Presentation of credentials at the OSCE and IAEA
On 27 August Ambassador Auðunn Atlason presented his letters of credence to Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE is the largest regional organisation of its kind, working towards security, peace and human rights in its 57 participating states - spanning the area from Vancouver to Vladivostok. One of the OSCE's main focus areas is the promotion of basic human rights. In recent years Iceland has actively taken part in projects to combat trafficking in human beings and also belongs to a group of states which seek to increase gender equality and defend the freedom of expression, including the freedom of the media. The OSCE is also an important forum for cooperation, consultation and treaties relating to disarmament, the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and confidence building between participating states. The Organisation has its roots in the Helsinki Process of the 1970s where, for the first time, Cold War rivals met to formally discuss the issues of human rights and disarmament.
On 19 August Ambassador Atlason also presented his letters of credence to Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as permanent representative to the Agency. IAEA's main role is to ensure the peaceful and safe use of nuclear energy. As such it forms an important link in a chain of treaties and organisations aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. The IAEA also played a key role in the international community's reactions to the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe in Japan.