Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. For many readers, Iceland represents one of the smallest and remotest European countries, yet one of the most fascinating ones. This might be due to the striking beauty of its landscapes and to its uncontaminated nature but also to the high level of democratic civilization that its population and its institutions have showed to the rest of the world since the existence of the country itself. As this article is being written, Iceland is showing once more its most civilized side and further affirming its commitment towards the promotion of universal human rights and global peace, by hosting the Reykjavik Congress on Human Rights 2013, an event organized by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and the Icelandic government.
The Reykjavik Congress on Human Rights 2013 unfolds within the ICD ‘s Initiative “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”, launched under the leadership of Former Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, and it represents the second international summit on the issue of the one held in Ljubljana (Slovenia) in October 2012.
The main purpose of this forum is to argue and debate the notion of “Responsibility to Protect” within human rights realm, taking into account the divergent dimensions in restraining or promoting international intervention. Academics, politicians, diplomats and civil society activists interact in a two-days intense and interactive discussion on the moral, legal and political responsibilities of the international community facing instances of mass atrocities.
Through the discussions and exchanges of this congress we aim to consider the current most vehement cases of human rights violations, and further comprehend the varied issues and approaches to these mass atrocities and crimes against humanity from a theoretical perspective, analyzing the complex layers and structures, and taking into account the ethical dilemma surrounding the responsibility to protect and international intervention.
The list of prominent speakers includes, among others, the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Mr. Janez Jansa (President of the ICD Human Rights Program, Former Prime Minister of Slovenia), Dr. Franco Frattini (Former Foreign Minister of Italy), Dr. John Leslie Prescott (Former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), President Emil Constantinescu (President of the ICD Academy, Former President of Romania) and Minister Ögmundur Jónasson (Minister of the Interior of Iceland).
With the Reykjavík Congress on Human Rights 2013, the ICD is intended at maintaining human rights issues at the core of its activities and it foresees a great scope for cultural diplomacy practices to be implemented in this area. By acting as a global platform for intercultural dialogue and confrontation on a great variety of issues, we strongly believe in the huge potential that a well coordinated and globally endorsed initiative can have in influencing even the highest spheres of decision-making institutions.
For more photos of the event, please click here