the Security Council resolution 2467 this afternoon. However, we regret that there was no consensus to include the crucial rights of survivors of sexual and reproductive health and rights. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Resolution 1325 was a clear recognition by the international community that women and girls are affected differently by conflict and that women have a vital contribution to make to the achievement of sustainable peace. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">This should be self-evident today in the year 2019 but there is still a long way to go as the systematic use of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict is an almost daily occurrence and security and peacebuilding, from the field to the negotiation table, continues to be dominated by men. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The most appropriate way to commemorate the 20th anniversary of resolution 1325 is making sure that we all, the UN and its member states, continue to strengthen implementation of relevant resolutions with measurable results.&nbsp; </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In 2008, Iceland adopted its first National Action Plan on the implementation of 1325 and our third national plan was adopted last year for the period of 2018-2022. The new plan contains several clearly defined goals, that we pledge to implement. Let me use this opportunity to highlight three key deliverables today. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Firstly, raising awareness and understanding of the importance of 1325 among Icelandic policy makers and those working on security and humanitarian issues in the field. Our goal for 2020 is to make sure that all key parties will have received appropriate training. This includes mainstreaming 1325 into all relevant strategic papers and policies, such as on development cooperation, humanitarian assistance, security and defence. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Secondly, increase meaningful participation of women and their subsequent impact on peace and reconstruction. We are committed to ensuring that women are more equally represented in our missions and humanitarian effort abroad as well in key positions at home, or no less than 40%, before 2020. This includes providing training and support in Iceland for women from conflict areas. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thirdly, we will continue to support multilateral and bilateral funds and programs aimed at peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction that contributes to the security, protection, assistance and recovery of women and girls in conflict zones. This includes a four-year project with the Government of Mozambique, in partnership with UN Women and Norway, which aims to promote women and girls´ effective participation in peace, security and recovery in Mozambique. Iceland has also recently signed an agreement with the UN Women regional office in Turkey on a four-year programme to create a more enabling environment for refugee women to lead, participate in and benefit equally from all aspects of migration management, refugee response, peace, security, disaster risk reduction, and humanitarian action. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr Chair, we look forward to celebrating the 20th anniversary of resolution 1325 and stressing the importance of it. We hope that it will bring clear deliverables and renewed political emphasis on women, peace and security.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p>

23.04.2019 14:32Nordic Statement delivered by Ambassador Mona Juul in the Open debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict

<span> <header> <div class="container"> <h1 class="padded--xsmall">SC: Sexual Violence in Conflict</h1> </div> </header> <section> <div class="container"> <p class="ingress"> Statement by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway delivered by Ambassador Mona Juul in the Open debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict, 23 April 2019. </p> <div class="article-content"> <p>I am making this statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and my own country Norway, and thank Germany for organising today’s open debate on this critical topic.</p> <p>With the adoption of resolution 2467&nbsp;today, it is essential to advance&nbsp;the&nbsp;agenda of conflict-related sexual violence&nbsp;focusing on the survivors. Let us emphasise that survivors of conflict-related sexual violence&nbsp;deserve&nbsp;basic sexual and reproductive health and rights. We regret that sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, as reaffirmed by the Security Council in several resolutions, most recently in resolutions 1889 and 2106, were not included in the resolution. &nbsp;</p> <p>Nadia Murad and Dennis Mukwege. You bring with you the voices of the very people we are here to serve, whose communities the Security Council is set to safeguard. As we once again acknowledge that the devastating harm these women and girls, men and boys have been exposed to is a matter of national and international security, you are here to hold us accountable.</p> <p>--</p> <p>Girls become mothers and children stateless. Women are raped and their husbands forced to watch. Reproductive organs are mutilated, and shame and stigma paralyse families and villages. These injuries of war call for a comprehensive response.</p> <p>Sexual violence destroys lives, tears apart the social fabric of communities, creates rifts between neighbours, and&nbsp; preys on the differences that enrich our societies. Those who are targeted are often discriminated against due to their religious, ethnic, sexual, political or other minority status.</p> <p>It is now ten years since the mandate of the Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict was established. Wallström, Bangura and Patten have done an excellent job not least through UN Action and the Team of Experts. Yet in many conflicts, abuse is still widespread.</p> <p>--</p> <p>We welcome the Secretary-General’s report indicating possible ways forward.</p> <p>We must monitor and document violations of international law, and provide training and funding, where needed. We need to strengthen state institutions and build capacity to combat conflict-related sexual violence. Individual states have the primary responsibility to prevent and respond to sexual violence, as well as to investigate and prosecute persons implicated in such crimes. Perpetrators of conflict-related sexual violence must be held to account.</p> <p>We call for systematic use of gender expertise in UN operations. We welcome the dedicated specialised teams, the new policy and the soon to be launched all-of-mission handbook on the prevention of and response to conflict-related sexual violence. We echo the need for resolutions, mandates and sanctions to address conflict-related sexual violence.</p> <p>Root causes of gender-based violence, such as gender-based power inequalities and gender-based discrimination must be addressed. Responsive measures, such as providing adequate service to survivors of gender-based violence are crucial, as are measures to prevent the violence from happening in the first place.</p> <p>We support the call to action to end sexual violence in conflict. We rely on survivors and witnesses, civil society and human rights defenders as we strive to build a relevant and effective response without causing survivors further pain.</p> <p>Reparation and justice must go hand in hand. A comprehensive approach is a prerequisite to alleviate both the immediate and long-term impact of conflict-related sexual violence. We must strengthen services for survivors of sexual violence, including by ensuring comprehensive sexual and reproductive health rights, such as access to emergency contraception and safe termination of pregnancies. We must fight impunity, remove stigma, alleviate suffering, rectify injustices, and ultimately help people to rebuild their lives, and communities to build peace.</p> <p>We emphasise in this context the significant progress made by the International Criminal Court, and its Trust Fund for Victims in combating conflict-related sexual violence.</p> <p>--</p> <p>The Nordic countries will do our part, through our embassies, multilateral efforts and many partnerships. The Nordic Network of Women Mediators calls for more gender-transformative peace and reconciliation processes. The Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations equips peacekeepers. We deploy many women and men who champion this cause.</p> <p>This anniversary year demands action.&nbsp;</p> <p>Norway, together with Somalia, UNOCHA, UNFPA, ICRC and other partners, will host a conference in Oslo on 23-24 May. The objectives are to mobilise more political awareness and financial support to address conflict-related sexual violence in humanitarian crises, and to highlight best practices to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian situations.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> </div> </div> </section></span>

