UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has praised Iceland for its efforts in helping the international community improve the standard of international criminal justice. On a two-day visit to the country last week, he told the members of the Icelandic Parliament’s foreign affairs committee that the country’s support in areas like criminal justice, gender equality, human rights and humanitarian assistance has significantly helped the United Nations.
Ban explained that as Iceland was one of the first nations to approve the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, it has proven to be at the forefront of the efforts to improve international justice. He added that the country’s parliament is also among the global leaders in women’s representation.
The Secretary-General went on to commend Iceland for the importance it has placed on the international agenda on oceans and its commitment to international cooperation.
He said the North Atlantic island’s contributions will be even more important as the world aims to speed up progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), or anti-poverty targets, and sets an development agenda for beyond 2015.
He stressed that the MDGs have been “the most successful anti-poverty push in history”, and with under 1000 days until the agreed deadline of the end of 2015, he wants increased efforts to complete the job. He said 2015 is also when Member States should aim to come to a legally binding agreement regarding climate change.
Ban added that he also wants Member States to focus on helping countries in transition, disaster risk reduction, empowering women and youths and making the world more secure through nuclear disarmament and effective peacekeeping.