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Government speeds towards MDGs

The Government is allocating SEK 38.2 billion to development cooperation in 2013. This is one per cent of estimated GNI, an increase of around SEK 2.4 billion compared with 2012.

Over one billion kronor is to be spent on special initiatives in the poorest countries, to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals concerning reduced infant mortality and increased access to water and sanitation, but also to strengthen engagement in democratisation and freedom of expression, and adaptation to climate change.

Foto: UN Photo/Stuart Price

Gunilla Carlsson visits Somalia

Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson is visiting the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, today. Ms Carlsson will have talks with the new Somali leadership, President Hassan Sheik Mohamud and Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari. Since Ms Carlsson's visit to Somalia in August 2011, the country's reform process has been high on the political agenda of both the Swedish Government and the international community. Ms Carlsson is now making a follow-up visit to Mogadishu for political dialogue and discussions on the possibilities offered by the new political landscape in the country for Sweden and the EU to increase their engagement in Somalia.

Gunilla Carlsson visits Kenya

Today, Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson is in Nairobi, Kenya, for talks with representatives of the Kenyan Government. Items on the agenda include preparations for the general election in March 2013 and Kenya's important role for peace, security and economic development in the region.

Yalta summit. Foto: UD/Sara Keusen

Carl Bildt meets Ukrainian President

Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt, together with European Commissioner Stefan Füle and Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs Elmar Brok, today met with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for a discussion on developments in Ukraine and the country's relations with the EU. The three representatives of the EU raised the case of Julia Tymoshenko and emphasised the importance of coming parliamentary elections living up to international standards for free and fair elections. After the meeting, the three EU representatives issued a joint statement.

How the Ministry for Foreign Affairs worked for the imprisoned journalists

Efforts to assist the two Swedish journalists imprisoned in Ethiopia last summer and to ensure their release have been extensive on the part of Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt, Ambassador Jens Odlander, other sections of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and other actors. In a text on his blog and here on the Ministry website, Mr Bildt describes in his own words what was done on the Swedish side.

Carl Bildt hosted dinner for US Congress delegation

On 6 September, Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt hosted a dinner for a US Congress delegation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The delegation of four senators and a member of the House of Representatives is visiting Sweden on 4-7 September.

Two thirds of Swedish exports go through just 100 or so companies. This makes Sweden dependent on the success of these companies. Expanding the country's export base is absolutely essential for Sweden. Photo: Flickr/Let Ideas Compete.

World Trade Day: increased free trade for growth and development

Free trade is the foundation of Swedish trade policy and contributes to increased economic growth, more jobs and increased prosperity.

"The world needs more openness and free trade, not less. The best way of opening up trade globally is via multilateral agreements. In this way we can ensure a fair, stable and predictable international trade system," says Minister for Trade Ewa Björling, who will speak at World Trade Day held in Stockholm today.

Sweden's statement for the OAS Meeting of Foreign Ministers

Statement by Sweden at the Organization of American States, OAS, Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the Situation between Ecuador and the United Kingdom, Washington 24 August 2012.

"We are currently doing everything we can to get assistance to the towns and villages of Syria." writes Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson. Picture: the city of Homs, Syria. Photo: UN Photo/David Manyua

"I think we all feel frustration, anger and concern"

Sunday 19 August was World Humanitarian Day, and to mark the occasion Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson has written a personal article about Sweden's development assistance. Around 15 per cent of Sweden's development assistance goes to humanitarian operations; here the minister talks primarily about support to Syria.

On the Julian Assange case

Last week the Julian Assange case returned to the news when Ecuador chose to grant him asylum. Sweden regrets this development. What the case is about is that Sweden has issued a European arrest warrant requesting Assange's extradition from the United Kingdom on suspicion of sexual offences in Sweden. On Saturday we blogged about Sweden's view of the case.

On Monday we updated the blog post and added a Spanish translation.