29.03.2019 20:20Statement by Ambassador Bergdis Ellertsdottir on Climate and Sustainable Development for All

<span></span> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Madame President</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank you and the Secretary-General for your steadfast leadership in ensuring that climate change continues to be on the top of the UN agenda as it the single most serious threat to sustainable development and the goals set out in Agenda 2030.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">This meeting and the following meeting leading up to Climate Action Summit in September should be used to forge a greater consensus and seek out concrete actions and solutions that can support our fight against climate change. There still are many, well known and undiscovered, opportunities for mitigation including in energy transformation and nature-based solutions, not least land restoration. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland is firmly committed to the Paris agreement targets and the Icelandic government has recently approved a holistic Climate Action Plan to implement those commitments with the ambitious aim to make Iceland carbon neutral before 2040, by phasing out fossil fuels in transport and increase afforestation and restoration of wetlands. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Madame President</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Tending to our own backyard is not enough, as our policies and actions need to be inclusive and just. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">High-income countries must both reduce their emissions and help low-income countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change. There is still a long way to go as more investments are needed. We are committed to doing our bit through multilateral funds, technical assistance and training. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">A stronger partnership with the private sector is called for to bring investments, innovation and know-how into national and global effort to bolster sustainable development and fight climate change. Municipalities and civil society also play a key role in this regard. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">It is crucial that those who suffer the most from climate change have their voices heard. I would particularly like to underline the importance of full and equal participation of women in climate-related policy- and decision-making at all levels as women, not the least in developing countries bear the highest burden of the impact of climate change. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">There is also a growing demand for involvement and action by youth. Young girls and boys in almost all corners of the world are demanding clear actions today, in order to safeguard their tomorrow. We need to understand better the intergenerational effects of our policies and provide a more inclusive platform for those that represent the future. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Madame President</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The clock is ticking. We need to implement the Paris agreement and continue to seek innovative solutions and share best practices on how to accelerate and strengthen our response to climate change. These coming months should be used to make sure that the Climate Action Summit will deliver concrete results.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank you</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

20.12.2018 15:55Statement to the General Assembly on the Declaration of Human Rights Defenders by Jonas G. Allansson, Deputy Permanent Representative

<span></span> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. / Madame President,</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">As we commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by all UN member states, we welcome the opportunity to reflect on our achievements and the challenges that remain. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. / Madame President, </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:150%;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Iceland continues to support and advocate for the protection of civil society and human rights defenders. Their ability to work safely and without the fear of retaliation is a key element in maintaining open and democratic societies. We have therefore made the protection of human rights defender one of the priorities of our current Membership of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">It remains the responsibility of every state to provide a safe environment for civil society and human rights defenders, including by protecting the rule of law, due process and freedom of speech. Making space for alternative views and criticism, is a source of strength for all states, fuelling political and social development. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Unfortunately, the reality on the ground is of great concern, as human rights defenders are increasingly subject to threats, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, and other severe human rights violations.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I would particularly like to draw attention to those human rights defenders, that promote and protect fundamental freedoms as they relate to the enjoyment of a safe, healthy and sustainable environment.</span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Empowering environmental human rights defenders is crucial to the protection of the environment and all other related rights. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">If the international community is to translate Agenda 2030 into reality, we <span style="background: white;">must </span></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">address the increasing violence, harassment and demonization by state and non-state actors of environmental human rights defenders.</span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; background: white; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">States need to support the right of everyone to promote a healthy and sustainable environment, the very foundation for the enjoyment of a vast range of human rights. The current situation of environmental human rights defenders must be addressed and </span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">individuals and groups on the front line of defending sustainable development should be protected. </span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mr. / Madame President,</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Let me assure you that Iceland will continue to promote and protect the rights of all human rights defenders as they play a pivotal role in safeguarding international human rights for the benefit of all. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 16pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I thank you.</span></p>

12.12.2018 14:46Statement to the General Assembly on Oceans and the Law of the Sea by Ambassador Bergdis Ellertsdottir

