Minister for Foreign Affairs, Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson.

Minister for Foreign Affairs: “Deeply concerned by the anti-LGBTI law” in Hungary

Many world leaders have reacted strongly against a Hungarian law that bans the depiction or promotion of homosexuality to those under 18. Late last year, another parliament in effect banned same-sex couples in the country from adopting children, by saying only married couples could adopt, with so exceptions. Previously Hungary ended legal recognition for trans and intersex people. Leaders around the world have condemned these actions.  The Icelandic Ministry of Foreign affairs has condemned violations of human rights openly in the international community before, what does it plan to do in the case of Hungary? GayIceland caught up with Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarsson, The Minister for Foreign Affairs, to find out.

“I remain deeply concerned by the anti-LGBTI law recently adopted by the Hungarian Parliament. I have, along with my colleagues in Europe, raised these concerns,” says Guðlaugur Þór. “In my tweet on June 16th I clearly expressed this concern and solidarity with the LGBTI community in Hungary, as well as around the world.”

“I remain deeply concerned by the anti-LGBTI law recently adopted by the Hungarian Parliament. I have, along with my colleagues in Europe, raised these concerns.”

Guðlaugur Þór points out that on that same day Iceland’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg raised this issue to Hungary in our dialogue with the Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights. “We reiterated this viewpoint to Hungary in discussions at the Council this past Wednesday where we stated that this legislation goes against ECRIs general principles and key standards on LGBTI issues according to which authorities should take appropriate legislative measures with the aim of sending a clear message that intolerance against LGBTI persons is not acceptable,” he says.

“Such measures should enshrine in law the equality and dignity of LGBTI persons in all areas of life – not limit human rights or stigmatize members of society. Such measures only reinforce prejudice against LGBTI persons and are incompatible with the values of a democratic society.

We reiterated our solidarity with LGBTI persons in Hungary and elsewhere and urged Hungary to instead combat prejudices and discrimination and to work for the full acceptance of all people, no matter who they are or who they love.”

For the past years many world leaders have voiced their concerns that human rights of the LGBTQAI plus community is under threat in certain parts of Eastern Europe. The government of the Czech republic has, for example, voiced similar opinions as the government of Hungary, with the president there recently describing trans people as disgusting. What does the minister think of that? Does the ministry plan to raise its objections against the words of the president? How does the Icelandic government intend to act / voice its concerns on those matters in general?

“I have been an active advocate for the respect of the human rights of LGBTI+ individuals in Europe and across the world. This was for example a priority during Iceland´s membership of the Human Rights Council and we have maintained our active stand on the issue,” Guðlaugur Þór replies.

He goes on to point out that as it stands, Iceland is the only country that since 2019 raised LGBTI+ rights to every single country in the universal periodic review, a mechanism of the Human Rights Council where all countries of the world have their human rights record reviewed. “We raise issues ranging from decriminalization to marriage equality, hate speech and violence to intersex rights.”

“The Equal Rights Coalition will be launching a five-year strategy and action plan on 6 July, with the aim of increasing social acceptance for LGBTI+ people around the world.”

Guðlaugur Þór adds that in addition, Iceland has joined the core group of countries that work together at the United Nations in New York to raise LGBTI+ rights in various form and discussion. “This group has done important work to ensure these rights are actively considered at the UN despite mounting opposition.”

Iceland is also a founding member of a newly established friends group on the mandate of the United Nations Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. “At the ongoing human rights council session, three important joint statements will be delivered by the group, including on the rights of transgender women.”

Guðlaugur Þór says that Iceland is a member of the Equal Rights Coalition where he will be making a statement. The group consists of 42 member states and works closely with civil society, multilateral partners and UN Agencies to safeguard the fundamental human rights of LGBTI+ people. “The Equal Rights Coalition will be launching a five-year strategy and action plan on 6 July, with the aim of increasing social acceptance for LGBTI+ people around the world and eliminate violence and discrimination.”

Iceland also contributes to the Global Equality Fund, according to Guðlaugur Þór, which provides emergency assistance to organisations under threat or attack, small grants for grassroot civil society organisations, and human rights programming grants to meet the needs of LGBTI+ communities with long-term, targeted support.

“Iceland applies a human rights based approach in its development cooperation, and aims to contribute directly to the advancement of equal rights for LGBTI+ people.

Moreover, the rights of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations are at the core of Iceland’s bilateral development cooperation strategy, this includes the rights of LGBTI+ people,” says Guðlaugur Þór.

“In short, we have raised our voice consistently against violence and discrimination, and for the rights of LGBTI individuals. We do so individually to all countries and collectively with our likeminded. We will continue do so and explore new ways to protect the human rights of LGBTI+ individuals.”

See also: Iceland should condemn Hungary’s new anti-LGBTQAI law

Blush

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      In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

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        From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing two hotels, three restaurants, three
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        Landsbankinn
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        Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

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        It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

        Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

        Dohop
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        Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

        Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

        More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

        VSÓ Ráðgjöf

           

          VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

          Macland
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          From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

          Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
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          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
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          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

          Contact Us


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