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Gunilla Carlsson and Molly Melching. Photo: UD

Important role of women in development

Yesterday, Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson met Molly Melching, founder of the non-governmental organisation Tostan, and Anne Charlotte Ringquist from Tostan Sverige.
Tostan has been successful in working to prevent female genital mutilation. Ms Carlsson and Ms Melching spoke about the important role that women play in development, not least in conflict situations.
The organisation works in several African countries on educational initiates at grassroots level for improved health.

Sweden takes part in discussion of pledges ahead of election to Human Rights Council

On Friday 19 October, Amnesty International and the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) held a discussion of pledges by eight candidates to the Human Rights Council for 2013-2015.
Sweden, which is one of the candidates to the Council, was represented by Human Rights Ambassador Hans Dahlgren. The election to the Council will take place on 12 November, and other candidates Germany, Greece, Ireland and the USA all took part in the discussion.

Dirty water is a major health problem, not least for children. Every year, one and a half million children under five die of diarrhoea. Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder

What do Europeans think about development assistance?

The vast majority of Europeans (85 per cent) think that it is important to help people in developing countries. Despite the current economic climate, six out of ten Europeans think that development assistance to developing countries should increase. Human rights, education and health are seen as the most important areas.
Read more about European citizens' opinions on, and understanding of, development assistance in the European Commission report 'Solidarity that spans the globe: Europeans and development aid'.

Sweden establishes diplomatic relations with Nauru and Kiribati

In connection with the annual autumn meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt met Nauru's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Kieren Keke, and Kiribati's President, Anote Tong, to establish diplomatic relations.

Foto: UN Photo/Kibae Park

Together we can eradicate poverty

Today is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. We asked Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson what it means to her:
"It is a great opportunity to show solidarity with those who are still excluded, who do not have enough to eat. Together we can eradicate world poverty."

Ms Carlsson is taking part in a Sida seminar today entitled 'The development agenda 2015 - what should new development objectives include in order to succeed?'. With less than three years left before 2015, we must step up our common efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt, being interviewd after the announcment of the 2012 Nobel Peace prize to the EU. Photo: Catarina Axelsson/UD

Nobel Peace Prize 2012 awarded to the European Union

On Friday, Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt congratulated 500 million Europeans on the European Union being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee writes in its motivation: "The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe."

Minister for Trade Ewa Björling held a key note speech at the conference. Photo: Linn Duvhammar/MFA

Swedish-Iraqi trade conference in Stockholm

Minister for Trade Ewa Björling is hosting the Swedish-Iraqi Business and Investment Conference in Stockholm 8-9 October. Iraq is represented by four ministers, the deputy prime minister, the governor of Baghdad and the chairperson of Basra's provincial council. In addition, some 50 representatives of Iraq's business sector and over 100 Swedish companies will attend.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt at Stockholm Internet Forum in April 2012. Photo: Martina Huber/Government Offices

Carl Bildt to debate internet freedom in New York

On Wednesday at 14.15 Swedish time, Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt will take part in a panel discussion in New York on internet governance. The debate will be webcast live and the event as a whole is jointly organised by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the International Peace Institute (IPI).

Sweden is very much involved in international efforts for freedom of the internet, and the issues are reflected in foreign, development and trade policies. It is fundamental for Sweden that the freedoms and rights that apply offline also apply online.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt and Director-General for Political Affairs Björn Lyrvall in conversation with UN Special Envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi. Photo: MFA/Anders Jörle

Sunday start to UNGA week

The annual week of meetings at the United Nations General Assembly begins today. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt and Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson were already in New York yesterday for various meetings.

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.