<p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The two UN draft resolutions under discussions today, on <em>Sustainable Fisheries</em> and on <em>Oceans and the Law of the Sea, </em>relate to issues that are at the core of Iceland’s economy, history, identity – indeed our very existence. It’s therefore difficult to overstate the importance of this topic for Iceland, as the issue addressed in these resolutions touch upon central issues for Iceland´s foreign, economic and trade policies. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Iceland participated actively in the negotiations on the two draft resolutions and we are happy to be among the co-sponsors. We would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to the two coordinators that ably guided our discussions, Mr. Andreas Kravik from Norway on the Sustainable Fisheries Resolution and Ms. Natalie Morris-Sharma from Singapore on the Oceans and the Law of the Sea Resolution. As is practice, this work was guided by the principle of consensus, which may not always appear to be the fastest way forward but remains the only safe way to reach our destination. It is therefore a demanding job to co-ordinate these negotiations and both Mr. Kravik and Ms. Morris-Sharma demonstrated admirable tact, diplomacy and wisdom in steering us towards a final outcome. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We would particularly like to note that this year we started the important work of streamlining the resolution on Oceans and Law of the Sea. Given the importance of the topics addressed in this resolution, we welcome this effort towards making the resolution more readable, more concise and more relevant and we look forward to continuing our work in this regard.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me also use this opportunity to convey our appreciation to the Secretary-General for his report on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, and for the Secretariat in general and DOALOS in particular for its valuable work and contribution. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The mandate of the Commission for the Limits of the Continental Shelf continues to be of utmost importance and it remains essential that the Commission´s work is based on thorough deliberations, respect for its procedures and that its conclusions are founded on sound arguments. In this regard my delegation wishes to express our gratitude for the hard work and dedication of the members of the Commission for the Limits of the Continental Shelf. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Two important developments related to the work of the Commission in this year’s resolutions are worth highlighting. First of all, the draft resolution on Oceans and the Law of the Sea invites the General Assembly to decide that members of the Commission have the option to join the Headquarters medical insurance scheme. The working conditions of the Commission have been under a discussion for a longtime, and it is our hope that this new option will be a positive contribution to that debate. Secondly, the draft resolution contains revised Terms of Reference of the Trust Fund for the purpose of facilitating the preparation of submissions to the Commission. The changes to the Term of Reference will hopefully enable developing States, in particular the least developed countries and small islands developing States, to make better use of the Trust Fund during deliberations of their submissions to the Commission. We welcome both of these developments, as each in their own way are important contributions for the further strengthening of Commission’s work. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The General Assembly has consistently throughout the years highlighted the universal and unified character of the Law of the Sea Convention, its strategic importance and its contribution to peace, security and friendly relations among all nations. It is worth highlighting that this strong legal framework already regulates all activities in the oceans. It is complemented by the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement and its provisions on high seas fisheries and regulatory framework for the work of regional fisheries management organizations. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We have now embarked on a new complementing process, to develop an international legally binding instrument under the Convention on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. Iceland welcomes the formal start of these negotiations and we will continue to actively and constructively participate in them. We would in particular highlight that this process and its result must not undermine but rather build on existing legal instruments and frameworks, particularly the Convention and the 1995 Fish Stocks Agreement. The BBNJ negotiations are not the forum to reopen issues that are already settled. My delegation would also like to stress that while the issues under discussions are complex and that views differ on what is the appropriate legal framework to address them, it is imperative that this works continues to be guided by consensus as that is the only way we can achieve universal application of this instrument.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Without a clean, healthy, productive ocean, Agenda 2030 will be almost impossible to attain. Sustainable management of natural resources is fundamental to our success. Seas and oceans have great potential for innovation and growth in a number of sectors, to contribute to eradicating poverty, as well as sustained economic growth.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Climate change and its impact is among the most pressing concerns of our times. Addressing climate change is a prerequisite to healthy and sustainable oceans. Iceland has already witnessed the consequences of climate change, with rising ocean temperatures having already influenced migration patterns of fish stocks. Climate change has therefore had a direct impact on our policies and our interactions with other States. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In few places are the impacts of climate change more evident than in the Arctic, with the sea-ice in the Arctic continuing to decrease. Earlier this year, Iceland along with 9 other parties signed the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean. This Agreement is an example of States adopting the Precautionary Approach in practice, as the Parties to the Agreement have committed themselves to refraining from any commercial fishing in the high seas portion of the central Arctic Ocean until scientific basis, proper management measures and procedures are in place. With this commitment, the Parties wish to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fish stocks in an area where fishing has so far been impossible, but which is undertaking rapid changes. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ocean Science must take center stage in the debate on oceans and sustainable development. Iceland would therefore like to welcome the General Assembly’s decision last year to proclaim the next decade the United Nations Decade of Oceans Science for Sustainable Development. We also welcome the proposal in this year’s draft Resolution to focus the discussions in next year’s meeting of the Informal Consultative Process on the theme of “Ocean Science and the United Nations Decade of Oceans Science for Sustainable Development.” We find it particularly apt that the ICP will devote its 20<sup>th</sup> sessions to this important and cross-cutting theme that relates to all aspects of our work. </p> <p> My delegation looks forward to participating in the next year’s ICP, as well as all the other important meetings, events and processes relating to Oceans and the Law of the Sea that are scheduled for next year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you, Mr. President</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

01.11.2018 21:02Joint Nordic Statement to the General Assembly on Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters

