Statement of Iceland at the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council

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Statement by
Mr. Martin Eyjolfsson





Item 2 & 3 : General Debate

      Twenty-seventh session of the Human Rights Council
Geneva, 15 September 2014

Mister Vice-President

Iceland reiterates its opposition to the use of the death penalty and commends the Secretary General for his insightful report. We are encouraged that around 160 countries have already renounced capital punishment; the progressive march towards universal abolition continues. Until then, Iceland calls on all concerned States to comply strictly with relevant international norms and standards when administering the death penalty.

Iceland is concerned by the implications of mass surveillance and censorship on the enjoyment of human rights on the Internet. The right to privacy and freedom of expression and opinion must be guaranteed both online and offline. This can be achieved through effective national legislation with appropriate safeguards and accountability measures for arbitrary and unlawful violations. In this vein, my country is currently working on a legislative package to strengthen more than ten national laws to promote and defend global freedoms of expression and privacy.

Achieving full gender-equality must remain a universal priority to ensure women's active and equal participation in all aspects of society. Despite some accomplishments, further efforts are clearly needed to address the roots of the problem, both in law and in practice. Associating men with these efforts is critical to achieve tangible results. This particular dimension is therefore at the core of Iceland's current policy to address gender-based discrimination. 

In closing, Mister President,

Iceland strongly supports the promotion and protection of the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We remain deeply concerned by the situation of LGBTI people worldwide, who continue to face violence and discrimination. Rest assured that Iceland will always raise its voice to denounce it. As the guardians of the universal values of the United Nations, it is our common responsibility to protect the human rights of everyone, everywhere.

Statement in Pdf

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