On Sunday 3 June Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt received US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Stockholm for discussions. Among the topics discussed were the economic situation in the EU and current foreign policy issues. Particular focus was on the difficult situation in Syria, developments in the European vicinity, as well as internet freedom issues.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has launched a new paper about enhancing Internet freedom and human rights through responsible business practices. The paper aims to stimulate collective action in relation to protecting and enhancing human rights, focusing on the freedom of expression on the Internet through responsible business practices. It lays out the challenges and opportunities involved in paving the way ahead. It draws on existing work, looks at some dilemmas the ICT sector faces and the guidance already available to businesses.
18-19 April the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Internet Infrastructure Foundation (.SE) and Sida are organising the first ever Stockholm Internet Forum on Internet Freedom for Global Development - SIF12 - an international conference on the role of internet freedom in global development. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt is hosting the conference.
On April 8, it is the Roma International Day. The day is celebrated in commemoration of the First International Roma Congress in London 1971, wich marked the beginning of a co-ordinated effort to promote Roma rights at an international level. Minister for Integration, Erik Ullenhag, who also has responsibility for national minorities, sends his greetings to Sweden's Roma population.
The 104th session of the UN Human Rights Committee, which has been under way in New York from 12-30 March 2012, will conclude tomorrow. The Human Rights Committee is one of the UN convention bodies, and is tasked with monitoring whether countries comply with their commitments under the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
The 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which has been assembled for four weeks since 27 February, ended on friday. The agenda has covered many highly topical issues regarding human rights around the world.
The Government is deepening and intensifying the major drive to prevent and combat men's violence against women that was launched during the last electoral period. Women and men, girls and boys, must be able to live free of the fear of being subjected to violence and other abuse. Today, on International Women's Day, the Government would like to turn the spotlight on this issue.
Yesterday, a panel discussion on LGBT issues is being held at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The discussion focuses on the report on discrimination and acts of violence against LGBT people that was published by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights late last autumn.
"We feel it is important that the Council establishes a mechanism that makes it possible to systematically monitor the situation of LGBT people around the world", says Carina Mårtensson, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
On 9 December, the minister responsible for democracy issues, Birgitta Ohlsson, presented the Government's action plan to protect democracy against violent extremism. The action plan consists of 15 measures and SEK 62 million is being set aside in 2012-2014 to strengthen preventive work.
"I am proud to present the first Swedish action plan against violent extremism. We must defend the cornerstones of democracy, including the rule of law, freedom of expression and other fundamental human rights," says Birgitta Ohlsson.
Lawyer and human rights activist Narges Mohammadi from Iran has been awarded the 2011 Per Anger Prize for her efforts on behalf of human rights and especially the rights of women. Since 2004 the Living History Forum awards the Per Anger Prize to a person who has made great contributions to democracy and humanitarian work. The Prize Award Ceremony will take place at Kulturhuset on Monday 14 November in connection with the Human Rights Days event. The prize will be awarded by Minister for Integration Erik Ullenhag.