<span></span> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="padding: 0cm; font-size: 16pt; border: 1pt none windowtext; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">General Assembly</span></strong></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="padding: 0cm; font-size: 16pt; border: 1pt none windowtext; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">73rd session</span></strong></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="padding: 0cm; font-size: 14pt; border: 1pt none windowtext; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="padding: 0cm; font-size: 16pt; border: 1pt none windowtext; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Sixth&nbsp;Committee</span></strong></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="padding: 0cm; font-size: 14pt; border: 1pt none windowtext; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Agenda item 90: Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters</span></strong></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="padding: 0cm; font-size: 12pt; border: 1pt none windowtext; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="padding: 0cm; font-size: 14pt; border: 1pt none windowtext; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Statement by </span></strong></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="padding: 0cm; font-size: 14pt; border: 1pt none windowtext; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden</span></strong></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="padding: 0cm; font-size: 14pt; border: 1pt none windowtext; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="padding: 0cm; font-size: 14pt; border: 1pt none windowtext; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Delivered by</span></strong></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="padding: 0cm; font-size: 14pt; border: 1pt none windowtext; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Ms. Sesselja Sigurdardottir, Counsellor, Mission of Iceland</span></strong></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="background: white; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="padding: 0cm; font-size: 14pt; border: 1pt none windowtext; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">1 November 2018</span></strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <div style="padding: 1pt 0cm 0cm; border-top-width: 1pt; border-style: solid none none; border-right-width: initial; border-right-color: initial; border-bottom-width: initial; border-bottom-color: initial; border-left-width: initial; border-left-color: initial;"> <p style="padding: 0cm; border: none; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div> <p class="Default" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Garamond, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Madame Chair, </span></p> <p class="Default" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">I have the honour to speak on behalf of the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Iceland. </span></p> <p class="Default" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">We once again commend the ILC and the special rapporteur, Mr Eduardo Valencia-Ospina, for the finalization of the work on the Protection of persons in the event of disasters, and welcome the continued discussions about the draft articles in the sixth committee.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The draft articles deal with an increasingly relevant and topical area of public international law, aiming at further strengthening the international disaster relief and humanitarian assistance system. They constitute a comprehensive framework for the reduction of risks of disasters, including through risk assessments and protection of persons, and set out the duty of the affected state to ensure protection, as well as the role of external assistance in this respect. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Given that this is the first debate on the topic as a subject on the agenda of the General Assembly, the Nordic countries would like to reiterate some of the comments and positions expressed during the discussion on the work of the ILC on the topic at hand:</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">First</span></strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;"> – the draft articles highlight human rights and the principles of human dignity and underline that response to disasters shall take place in accordance with the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. In this context, the Nordic countries would like to recall that integration of a gender perspective in humanitarian assistance is necessary to reach all parts of the population. A gender perspective ensures effective and impartial humanitarian assistance and strengthens protection of individuals during times of natural disasters, through the recognition that women, men, girls and boys may have different needs and vulnerabilities. Ensuring children receive adequate protection is of fundamental importance, since experience shows they are often most vulnerable in the event of disasters, with initial chaos causing displacement. &nbsp;The Nordic countries would also like to once again draw attention to reports by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent highlighting increased risk of sexual and gender-based violence in disasters and other emergencies.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Second</span></strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;"> - The draft articles provide that external assistance in general requires the consent of the affected state, but that such external assistance shall not be withheld arbitrarily. With these provisions the draft articles strike an adequate balance between the rights and obligations of the affected state and those of assisting actors. This reflects the dual nature of sovereignty as entailing both rights and obligations, which is also stated in the commentary to draft article 13. Arbitrary denial of humanitarian access and depriving civilians of objects indispensable to their survival, can constitute a violation of international humanitarian law. As further stated in the commentary, an offer of assistance that is met with refusal might under certain conditions constitute a violation of the right to life.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The Nordic countries would further like to underline the importance of prevention and in this regard welcomes draft article 9 that reflects the obligations of States to reduce the risk of disasters by taking appropriate measures, including through legislation and regulations, to prevent, mitigate, and prepare for disasters through the conduct of risk assessments, the collection and dissemination of risk and past loss information, and the installation and operation of early warning systems. In this regard, the Nordic countries would like to refer to Sustainable Development Goal no. 13, which requires of us to <em>Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries</em>. The work of the ILC on the protection of persons in the event of disasters may contribute to reaching this goal.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The Nordic countries have noted the recommendation by the ILC that an international convention be elaborated on the basis of the draft articles. We are open to discuss this. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank you, Madame Chair.</span></p>

15.10.2018 12:11Statement to the Second Committee on Sustainable Development

<span>Statement by<br /> <br /> H.E Bergdís Ellertsdóttir,<br /> Permanent Representative<br /> <br /> <br /> GA73 / Item 20 – Sustainable development<br /> <br /> Second Committee<br /> <br /> 15 October 2018<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Mr. Chair<br /> <br /> Since this is the first time I take the floor, allow me to congratulate you and the members of the bureau on your election and assure you of my delegation´s full cooperation.<br /> <br /> Iceland is firmly committed to Agenda 2030, with its inclusive and bottom-up approach to development. It is a key policy priority with strong ownership and participation of the private sector, civil society and young people. We look forward to Iceland’s Voluntary National Review next year and are hoping for constructive feedback.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> In our development cooperation we focus on human rights and gender equality, social infrastructure and peace-building, as well as sustainable management of natural resources.&nbsp; We take part in projects where we believe Iceland has specific know-how to share. There are particularly four areas of focus, namely land restoration, oceans, renewable energy and gender equality, all of which are a part of the UN training programmes in Iceland. Almost 5.000 experts from 100 countries have been trained since the first program was established almost forty years ago.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Iceland was honored to chair the 56th session of the Commission for Social Development. The Commission plays a crucial role in advancing the social dimension of the 2030 Agenda. At its session early this year, the Commission tackled innovation and interconnectivity in social policy and considered poverty through the lens of inequality. We welcome the continued focus on inequality next year and believe the Commission can contribute immensely to the universal commitment reflected in SDG 10.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Mr. Chair<br /> <br /> Climate change is fast becoming the single most serious challenge to global peace, security and development. The recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming paints a dark picture of the magnitude of the problem and the urgency to accelerate our actions. The Government of Iceland has recently put in place ambitious new climate strategy to meet our Paris Agreement targets for 2030 and make Iceland carbon neutral by 2040.&nbsp; Already, all electricity and heating in Iceland is produced from renewable resources. Our plan aims to phase out fossil fuels in transport and increase afforestation and restoration of wetlands.<br /> <br /> Iceland started its green energy transition decades ago and we continue to assist other countries in this regard. We cooperate with the Nordic Development Fund and the World Bank on research in East Africa on geothermal exploitation. With renewable energy becoming more competitive we must strengthen our cooperation and strive towards universal access to modern energy services. Iceland cooperates with different actors in this field, including the World Bank and Sustainable Energy for All.<br /> <br /> Mr. Chair<br /> <br /> Sustainable use of marine resources, through successful science-based management, remains one of the backbones of the Icelandic economy and a clear focus in our foreign policy. We cooperate with many partners, inter alia the World Bank through the PROFISH program. This program promotes fisheries and aquaculture with regards to poverty reduction, sustainable economic growth‚ better nutrition and economic opportunities for women.<br /> <br /> Land restoration is another natural priority for my country, having historically lost large areas of our land to erosion. We proudly chair the Group of Friends on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) along with Namibia. Achieving land degradation neutrality, in accordance with target 15.3, accelerates progress on many other SDGs.&nbsp; I would highlight its contribution to ending poverty and ensuring food security, its role in ensuring a reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supply and its empowerment of women and girls.&nbsp; The nexus between DLDD issues and current security threats, such as climate change and forced migration, is also clear and merits serious consideration.<br /> <br /> Mr. Chair<br /> <br /> My last and final point is our strong belief that gender equality is the master-key to unlocking sustainable development in all countries. This conviction has led us to steadily increase the emphasis on women empowerment in our development policy. We have also put a particular focus on engaging men and boys in these efforts, as we must all stand together for gender equality.<br /> <br /> Thank you, Mr. Chair.</span>

