Robert Rydberg new State Secretary for Foreign Affairs – Annika Söder leaving to work in peace promotion
Today, the Government appointed Robert Rydberg, currently Sweden’s Ambassador to Rome, as new State Secretary for Foreign Affairs at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Annika Söder, who has held the position for the past five years, is leaving to work in peace promotion and conflict resolution.
“I welcome Robert Ryberg to an eminent position at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and look forward to working closely with him. He is a clear leader with solid diplomatic experience from virtually every complex area that our foreign policy covers. Together, we will continue Sweden’s successful work for democracy and peace, and continue to promote the benefits of equitable and gender-equal societies,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde.
Robert Rydberg is also Sweden’s Ambassador to San Marino, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN World Food Programme and the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
“I look forward to contributing the experience I have gained from my multifaceted service to enhance our Foreign Service. It is a top-class foreign service, and this is what we need in a world where interests and principles that are essential for us are coming under increasing pressure. It is particularly important that we safeguard strong European cooperation,” says Mr Rydberg.
Mr Rydberg has a law degree and an extensive career in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, where he was employed in 1984. His previous posts include Ambassador to Israel and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and head of the Middle East and North Africa Department at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. He has worked at the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in New York and with the UN Security Council, in areas including European security policy and disarmament, and has been Chair of the EU Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management.
Former State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Annika Söder has been appointed President of the Board of the European Institute of Peace.
“I am looking forward to being able to engage fully and devote more time to this role. Work to promote conflict resolution, reconciliation, security and peacebuilding is more important than ever before,” says Ms Söder.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde has valued Ms Söder’s work highly.
“There is nothing dramatic about this. We decided in September with the change of foreign minister that she would remain during the transitional period. I would like to thank her most sincerely for her five years as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and for sharing her invaluable experience,” says Ms Linde.