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

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Item 4: General Debate


Twenty-seventh session of the Human Rights Council
Geneva, 16 September 2014


Mr. President

Iceland is deeply concerned by the massive human rights and humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria. We strongly condemn the heinous international crimes committed by ISIL and associated forces, and stress the urgent need to provide protection for civilians and alleviate their suffering. We welcome the creation of a new government in Iraq and recent steps to achieve adequate representation for all minority, religious and ethnic groups in the country.

We remain appalled by the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The horrific abuses detailed in the Commission of Inquiry's sobering report are intolerable. The most basic human rights are systematically denied on a daily basis by the regime, and the scale of these violations, justified by the so-called songbun system, is beyond description. We add our voice to the High Commissioner’s call on the General Assembly and the Security Council to give the report the fullest attention and take steps to ensure accountability for crimes against humanity. This includes referral to the International Criminal Court.

My Government remains concerned about the human rights situation in Egypt, including mass death sentences, threats to the independence of civil society and human rights organizations, and impunity and lack of justice following the massacres in Ra’ba square and other areas last summer. While acknowledging Egypt's fight against acts of terror, we urge the Government of Egypt to redress human rights concerns and fulfill its international obligations.

Finally, Iceland is troubled by the human rights situation in Sudan, including disturbing reports of indiscriminate attacks on civilians in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States by Government forces. We call on the Government of Sudan, with the continued support of the international community, to implement the recommendations of the Independent Expert and take immediate steps to improve the human rights situation on the ground. The true scope and gravity of the situation needs to be fully addressed by this Council.

Statement in Pdf

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