The prime minister of Iceland, Halldór Ásgrímsson, announced at a session at the General Assembly of the United Nations yesterday that Iceland is running for a seat on the UN Security Council for 2009-2010.
This is the first time Iceland seeks a seat on the Security Council.
Halldór said that Icelanders could contribute in various ways to global peace and prosperity, and therefore they were running for a seat on the council.
The announcements comes a day after Icelandic media quoted outgoing foreign minister Davíd Oddsson saying that his successor, Geir Haarde, who becomes foreign minister in late September would decide whether or not to seek a seat on the Security Council.
David also said, that in his view, it would be most sensible not to run.
Earlier this year David told Althingi that the cost of an election campaign for the seat would amount to about ISK 600 million.
Two seats are available for 2009-2010, and, in addition to Iceland, Austria and Turkey have announced they will run. The two seats are part of the so-called Western Group of seats on the Security Council.
In his announcement Halldór talked about reforming the security council, “The United Nations has made a great difference to many but it has also failed many. If we do not reform the Security Council, we will lack the necessary strength and power to protect and to secure and maintain peace.”
Halldór emphasized the benefits of the creation of the Human Rights Council and the decision to establish a Peace Building Commission. He said that large strides had been made in development matters but that there is still far to go.
Halldór condemned terrorism and said that the UN had a duty to conclude an international convention on terrorism by the end of the current session of the General Assembly.
The current General Assembly is held on the 60th anniversary of the United Nations. This year, it is also five years since the nations of the world agreed to certain goals concerning global development. The objective of this meeting of the General Assembly was to improve the way in which the UN works towards, peace, security and development