08.10.2018 14:46Joint Nordic Statement to the General Assembly by Norway on the First Committee

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04.09.2018 15:55General statement of BBNJ at the first intergovernmental conference by Sesselja Sigurdardottir, Counsellor/Legal Adviser

<span></span> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Madam President <span style="mso-spacerun:yes;"></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">At the outset let me thank you and your able team and the staff at DOALOS for your excellent work in advance of this intergovernmental conference. In particular, we thank you for providing us with the useful President´s Aid to Discussion to guide our important work. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The opening of this intergovernmental conference is a historic moment. After almost 15 years of BBNJ discussions at the UN, the General Assembly has now mandated us to develop a BBNJ Instrument under UNCLOS. We need to heed the call of the General Assembly and do our utmost to elaborate a good, balanced and useful instrument. We owe it to the people who have worked on this for all these years, we owe it to marine biodiversity and we owe it to future generations. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Madam President</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">This milestone is an important opportunity to rethink our method of work. We must avoid moving in circles and rather start bridging gaps. In order to really move forward we need to tackle, early in the process, some principal issues that will affect the way we proceed with the negotiations. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">One such key issue is the approach to be taken with regards to decision-making and institutional structure. There will be a myriad of issues to address, no matter which approach we take, but we will never be able to truly focus our discussion if we continue to keep all possible approaches on the table. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">One of the mantras of the Preparatory Committee in this regard was “form follows function“. In our view, this mantra may easily be turned around, to say “function follows form.“ We need to know where we´re heading in order to know which steps need to be taken. A solid start is therefore to decide whether the instrument will be based on a global, regional or hybrid approach. By answering this fundamental question, we would narrow the scope of the negotiations considerably and shorten the time needed for our work.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">In the process leading up to this conference, Iceland has clearly stated preference for a regional approach rather than a global one. We want the BBNJ Instrument to be a pragmatic, efficient and economical tool. We therefore strongly favor building on existing structures and bodies, rather than designing a new system. We will work towards this goal in cooperation with other delegations during the course of the negotiations. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes;"></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Madam President </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The General Assembly has instructed us to produce the BBNJ Instrument as soon as possible. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes;"></span>In order to get to that point, a wide range of issues need to be tackled. We all know that the subject matter of this conference entails complex and contentious issues. There are, in other words, wide gaps to be bridged before we can conclude our work. Such bridge-building takes time but is essential in order to reach consensus. Universal application is the key to the value and effectiveness of the BBNJ Instrument. Consensus must therefore be our ultimate goal in the negotiations. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">The Icelandic delegation is confident that under your able stewardship this intergovernmental conference will be a successful process and we assure you of our full and dedicated cooperation. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:150%;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Thank you. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language:EN-US;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; text-align:justify;line-height:normal;background:white;"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt;">&nbsp;</span></p>

27.04.2018 16:44Statement to the Security Council- Debate on the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question by Ambassador Einar Gunnarsson

