Viewing cable 07REYKJAVIK277, Iceland: Press in New York for a position on Partnership
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|07REYKJAVIK277||2007-09-21 17:05||2011-01-13 05:05||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Reykjavik|
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UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000277 SIPDIS SENSITIVE SIPDIS DEPT FOR G (FERRAO), DRL/MLGA (PAZ) DEPT ALSO FOR EUR/NB (WHEELER) ADDIS ABABA for USAU PARIS for USOECD Paul Reid, Curtis Stone BRUSSELS for USEU Patricia Lerner USOAS for Bob Manzanares E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: EAID KDEM OECD UNGA PREL IC SUBJECT: Iceland: Press in New York for a position on Partnership for Democratic Governance Refs: A) State 108794 B) State 131040 ¶1. (SBU) Summary: Iceland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs remains noncommittal on Iceland's involvement in the OECD Partnership for Democratic Governance (PDG), despite repeated overtures from Post. Embassy believes this may be a result of uncertainty about the form and objectives of the PDG as well as the fact that Iceland's development aid policy is apparently under review by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Post suggests engagement on the margins of UNGA to clarify details of the PDG and press for Icelandic support. End Summary. ¶2. (SBU) DCM, Econ Chief, and visiting EUR/NB Desk Officer presented Ref A points to the Director-General for External Trade and Economic Affairs at Iceland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs on August 21. Earlier in the day, Pol Chief, EUR/NB DeskOff and Pol Intern made a similar presentation to the MFA's Counsellor for Human Rights and Democracy Issues. Both were appreciative but noncommittal, saying they would raise the issue within the ministry. In follow-up contacts on September 14 and again on September 20 to present Ref B information, MFA contacts were similarly undecided about Iceland's participation. Icelandic MFA's Minister-Counsellor for International Organization Affairs Nikulas Hannigan told Pol Chief on September 20 that the issue was "under review" at the ministry, but added on a separate topic that development aid was one of Iceland's main issues of interest for the upcoming UN General Assembly (UNGA). ¶3. (SBU) Comment: EmbOffs have learned separately that Minister for Foreign Affairs Gisladottir has asked for a review of Iceland's development aid policy, including an exploration of merging the Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) into the Ministry. Currently, ICEIDA handles bilateral aid projects while the MFA has responsibility for multilateral donations. We speculate that this review may be stalling commitments to other initiatives. ¶4. (SBU) Comment, cont'd: Post recommends engagement with the Icelandic missions at the UN and OECD to clarify thinking on the PDG as well as direct engagement with the Icelandic delegation at UNGA to help flush out MFA thinking on the issue. Klopfenstein