Andreas von Beckerath
3 September 2014
Annika Ben David
4 September 2014
3 September 2014
Andreas von Beckerath, Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador to the United States, and Annika Ben David, Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were interviewed in connection with the Meeting of Swedish Ambassadors about their posts and the challenges they face.
Sweden is represented at the NATO summit in Newport, United Kingdom, on 4-5 September. This is because of Sweden's partnership with NATO. In addition to Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt and Minister for Defence Karin Enström, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Sverker Göransson is also present.
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a global conference organised by the United Nations to discuss all aspects of the internet, is under way this week. The IGF is also completely open to participation from civil society and the business sector. Sweden is represented by participants from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications among others.
Swedish Ambassador Maria Leissner heads the Community of Democracies (CD), a coalition of more than one hundred democratic states. As Secretary-General, Ms Leissner has endeavoured to make the Community of Democracies more welcoming towards newly emergent democracies, to get rid of the western dominance that previously prevailed and to anchor the mandate more directly in the member countries' foreign ministries. In the years ahead, Ms Leissner wants to further strengthen attendance at the organisation's meetings in New York and Geneva and at the same time attract more states to join.
This week is World Water Week in Stockholm, the leading annual global event addressing the planet's water issues.
Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström gave the opening address to the more than 2 500 participants from some 130 countries.
The latest European Council condemned Russian aggression on Ukrainian territory and demanded that all troops be withdrawn from Ukraine immediately. Russia was urged once again to respect Ukraine's territorial integrity and to use its influence to disarm the separatists fighting against the national forces in eastern Ukraine. If this does not happen within one week, more economic sanctions can be expected.
Minister for Foreign Affairs visits Iraq
On Monday, Carl Bildt began a visit to Iraq together with Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. They arrived in Baghdad in the afternoon for meetings with Iraq's acting foreign minister Hussain al-Shahristani and President Faud Masum. Mr Bildt will visit Erbil tomorrow.
Continuing his visit to Iraq on Tuesday, Carl Bildt was in Erbil, capital of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), with European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva. While Monday's talks in Baghdad were dedicated to political challenges, the focus on Tuesday was on the enormous humanitarian needs in the wake of IS's brutal advance.
Since the beginning of the crisis, Sweden has provided extensive humanitarian assistance on the ground in Iraq. As the situation has deteriorated further in recent days, a decision on additional assistance has been taken.
- An additional SEK 50 million in humanitarian assistance to the people who are now fleeing ISIL
- Personnel and equipment from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
- Increased diplomatic presence
The situation in Iraq is exceptionally serious. The situation is urgent and the humanitarian needs are great. The UN estimates that at least 1.5 million people in Iraq now need humanitarian assistance and that at least 1.2 million people - probably more - are displaced.
In response to the serious situation, Sweden has substantially increased its humanitarian assistance to Iraq.
Deadlocks in the United Nations Security Council are substantially obstructing a response to the situation in Iraq. We now call on the Council to unite around an effective strategy to re-establish lawful, democratic and representative control over the areas that ISIL has seized in Iraq, write Fredrik Reinfeldt and Carl Bildt.