July 2nd, 2013 12:33 EST
UN Chief Ban Praises Iceland
Ban Ki-moon today commended Iceland for its contributions to the international community in such critical areas as international criminal justice, gender equality and regulation of the use of the world`s oceans.
We have gained significantly from Iceland`s support in critical areas such as international criminal justice, human rights, gender equality and humanitarian assistance, " Mr. Ban told members of the foreign affairs committee of the Icelandic Parliament in Reykjavik, the capital.
As one of the first countries to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Iceland has claimed its place at the forefront of the advancement of international justice. And your parliament, of course, is among the world leaders in women`s representation, " Mr. Ban said.
The Millennium Development Goals have been the most successful anti-poverty push in history. Now, with less than 1000 days left until the end of 2015, the agreed deadline, I am pressing for accelerated efforts to finish the job.
Mr. Ban also noted Iceland`s lead role in advancing the international agenda on oceans and the law of the sea, as well as the country`s commitment to international cooperation.
He stressed that these contributions will be increasingly important as the world seeks to accelerate progress on the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sets a post-2015 development agenda.
The Millennium Development Goals have been the most successful anti-poverty push in history. Now, with less than 1000 days left until the end of 2015, the agreed deadline, I am pressing for accelerated efforts to finish the job, " Mr. Ban said.
2015 is [ "] the year when Member States must make good on their promise to reach a legally binding agreement on climate change, " he added, stressing that achieving sustainable development is one of his main priorities during his second term.
Other important areas to focus on will be the empowerment of women and youth, disaster risk reduction, helping countries in transition and building amore secure world through effective peacekeeping and nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, Mr. Ban said.
While in Iceland, the Secretary-General is scheduled to meet with President ""lafur Ragnar GrÃmsson as well as with other senior officials. He will also visit a geothermal power plant and the Thingvellir National Park, designated a World Heritage site by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
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