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News from Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Extension of temporary entry ban to Sweden until 31 August 2020 and easing of restrictions for more travellers
To mitigate the effects of the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the outbreak, a temporary ban on entry to the EU via Sweden is in force. The Government today decided to extend the entry ban until 31 August 2020. At the same time, the Government decided to ease the restrictions for more travellers. Today's decision was taken following a Council of the European Union recommendation.
Travel abroad – advice against travel from Sweden to all countries extended
In light of the continued uncertainty regarding international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MFA has extended the advice against non-essential travel from Sweden to all countries that was decided on 14 March 2020 until 15 July 2020. For countries or areas to which the MFA had advised against travel before 14 March 2020, these decisions still apply. The decision to extend the advice against non-essential travel from Sweden to all countries was taken on 13 May 2020. With this extension, the advice against travel applies until 15 July 2020.
Government communication on the feminist foreign policy
Five years of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy show that it generates results. This is outlined in the Government communication on the policy which was presented by the Government to the Riksdag in September 2019. The feminist foreign policy has, among other things, contributed to support for female members of parliament and entrepreneurs, fewer cases of maternal mortality and unplanned pregnancies, and more resources for gender equality and women’s and girl’s rights. Sweden has also contributed toward mobilising and financing for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
Sweden in the UN Security Council
After being elected by a wide margin to the United Nations Security Council, Sweden was a non-permanent member of the Council for the 2017–2018 term. As a principled member of the United Nations Security Council, Sweden took its cue from the foundation stones of international law, human rights, gender equality and a humanitarian perspective. The Swedish working method was characterised by listening, creativity, active diplomacy and an ambition to achieve results.
Feminist foreign policy
Equality between women and men is a fundamental aim of Swedish foreign policy. Ensuring that women and girls can enjoy their fundamental human rights is both an obligation within the framework of our international commitments, and a prerequisite for reaching Sweden’s broader foreign policy goals on peace, and security and sustainable development.
Drive for Democracy
Strengthened engagement for democracy was announced in the 2019 Statement of Foreign Policy and in the Swedish Foreign Service’s strategic vision for the electoral period. Sweden will stand up for democratic principles and support democracy in all contexts. On 21 November 2019, the Drive for Democracy was presented to the Riksdag Committee on Foreign Affairs by Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde and Minister for International Development Cooperation Peter Eriksson.
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Civil society – an actor for democracy and poverty reduction
What is good support to civil society was the theme of a seminar hosted by the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU in Brussels on 4 March. Experiences, opportunities and new plans to support civil society were in focus. The seminar was the first in a series of three that the Permanent Representation is launching within the framework of the Government’s Drive for Democracy.
Increased loan facilities and credit guarantees for Swedish businesses
On 20 March, the Government, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party presented further measures to mitigate the impact of the virus outbreak on Swedish jobs and businesses.
Nordic-Baltic Foreign Ministers meeting on 16 March 2020
Folke Bernadotte Academy tasked with establishing a scholarship in memory of Zaida Catalán to support UN Security Council resolution 1325
The Government decided on 12 March to task the Folke Bernadotte Academy with initiating the preparatory work to establish a scholarship aimed at supporting UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security in 2021. The scholarship will be established in memory of Zaida Catalán, who had served abroad for the Folke Bernadotte Academy as a gender expert.
Strategy for Sweden’s support for democracy, human rights and the environment in Russia 2020–2024
On 30 January 2020, the Government adopted a new five-year strategy for Sweden’s support for democracy, human rights and the environment in Russia. The strategy will contribute to strengthened conditions for democratic development in Russia, and greater freedom of expression and respect for human rights and the rule of law. Activities within the framework of the strategy will also contribute to improving the environment and enhancing climate action in the Baltic Sea region. A key objective is broader relations between Sweden and Russia, focusing in particular on people-to-people cooperation.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises against non-essential travel to all countries
In light of the extensive spread of the COVID-19 virus and the rapidly changing and uncertain situation for travellers, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises against non-essential travel to all countries. Previous decisions taken by the MFA to advise against travel to specific countries or areas continue to apply. The decision to advise against travel was taken on 14 March 2020. This advice applies until 14 April 2020, when the situation will be reappraised.
Great uncertainty surrounding travel abroad
The WHO has described the spread of the COVID-19 virus as a pandemic. In light of the current exceptional situation, anyone who is planning to travel abroad should carefully consider the risks, and whether the trip really needs to be made.
Joint press statement by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and France
Paris, 11 March 2020
Government contributing SEK 40 million to WHO’s emergency fund
In light of the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2, the Government has decided to contribute SEK 40 million to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Contingency Fund for Emergencies. The aim of the fund is to strengthen the WHO’s ability to act rapidly, without negatively affecting its other activities, when, for example, there is an outbreak of communicable diseases.
Ban Ki-Moon welcomes Peter Eriksson to the Board of the Global Center on Adaptation
The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) appointed Minister for International Development Cooperation, Peter Eriksson, as a board member following an invitation from 8th Secretary General of the United Nations and GCA Chair, Ban Ki-moon.