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Un Security Council</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Debate on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>26 April 2018</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement by H.E. Einar Gunnarsson, Permanent Representative</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President</p> <p>First allow me to thank the Presidency of Peru for convening this quarterly meeting on the Middle East, including the Palestine question.</p> <p>Mr. President</p> <p>Syria and Yemen cast a dark shadow over the Middle East region – and over the UN, particularly this Council.</p> <p>The Secretary-General, speaking of the 8 years of war in Syria, referred to the “systematic violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law” and of the “utter disregard of the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter.”&nbsp; The use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Government is well documented and constitutes one of the most serious violations of international law.</p> <p>The latest shocking reports from Douma have yet to be fully investigated – but the Syrian Government has already demonstrated the will and ability to use these cruel and illegal weapons against civilian populations. We urge the Security-Council to find unity on this issue, both for the sake of Syrians, but also to rescue the international non-proliferation regime.</p> <p>The General Assembly finds itself again in a position where it needs to look for alternatives to action by the Security Council. The Council is not fulfilling its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.</p> <p>Iceland applauds the commitments made in Brussels earlier this week to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation in Syria and its neighbors. Iceland has increased its funding with a multiyear contribution and will have contributed close to $9m over the period 2017-2020.</p> <p>The parties to the conflict, in particular the Syrian Government, and their backers, must show real commitment to negotiating an inclusive political settlement. The Secretary-General has said peace “is a moral and political imperative for the Syrian people and for the world”.</p> <p>What the Secretary-General has called “a stupid war” continues to devastate the lives of millions of Yemenis. We welcome the appointment of Mr. Martin Griffiths as the Secretary-General’s special envoy on Yemen. His clear analysis offers some hope for progress on finding a political solution.&nbsp; But the search for a political settlement must be inclusive, including women, and outside actors must not sabotage talks in the mistaken hope of achieving military advantage.</p> <p>Mr. President</p> <p>On the Israel/Palestine question, there is a clear objective, the two-state solution, under which both Israel and Palestine will live side-by-side in peace. Yet there are actions and inaction on both sides which make the two-state solution ever more fragile.</p> <p>Israeli settlement policy continues to undermine the possibilities of the two-state solution and Gaza remains a powder keg.&nbsp; If this situation is to be defused, Israel must end the isolation of Gaza and adopt proportionate measures in the face of civil unrest. There must also be an end to provocative acts by Palestinians in Gaza.</p> <p>Finally, a peace process needs to be put on track. There needs to be a viable peace track.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

27.04.2018 10:04Ræða Íslands um málefni Mið-Austurlanda í Öryggisráðinu

<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Un Security Council</strong></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Debate on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question</strong></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">26 April 2018</strong></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Statement by H.E. Einar Gunnarsson, Permanent Representative</strong></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">First allow me to thank the Presidency of Peru for convening this quarterly meeting on the Middle East, including the Palestine question.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Syria and Yemen cast a dark shadow over the Middle East region – and over the UN, particularly this Council.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">The Secretary-General, speaking of the 8 years of war in Syria, referred to the “systematic violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law” and of the “utter disregard of the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter.”&nbsp; The use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Government is well documented and constitutes one of the most serious violations of international law.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">The latest shocking reports from Douma have yet to be fully investigated – but the Syrian Government has already demonstrated the will and ability to use these cruel and illegal weapons against civilian populations. We urge the Security-Council to find unity on this issue, both for the sake of Syrians, but also to rescue the international non-proliferation regime.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">The General Assembly finds itself again in a position where it needs to look for alternatives to action by the Security Council. The Council is not fulfilling its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Iceland applauds the commitments made in Brussels earlier this week to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation in Syria and its neighbors. Iceland has increased its funding with a multiyear contribution and will have contributed close to $9m over the period 2017-2020.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">The parties to the conflict, in particular the Syrian Government, and their backers, must show real commitment to negotiating an inclusive political settlement. The Secretary-General has said peace “is a moral and political imperative for the Syrian people and for the world”.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">What the Secretary-General has called “a stupid war” continues to devastate the lives of millions of Yemenis. We welcome the appointment of Mr. Martin Griffiths as the Secretary-General’s special envoy on Yemen. His clear analysis offers some hope for progress on finding a political solution.&nbsp; But the search for a political settlement must be inclusive, including women, and outside actors must not sabotage talks in the mistaken hope of achieving military advantage.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">On the Israel/Palestine question, there is a clear objective, the two-state solution, under which both Israel and Palestine will live side-by-side in peace. Yet there are actions and inaction on both sides which make the two-state solution ever more fragile.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Israeli settlement policy continues to undermine the possibilities of the two-state solution and Gaza remains a powder keg.&nbsp; If this situation is to be defused, Israel must end the isolation of Gaza and adopt proportionate measures in the face of civil unrest. There must also be an end to provocative acts by Palestinians in Gaza.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Finally, a peace process needs to be put on track. There needs to be a viable peace track.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Thank you.</p>

24.04.2018 16:46Statement to the General Assembly on the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria IIIM by Nikulás Hannigan, Deputy Permanent Representative

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Informal meeting of the General Assembly</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">on the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria IIIM</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">18 April</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Statement by Nikulás Hannigan, Deputy Permanent Representative, Iceland</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President</p> <p>Thank you for convening this very timely informal debate on the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria. I also thank Mme Christine March-Uhel for her briefing and Liechtenstein and Qatar for their leadership on this issue.</p> <p>First let me underline Iceland’s strong support for the establishment and mandate of the Mechanism. We provided funding for the first year of operation, 2017 and my government is well advanced in allocating further funds for 2018 and will announce them in the near future.</p> <p>The need for this Mechanism for Syria cannot be in doubt.&nbsp; Only last week, the Secretary-General, speaking of the 8 years of war in Syria, referred to the “systematic violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law” and of the “utter disregard of the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter.”&nbsp;</p> <p>The Security Council has struggled to find unity to address these flagrant violations. Most recently, the Security Council failed to ensure accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria, a war crime under all circumstances. In the light of the ongoing divisions in the Security Council, the establishment of the IIIM seems an act of great foresight by the General Assembly. &nbsp;Without the Mechanism, there would be a high risk of losing the evidence vital to bringing criminal charges for the most serious crimes. Victims would be left without justice, perpetrators would evade accountability, impunity would encourage further violations in the future. &nbsp;Accountability and transitional justice are essential to a sustainable peace.</p> <p>Mr. President</p> <p>We would like to pay tribute to the work of Mme Catherine Marchi-Uhel, the Head of the Mechanism, for the careful preparatory work already done. The additional focus on gender-based crimes and sexual violence and&nbsp; crimes against children, as well as the outreach to civil society organizations is particularly welcome.</p> <p>While Iceland is proud to contribute financially to getting the Mechanism off the ground, the General Assembly did not intend the Mechanism to be funded from voluntary contributions&nbsp;<em>ad infinitum</em>. This mechanism established by the General Assembly and mandated to assist in investigation of the most serious crimes under international law, must be funded from the UN’s regular budget. We therefore strongly urge the Secretary-General to propose a budget line for the mechanism.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>

