What impact will Russia's accession to the WTO have on Swedish companies? This issue was debated at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs' seminar on Friday, which gathered leading politicians, experts and entrepreneurs. Minister for Trade Ewa Björling, together with Russia's former chief negotiator Maxim Medvedkov, took part in a panel discussion with Swedish entrepreneurs.
The approval of Russia's WTO accession, after more than 18 years of negotiations, will make the world's largest non-WTO economy a fully integrated member of the international trade system. As Sweden is one of the world's ten largest investors in Russia, with over 400 Swedish companies operating in the Russian market, the country's WTO accession is expected to have substantial consequences for our bilateral economic relations.
On Wednesday 25 April, Stockholm+40 - the international conference on sustainable development hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Environment - concluded with a ministerial dialogue in the Old Riksdag Building.
At the conference's concluding ceremony, Minister for the Environment Lena Ek and Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson handed over the Stockholm Call for Action to Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of Rio+20, and Francisco Gaetani, Brazil's Vice-Minister for the Environment. You can access webcasts, articles, photos and reports from the conference via the links below.
"The Convention is an important element in efforts to bring about a broad-based ban on cluster munitions and reduce the unacceptable human suffering they cause," says Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt.
The UN has now received the Swedish instrument of ratification and announced that the Convention will enter into force in Sweden on 1 October 2012.
Nils Wahl was yesterday appointed as Advocate-General to the Court of Justice of the European Union. This is the first time a Swede will take this office within the European judicial system.
The European Court of Justice interprets EU law to make sure it is applied in the same way in all EU countries. The task of the Advocate-General is to present opinions on the cases brought before the Court.
"It is gratifying that Sweden now has the opportunity to have a Swede as one of the eight advocates-general in the Court of Justice of the European Union. Nils Wahl is an excellent person for this appointment," says Anders Rönquist, Director-General for Legal Affairs at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
On 24 April, in conjunction with the Chinese Premier's visit to Sweden, Minister for Trade Ewa Björling meets her Chinese counterpart Chen Deming.
The talks will focus on creating conditions to further strengthen bilateral relations in the area of trade and investments.
Kofi Annan met Minister for International Development Cooperation
Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson yesterday met Kofi Annan during his visit to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. They spoke generally about developments in Africa and about the situation in the Horn of Africa and in Kenya. Mr Annan's mission as the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States to Syria was also discussed.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt will be in Bangkok on Tuesday and Wednesday, 24-25 April, for meetings with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, leader of the opposition Abhisit Vejjajiva and civil society representatives. The focus of the visit is deeper relations between Sweden and Thailand.
Africa has gone from being 'the hopeless continent' to the hopeful continent, a continent in transformation where there are opportunities for Swedish companies. That is the message conveyed by Minister for Trade Ewa Björling in her speech at the Swedish Trade Council's Africa Day - 'Business opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa' on 23 April. Dr Björling answers a few questions about Swedish exports to Africa.
A summarising seminar on the SIF12 conference was held today at the International Press Centre. The seminar was in the form of a panel discussion, which was open to anyone who wanted to take part. Among the participants was Joakim Jardenberg, who acted as a digital curator during the conference, and Chiranuch Premchaiporn from the Thai web newspaper Prachatai. The panel also included representatives of the three organisers: Sida, the .SE foundation and the MFA.
Information about what occurred during the conference is available on the SIF12 website. This includes video recordings from all sessions, photos, interviews, tweets and summarised reports.
'Days of Remembrance' is an annual event at the US Congress in connection with Holocaust Remembrance Day in the US. The theme this year was to call special attention to those who risked their lives during the Second World War to save people from the Holocaust. Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg was one of those honoured.
The event, which was broadcast live at Kulturhuset in Stockholm, was opened by Minister for EU Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson, followed by author Ingrid Carlberg. Before the live broadcast began, the US Ambassador in Sweden, Mark Brzezinski, spoke about 'the rescuers'. Everyone was surprised when the Ambassador concluded by presenting a unique video greeting from President Barack Obama who honoured Raoul Wallenberg's actions.