EU foreign ministers endorse new Africa-EU Partnership Strategy

EU foreign ministers have endorsed a new joint EU-Africa Strategy that seeks to strengthen mutual engagement, address security, and promote sustainable, inclusive economic African development. The Strategy Communication, launched in May 2017, identifies two strands for these objectives. First, the strategy aims at building more resilient states and societies, with a focus on 1) preventing conflicts, address crises and peace-building, 2) strengthening governance systems; and 3) managing migration and mobility. Second, it aims at creating more and better jobs, especially for youth, with a focus on 1) attracting investments, 2) promoting renewable energy, 3) transforming African agriculture and agro-businesses, and 4) improving knowledge and skills in the African continent. The European Council’s endorsement underscored the importance of human rights, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in the work to be supported by the new strategy.

Press release - Council of the EU

Sweden commits up to US$750 million for SDG 14 at Ocean Conference

At The Ocean Conference held on June 5-9, 2017, in New York, Sweden committed up to US$750 million over the next five years as part of its new global strategy on the environment, climate, oceans, and natural resources. Isabella Lövin, the Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, said that Sweden's voluntary financial commitment will significantly strengthen development cooperation in support of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, which aims to conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas, and marine resources.

Fiji and Sweden co-hosted The Ocean Conference with the aim to show how important healthy oceans are for the success of the 2030 sustainable development agenda.

Press release - Regeringskansliet


Goverment tasks Sida to develop strategy for sustainable use of marine resources

The Swedish government has issued an instruction to the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) to develop a global strategy for sustainable environment, climate and sea, and sustainable use of natural resources for 2018 to 2022. The development of this strategy is one of the voluntary commitments that Sweden will present at the UN Sea Conference in New York, co-hosted by Sweden and Fiji.  The estimated budget that will be made available for this strategy is between SEK 5-7 billion (US$593-830 million) in total.

Press release - Swedish government (in Swedish)


Sida gets new director general

The Swedish government has appointed Ms Carin Jämtin as the new Director General for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). her appointment started on May 29, 2017. Ms Jämtin is a former Minister of Development Cooperation, a position she held under the Social Democratic Government until 2006.

Press release - Swedish government (in Swedish)

Press release - Sida



New Director General for Swedish Migration Board

The Swedish government has appointed Mr Mikael Ribbenvik as the new Director General (DG) for the Migration Board. Mr Ribbenvik has worked for 18 years in the agency in various capacities, and has been acting DG since September 2016 after former DG, Anders Danielsson, became head of the Swedish Red Cross.

 Press release - Swedish government  (in Swedish)


Swedish defense minister speaks at UN Security Council on need for gender equality

The Swedish Minister of Defense, Peter Hultqvist, held a speech at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict on May 15, 2017, in New York, at which he emphasized the importance of gender equality in all peace and security interventions. Minister Hultqvist also spoke to the need to both apply a comprehensive rights-based approach focused on the needs and experiences of victims, and to increase the numbers of women peacekeepers, police, and correction officers.

Full speech - Swedish government (in Swedish)

Sweden Global health

Sida strengthens support for SRHR, including and HIV/AIDS information

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has announced that it will provide an additional SEK10 million (US$1.2 million) to UNESCO's global work on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including sexuality education and HIV/AIDS information promotion. The announcement was made during the visit of Swedish Minister of Education Gustav Fridolin to UNESCO in Paris on May 11, 2017. This additional support is part of Sweden’s response to the cuts to programming for SRHR issues globally. 

Press release - Education Ministry (in Swedish)


Sweden ‘exports’ knowhow on gender-sensitive statistics

The Swedish Statistical Central Bureau (SCB) is implementing a multi-year International Training Programme on gender-sensitive statistics with participation from the Bureaus of Statistics of Bangladesh, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Palestine, Zambia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Cambodia. The training programme is funded by Sweden's development cooperation agency, Sida, and aims to enhance the capacity of both civil servants and statisticians in partner countries around gender-sensitive statistics and to promote evidence-based policy on gender equality. 

(Magazine article - Omvärlden


Sweden's foreign ministry finds global progress to achieve human rights has stagnated

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a report on the progress towards realizing human rights in 135 countries. The report shows that global progress on human rights, democracy, and the rule of law has stalled, and highlights the challenges faced by civil society to work freely in many countries as well as the presence of widespread discrimination, violence against women, undemocratic practices even in countries where democratic elections are organized, and a widespread politicization of courts. In response to the report, Foreign Minister Margot Wallström re-iterated Sweden's commitment to work for human rights, saying that they as well as  democracy and the rule of law help create a safer world for all.

The report is available here.

Press release – Swedish Government (in Swedish)


Swedish Professor Otto Cars receives award for work on AMR

The Swedish government awarded Professor Otto Cars’ significant efforts to address antibiotic resistance - both nationally and internationally - with the honorary medal, ‘Illis Quorum Meruere Labores’.  Professor Cars has worked on infectious diseases since the 1970s. He was also, among other things, Chairman of Strama (Strategic Group for Rational Antibiotics Use and Reduced Antibiotics Resistance) from its establishment in 1995 to 2011, and he laid the foundation for the ReAct International Network, which has worked against antibiotic resistance since 2005. The UN Secretary-General recently nominated Professor Cars for a UN expert group on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR).

The ‘Illis Quorum Medal’, founded in 1785, is the oldest Swedish government medal.  

(Press release – Swedish government (in Swedish)