24.04.2018 09:57Ræða á Allsherjarþingi Sameinuðu þjóðanna um málefni Sýrlands

<span></span> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Informal meeting of the General Assembly</span></strong></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">on the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria IIIM</span></strong></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">18 April</span></strong></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: center;">Statement by Nikulás Hannigan, Deputy Permanent Representative, Iceland</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Thank you for convening this very timely informal debate on the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria. I also thank Mme Christine March-Uhel for her briefing and Liechtenstein and Qatar for their leadership on this issue.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">First let me underline Iceland’s strong support for the establishment and mandate of the Mechanism. We provided funding for the first year of operation, 2017 and my government is well advanced in allocating further funds for 2018 and will announce them in the near future.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">The need for this Mechanism for Syria cannot be in doubt.&nbsp; Only last week, the Secretary-General, speaking of the 8 years of war in Syria, referred to the “systematic violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law” and of the “utter disregard of the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter.”&nbsp;</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">The Security Council has struggled to find unity to address these flagrant violations. Most recently, the Security Council failed to ensure accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria, a war crime under all circumstances. In the light of the ongoing divisions in the Security Council, the establishment of the IIIM seems an act of great foresight by the General Assembly. &nbsp;Without the Mechanism, there would be a high risk of losing the evidence vital to bringing criminal charges for the most serious crimes. Victims would be left without justice, perpetrators would evade accountability, impunity would encourage further violations in the future. &nbsp;Accountability and transitional justice are essential to a sustainable peace.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Mr. President</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">We would like to pay tribute to the work of Mme Catherine Marchi-Uhel, the Head of the Mechanism, for the careful preparatory work already done. The additional focus on gender-based crimes and sexual violence and&nbsp; crimes against children, as well as the outreach to civil society organizations is particularly welcome.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">While Iceland is proud to contribute financially to getting the Mechanism off the ground, the General Assembly did not intend the Mechanism to be funded from voluntary contributions&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">ad infinitum</em>. This mechanism established by the General Assembly and mandated to assist in investigation of the most serious crimes under international law, must be funded from the UN’s regular budget. We therefore strongly urge the Secretary-General to propose a budget line for the mechanism.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 28px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Thank you.</p>

08.02.2018 16:47Statement to the Security Council on The Middle East including the Palestinian Question by Ambassador Einar Gunnarsson

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Permanent Mission of Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>&nbsp;to the United Nations</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Security Council open debate</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Middle East including the Palestinian Question</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement by</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>H.E. Ambassador Einar Gunnarsson</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Permanent Representative</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>25 January 2018</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><strong>&nbsp;CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY</strong></p> <p>Mr. President</p> <p>First allow me to thank the Presidency of Kazakhstan for convening this quarterly meeting on the Middle East, including Palestine question.</p> <p>Mr. President</p> <p>The Middle East region faces ongoing major conflicts and multiple humanitarian crises. The humanitarian situation in Syria remains “marked by unparalleled suffering, destruction and disregard for human life” as OCHA describes it. It is just over a year since the General Assembly adopted resolution 71/248 on establishing a mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes in the Syrian Arab Republic. This resolution demonstrates the determination of the General Assembly to ensure justice in the long term. In the meantime, as the Secretary-General has said, peace “is a moral and political imperative for the Syrian people and for the world”.</p> <p>What the Secretary-General has called “a stupid war” has devastated the lives of millions of Yemenis. It has been called the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophe – entirely manmade. We should pay more attention to this conflict, where civilians are paying a huge price in a senseless war that has been overshadowed by other conflicts in the region. One has to wonder about the humanity of those responsible.</p> <p>Compared with other conflicts in the Middle East region, the Israel/Palestine conflict should be soluble. There is a clear objective, the two-state solution, under which both Israel and Palestine will live side-by-side in peace.</p> <p>We must avoid actions that take us further way from the two-state solution, or that have the potential to further undermine trust, enflame passions and spark violence. This applies equally to violence by Palestinian individuals or organisations targeting Israelis and the disproportionate Israeli military response, as well as to ongoing Israeli settlement policy. We also appeal to powerful sponsor countries to work for the conditions and environment conducive to conducting peace negotiations.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the precarious existence of many Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, is a humanitarian and security concern. Failure to address the ongoing humanitarian needs of the Palestinian refugee population has the potential to create a breeding ground for extremism among young people who would be out of school and out of hope. On behalf of the UN, UNRWA is carrying out vital work, under the principled leadership of Commission General Krahenbuhl. Undermining UNRWA now, undermines peace and stability in the Middle East.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President</p> <p>Iceland believes that international law and multilateral institutions, even though not always perfect, must underpin relations between states and their peoples.&nbsp; The alternative is the rule of “might is right”, which almost always leads to violence and conflict. As the Secretary-General said a few days ago “we need more dialogue and deeper international cooperation”.</p>

