EU imposes targeted sanctions on Russia
EU foreign ministers decided at a meeting in Brussels on 17 March to impose targeted sanctions on several individuals linked to the Russian intervention in Ukraine. The ministers also condemned the referendum held in Crimea as illegal. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt took part in the meeting.
- Debate article: Weakened EU downright dangerous
- Speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt (14/3): Information from the Governement to the Riksdag concerning Ukraine and Russia
- EU adopts restrictive measures against actions threatening Ukraine's territorial integrity (pdf 69 kB)
- Council conclusions on Ukraine (pdf 85 kB)
"Working for a world of equality is a fundamental principle of Swedish foreign policy. It is a world in which everyone's rights must be respected regardless of gender, skin colour, belief or sexual orientation", says Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt.
On the occasion of the 58th CSW Sida organized the Swedish side event "The role of men and boys in contributing to the achievement of gender equality goals and female empowerment in the MDGs".
"Gender equality is a goal in itself and a prerequisite for long-term democratic development, poverty reduction and global development. As Minister for International Development Cooperation, I therefore consider it a matter of course that gender equality and women's role in development comprise one of our priorities in development assistance. Gender equality should also remain key within the framework of Sweden's policy for global development and is a prioritised area in the negotiations on a new global development agenda," says Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström.
Two thirds of all work is the world is carried out by women and girls. Half of all food is produced by women and girls. But women earn only 10 per cent of the world's incomes and own 1 per cent of the world's assets. In Sweden, we want women and men to have the same ability to shape society and their own lives.
"We are not there yet, but we have come a long way. To a large extent, this is because we have created regulations and structures that make it easier to combine work with starting a family," says Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
"The Government reaffirms its strong condemnation of Uganda's legislation, which violates the human rights of LGBT people. Swedish aid is not unconditional. The Government is therefore now choosing to suspend government-to-government payments still due under our current strategy for Uganda, with the exception of research cooperation," says Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström.
Bildt visits Ukraine
Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt is visiting Ukraine on 5-6 March, together with Denmark's new Minister for Foreign Affairs Martin Lidegaard.
The foreign ministers will visit the capital, Kiev, and eastern Ukraine. They are expected to meet Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, members of parliament and local representatives to discuss the situation in the country and how other countries and international actors can offer support and act in the circumstances.
New embassies in Baku and Yerevan
On Monday 3 March, Sweden is opening new permanent representations in Azerbaijan's capital city Baku and Armenia's capital city Yerevan following a decision taken by the Government in June 2013. The Swedish Foreign Service regularly reviews Swedish foreign representation and strategic decisions are taken concerning where in the world a Swedish presence can be of most use.
"Our presence in Baku and Yerevan enhances the conditions for Sweden to play an active role in the region and for Sweden to continue to be a driving force in the development of EU policy towards its eastern neighbourhood in Europe, the Eastern Partnership," says Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt.
Sweden's Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström strongly condemns the fact that Uganda is enacting new legislation that discriminates against homosexuals in the country. From a Swedish point of view, it is unacceptable to discriminate against people on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs or skin colour.
"I want to emphasise that our aid is not given unconditionally. We continuously review our forms of cooperation with all our aid recipients, including Uganda. Uganda's decision to enact this legislation may, of course, affect the way in which we conduct development cooperation in the country," says Ms Engström.