The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will take place in Rio de Janeiro next week. In the lead up to Rio+20, the conference report from Stockholm+40 - Partnership Forum for Sustainable Development Stockholm, held on 23-25 April 2012, has now been presented. The conference report summarises the conference's important messages and you can also read about the various sessions and a number of interviews with some of the conference participants.
Gunilla Carlsson meets Burmese parliamentarians
On the invitation of Sida, 17 Burmese parliamentarians are visiting Sweden on 6-14 June and are today meeting Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson. The purpose of the visit is to give the parliamentarians an opportunity to learn more about Swedish society.
On Sunday 3 June Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt received US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Stockholm for discussions. Among the topics discussed were the economic situation in the EU and current foreign policy issues. Particular focus was on the difficult situation in Syria, developments in the European vicinity, as well as internet freedom issues.
The Government's vision of 'Sweden - the new culinary nation' is intended to create growth and employment. Swedish food is being promoted abroad as part of an effort to increase exports. One way to present our flavours around the world is via the kitchens at Swedish embassies. Last week, 15 embassy chefs were in Stockholm for an inspiration and training visit.
On 29 May, Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth will open the travelling exhibition "To me there's no other choice - Raoul Wallenberg 1912-2012" at the Andrei Sakharov Museum and Public Center in Moscow, as part of the Raoul Wallenberg Week, taking place in the city from 28 May to 1 June.
Sweden has reached the halfway point of its Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt is travelling to Canada for political discussions on issues concerning the Arctic region and the work of the Arctic Council. During the afternoon, Mr Bildt delivered a key policy speech on the Arctic at Carleton University, where he emphasised that the Arctic region is changing and facing major challenges, of which climate change is the greatest.
Yesterday, Tuesday, the Deputy Foreign Ministers from the Arctic Council's eight Member States met in Stockholm. The meeting marked the halfway point of the Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Later this week, Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt will travel to Canada for bilateral talks primarily focusing on issues on the Arctic agenda. Mr Bildt will also visit the Arctic areas in Canada.
On Monday 7 May a diploma ceremony was held for 24 foreign students studying at higher education institutions in Sweden. They have all distinguished themselves in areas related to innovation and entrepreneurship. Minister for Trade Ewa Björling presented diplomas and the students received the Global Swede award. It is hoped that after completing their degrees, they can become excellent ambassadors and promote a positive image of Sweden.
On May 1st, the General council of the WTO confirmed the election of Joakim Reiter, Sweden's ambassador to the WTO, as chair of the working party of the accession of Liberia to the WTO. Liberia applied for membership in 2007, and the working party was established the same year.
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.