08.02.2018 09:52Ávarp í Öryggisráðinu um málefni Mið-Austurlanda

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Permanent Mission of Iceland</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>&nbsp;to the United Nations</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Security Council open debate</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Middle East including the Palestinian Question</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Statement by</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>H.E. Ambassador Einar Gunnarsson</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Permanent Representative</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>25 January 2018</strong></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><strong>&nbsp;CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY</strong></p> <p>Mr. President</p> <p>First allow me to thank the Presidency of Kazakhstan for convening this quarterly meeting on the Middle East, including Palestine question.</p> <p>Mr. President</p> <p>The Middle East region faces ongoing major conflicts and multiple humanitarian crises. The humanitarian situation in Syria remains “marked by unparalleled suffering, destruction and disregard for human life” as OCHA describes it. It is just over a year since the General Assembly adopted resolution 71/248 on establishing a mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes in the Syrian Arab Republic. This resolution demonstrates the determination of the General Assembly to ensure justice in the long term. In the meantime, as the Secretary-General has said, peace “is a moral and political imperative for the Syrian people and for the world”.</p> <p>What the Secretary-General has called “a stupid war” has devastated the lives of millions of Yemenis. It has been called the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophe – entirely manmade. We should pay more attention to this conflict, where civilians are paying a huge price in a senseless war that has been overshadowed by other conflicts in the region. One has to wonder about the humanity of those responsible.</p> <p>Compared with other conflicts in the Middle East region, the Israel/Palestine conflict should be soluble. There is a clear objective, the two-state solution, under which both Israel and Palestine will live side-by-side in peace.</p> <p>We must avoid actions that take us further way from the two-state solution, or that have the potential to further undermine trust, enflame passions and spark violence. This applies equally to violence by Palestinian individuals or organisations targeting Israelis and the disproportionate Israeli military response, as well as to ongoing Israeli settlement policy. We also appeal to powerful sponsor countries to work for the conditions and environment conducive to conducting peace negotiations.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the precarious existence of many Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, is a humanitarian and security concern. Failure to address the ongoing humanitarian needs of the Palestinian refugee population has the potential to create a breeding ground for extremism among young people who would be out of school and out of hope. On behalf of the UN, UNRWA is carrying out vital work, under the principled leadership of Commission General Krahenbuhl. Undermining UNRWA now, undermines peace and stability in the Middle East.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. President</p> <p>Iceland believes that international law and multilateral institutions, even though not always perfect, must underpin relations between states and their peoples.&nbsp; The alternative is the rule of “might is right”, which almost always leads to violence and conflict. As the Secretary-General said a few days ago “we need more dialogue and deeper international cooperation”.</p>

20.04.2017 11:30Fastafulltrúi ávarpar Öryggisráðið um Miðausturlönd

<span></span> <div class="page" title="Page 2">&nbsp;</div> <div class="page" title="Page 2"><span>Einar Gunnarsson fastafulltrúi Íslands ávarpaði Öryggisráð Sameinuðu þjóðanna í dag um málefni Miðausturlanda.</span></div> <div class="page" title="Page 2"><span>&nbsp;</span></div> <div class="page" title="Page 2"><span></span> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">Madame President</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">Allow me to thank the US Presidency of the Security Council for organizing this quarterly debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">Madame President</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">The Middle East region remains in a state of turmoil. Complex internal conflicts have led to displacement and suffering on a massive scale, with famine looming in many areas, including Yemen. The work program of this Council is heavily charged with issues of the region, with separate meetings and reports on various aspects of Syria, on Yemen, on Libya and on Iraq.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">Iceland participated in the Brussels conference on Syria earlier this month. Along with&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">many others we have committed significantly increased funds to alleviating the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">humanitarian impact of the Syria crisis. We have also welcomed Syrian refugees in&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">Iceland, in coordination with UNHCR. The continued targeting of civilians and civilian&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">infrastructure by the Syrian Government and rebel forces, particularly medical facilities is&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">completely unacceptable. And use of chemical weapons at the beginning of this month,</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">with strong evidence pointing to the Syrian Government, is outrageous. The perpetrators</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">of this act and of other acts which violate international law must be brought to justice.</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">This is why the work of the OPCW/UN Joint Investigative Mechanism is of key</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">importance and why Iceland supports the Syria Accountability Mechanism</span></p> </div> </div> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">(</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-style: italic; font-family: TimesNewRomanPS; color: #444444;">International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011)&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; color: #444444;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">The Security Council has a clear responsibility to end the conflict in Syria and pave the way for a political solution – the only way forward. All parties to the conflict have a responsibility for making peace negotiations work. In particular, this responsibility lies with the Assad government and its state backers, Russia and Iran. The hopes raised by the Astana process, and the energy put into the main UN sponsored Geneva peace process require concerted political energy and will.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">Failure to establish a proper political peace process will cause continued suffering among the Syrian people and allow for the violence to further spread into neighboring states such as Lebanon.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">Madame President</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">Despite the bleak outlook in much of the region, there is one conflict which should be amenable to resolution and where preventing further conflict should be possible. I am referring to the Israel/Palestine conflict. The two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict is the only viable peace-plan – and it has been on the table for years. It should therefore be a key priority of the Security Council to protect and nurture the two-state solution, even when both parties to the conflict seem, at times, hell-bent on tearing this plan up.</span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="page" title="Page 3"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">On the one hand we have violent acts by individual Palestinians against Israeli citizens and the frequent firing of rockets into Israel – this is totally unacceptable. On the other hand we have Israel ́s constant undermining of the basis for a two-state solution through illegal settlements.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">The Security Council took important damage control measures when it adopted Resolution 2334 last December. The resolution aims to safeguard a key prerequisite for the two-state solution – the possibility of a viable territory for the Palestinian State. We welcome the first quarterly report by the Secretary-General delivered orally on 23 March. Monitoring of the implementation of the resolution must continue.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">Finally Madame President,</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">In line with paragraph 9 of Resolution 2334 we would urge an intensification and acceleration of international and regional diplomatic efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;">Thank you.&nbsp;</span></p> <div><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT; color: #555555;"><br /> </span></div> </div> </div> </div>

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