On December 5, Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt took part in the 20th Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE). The meeting took place in Kiev, during which Ukraine handed over the Chairmanship of the OSCE to Switzerland.
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt made a statement Thursday night, on the death of Nelson Mandela: "Nelson Mandela was a person who changed the world. He was deeply convinced of the equality between human beings and had an equally strong commitment and capacity for reconciliation. He chose reconciliation where others would have chosen revenge. He created a new South Africa and gave people all over the world someone to look up to and a role model."
Foreign Minister Carl Bildt commented on Twitter: "Nelson Mandela was a giant of our age. For freedom. For rights of everyone. For reconciliation. For compassion. A world in deep grief."
On 7 December it will be one hundred years since Swedish diplomat Per Anger was born. Together with Raoul Wallenberg, he saved the lives of a large number of Hungarian Jews during the Second World War. To commemorate Per Anger's deeds, a memorial tree will be planted in his honour.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) session of the Assembly of States Parties in the Hague was concluded last week. During the session, Sweden announced a new contribution of SEK 36 million for the period 2013-2015 to the Trust Fund for Victims that was established in connection with the ICC. This is the largest single contribution ever from a State party.
Foreign Ministers Radek Sikorski and Carl Bildt of Poland and Sweden made a joint statement on developments in Ukraine, on 1 December.
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It serves as a reminder of the enormous suffering that men's violence against women causes.
"In some countries, up to 7 out of 10 women have been victims of physical, sexual, mental or other types of violence during their lifetime. The Government takes this problem very seriously and has therefore decided to allocate an additional SEK 70 million to UN Women," says Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström.
Minister for Trade Ewa Björling's visit to South Korea was dominated by promotion initiatives and meetings and discussions on trade policy, innovation and gender equality issues. At a meeting with her counterpart, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang-jick, Dr Björling discussed the implementation of the free trade agreement between the EU and South Korea.
Bilateral meetings on human rights in Iran
The Director-General for Legal Affairs at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Anders Rönquist visited Tehran, Iran on the 18-19 November 2013 for bilateral meetings on human rights and consular affairs.
Among issues raised by Sweden were the use of the death penalty, the situation for political dissidents and human rights defenders, freedom of expression, online as well as offline, the universality of human rights and the human rights situation for women and LGBT persons.
During the visit Mr Rönquist also met with Narges Mohammadi, who received the Per Anger Prize in 2011 for her persistent and public struggle for human rights and women's freedom in Iran.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt is in the United Arab Emirates to attend to the World Economic Forum Summit on the Global Agenda.
"The regions are taking on an increasingly important role and multiregionalism will complement multilateralism to an ever greater extent as a cornerstone of the international system. This is about integration, trade and various forms of deeper political cooperation," said Mr Bildt during a panel discussion on global challenges.
Close development cooperation with US
Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström today received USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. The visit is another step in the increasingly close cooperation between Sweden and the United States concerning development issues, particularly new and innovative forms of aid.
Following the meeting, a joint press conference was held with Rajiv Shah, Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and Niklas Gustavsson, Executive Vice President of Volvo Group. A joint Swedish-US initiative on innovation and a new three-party cooperation scheme aimed at creating jobs in African countries were presented at the press conference.